National Geographic : 1896 Nov
THE WITWATERSRAND AND The Dutch, or, as they are called in South Africa, the " Hol landers," are not popular with the progressive party, which could fill many of the offices with its own members. Neither is it the policy of this party to foster the influence of the Nether lands in the republic. The liberal party, as I gather, holds that so long as the control of the country is retained to the Burghers by limiting the franchise, any undue influence of the English can be obviated with little aid from Europe.* The mining com munity detests the Hollanders, for it is through them that nearly all the obstructive policy of the government is carried out. It is charged that the Hollander officials are very corrupt, and that some of them are so is certain. It is not, however, to be sup posed that all of these members of an honorable nation are bad,t and that many of them are able is beyond question. Dr Leyds has shown himself a statesman of a very high order. Among the assistants he has chosen there must be many intelligent enough to appreciate the expediency of honesty. That bribery exists, however, and that mining companies bribe on a large scale is certain. Bribes are said to be indispensable. It may be suspected that a large part of the Hollanders are in Africa to make their fortunes, with the intention of returning to Europe when this end is accomplished. If so, they are most undesirable officials or even burghers. No man of ordinary virtue who does not identify himself with the country in which he lives, to whom that country is not " home," will use official power or the franchise consistently for the best interests of a community from which he longs to be gone. The Uitlanders of the Rand were, and are, extremely discon tented under the Dopper policy of exclusion, obstruction, and repression. They considered themselves superior to the Burghers and a benefit to the country, and they were indignant at the favor shown to the Hollanders. They desired to manage local affairs in their own way, and above all to be unobstructed in the accumulation of wealth and in the development of the mining industry. The way to attain these desires which most naturally suggested itself to the Anglo-Saxon mind was to obtain the fran chise on terms similar to those exacted in English colonies and in the United States. It is not clear that any large portion of * At the last presidential election, in 1893, Mr Kruger was elected by a majority of only 813 over General Joubert, the progressive candidate and now Vice-President, in a total vote of 14,944. t Mr Wessels says that among the Hollanders you will find " worthy descendants of a race that can boast of Egmont and Horn, of Hugo de Groot and Olden Barneveld."