Vergelyk gerus die ondergenoemde inligting met wat ons “reenboogpresident” en al sy kabinetslede verdien… Vergelyk gerus die ondergenoemde inligting met wat al die sogenaamde etniese swart konings in hul onderskeie Trustgebiede (ou Tuislande) verdien, sowel as byvoordele, duur voertuie, blou ligte komvooie, elke vrou het ‘n paleis, hulle word rondgevlieg in privaat vliegtuie wat spesiaal vir hulle gemaak is …. Natuurlik is dit bykans ‘n onbegonne taak, vandag sit ons met 8840 tradisionele leiers, en almal skep goud uit daardie staatskas uit, die goud afkomstig uit belastingbetaler se sakke.
Paul Kruger 1887
In time, Kruger emerged as a leader. He started as a field cornet in the commandos, eventually becoming Commandant-General of the South African Republic. He was appointed member of a commission of the Volksraad, the republican parliament that was to draw up a constitution. People began to take notice of the young man and he played a prominent part in ending the quarrel between the Transvaal leader, Stephanus Schoeman, and M.W. Pretorius. In 1873, Kruger resigned as Commandant-General, and for a time he held no office and retired to his farm, Boekenhoutfontein.
However, in 1874 he was elected to the Executive Council and shortly after that became Vice-President of the Transvaal. Following the annexation of the Transvaal by Britain in 1877, Kruger became the leader of the resistance movement. During the same year, he visited Britain for the first time as leader of a deputation. In 1878, he was part of a second deputation. A highlight of his visit to Europe was when he ascended in a hot air balloon and saw Paris from the air.
The First Boer War, also known as the “First War of Independence”, started in 1880, and the British forces were defeated in the decisive battle at Majuba in 1881. Once again, Kruger played an important role in the negotiations with the British, which led to the restoration of the Transvaal’s independence under British suzerainty.
On 30 December 1880, at the age of 55, Kruger was elected President of the Transvaal.
One of his first aims was the revision of the Pretoria Convention of 1881, the agreement between the Boers and the British that ended the First Boer War. Therefore, he again left for Britain in 1883, empowered to negotiate with Lord Derby. Kruger and his companions also visited the Continent and this visit became a triumph in countries such as Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Spain. In Germany, he attended an imperial banquet at which he was presented to the Emperor, Wilhelm I, and spoke at length with Bismarck.
In the Transvaal, things changed rapidly after the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand. This momentous discovery was to have far-reaching political repercussions and to give rise to the uitlander, or foreigner, problem, which was eventually to cause the fall of the Republic. Kruger acknowledged in his memiors that General Joubert predicted the events that were to follow afterwards, declaring that instead of rejoicing for the discovery of gold, they should be weeping because it will “cause our land to be soaked in blood.”
At the end of 1895, the failed Jameson raid took place; Jameson was forced to surrender, taken to Pretoria and handed over to his British countrymen for punishment. Kruger believed that the Earth is flat; in 1897 he said to a sailor sailing round the world “You don’t mean round the world, it is impossible! You mean in the world. Impossible!”. In 1898, Kruger was elected President for the fourth and last time.
On 11 October 1899, the Second Boer War broke out. On 7 May the following year, Kruger attended the last session of the Volksraad, and left Pretoria on 29 May as Lord Roberts was advancing on the town. For weeks he either stayed in a house at Waterval Onder or in his railway carriage at Machadodorp in the then Eastern Transvaal, now Mpumalanga. In October, he left South Africa on the Dutch warship De Gelderland, sent by the Queen of the Netherlands Wilhelmina, which had simply ignored the British naval blockade of South Africa. His wife was too ill to travel and remained in South Africa; she died on 20 July 1901. Kruger went to Marseille and stayed for a while in The Netherlands, before moving to Clarens, Switzerland, where he died on 14 July 1904. He was buried on 16 December 1904 in the Church Street cemetery, Pretoria. (source: wikipedia)
Gedurende 1980 ongeveer in die staatsdiens: Ons vorige ministers het nie amptelike voertuie gehad nie, hulle moes van ‘n Government Garage (GG) skema gebruik maak om hul na funksies te neem. Slegs sekere ministers het motorbestuurs gehad, en moes die voertuie gaan afhaal by die GG. As amptenaar, moes ‘n verslag betyds ingedien word hoekom ‘n amptelike voertuig benodig word, daarvoor teken en sou die voertuig iets oorkom deur nalatigheid, was die drywer daarvoor verantwoordelik vir die skade aan voertuig.
Slegs die Eerste Minsiter en Staatspresident het amptelike vervoer gehad wat die staat voorsien het. So is dit ook met behuising, hulle het amptelike wonings gehad, tydens Parlementsitting en een in Pretoria. Daar was GEEN Nkandla’s gebou vir ministers nie nog minder paleise. Sodra amp neergelê is, is die huis ontruim en dit was nie daardie minister se eiendom nie. Libertas het staatseiendom gebly tot vandag toe.
Vandag skep al hierdie swart parlementsministers die room af van die Koloniale rykdom en strukture. Gaan kyk hoe groot is die verskil tussen hulle en die armes elders.
Omdat die Ekonomie baie sleg was, was President Paul Kruger baie met grond vergoed en nie met ‘n salaris nie. Daar was geen ander opsie om ‘n president destyds te vergoed nie. Die land was nie vir jare onafhanklik nie en daar is leiers destyds aangewys en niemand kan verwag dat ‘n President gratis sy dienste en take verrig nie.
Staatspresident S.J.P. Kruger kan as een van die prominente grondeienaars in die Transvaal gedurende die negentiende eeu beskou word. Hy was as een van die vroeë setlaars geregtig op ‘n beperkte hoeveelheid grond sonder vergoeding.
Hy het ook ‘n paar plase as kompensasie vir sy dienste as kommandant en kommandant-generaal in die vroeë jare van die nuwe Transvaalse Republiek (ZAR) ontvang. Kruger het daarbenewens ‘n baie prominente koper van plase, sowel as erwe in sommige dorpe, geword – aanvanklik in die westelike helfte van die Transvaal, maar later ook in die oostelike en noordelike Transvaal. Kruger het ‘n groot aantal van sy plase vir klein bedrae aan sy seuns en skoonseuns verkoop, maar later van sy ander plase teen markpryse aan andere. Sy mees winsgewende transaksie was toe hy en sy skoonseun, F.C. Eloff, die plaas Geduld, oos van Johannesburg, in 1886 gekoop het.
Na die ontdekking van steenkool en goud op hierdie plaas was Kruger in staat om die grond vir ‘n baie groot bedrag te verkoop. As gevolg hiervan het hy ‘n relatiewe ryk persoon geword.
State President S.J.P. (Paul) Kruger may be regarded as one of the leading landowners in the Transvaal during the nineteenth century. His historical background in landownership is an interesting one.
His father, Casper Kruger, did not own any land in the Cape Colony before he and his family, including the young Paul, migrated to the Transvaal in the late 1830s. Casper was largely dependent on the lands of family and friends in the colony for the necessary grazing for his flock of sheep.1 This was possibly one of the incentives for the young Kruger’s intensive and systematic efforts to acquire land in the Transvaal after he settled there. Chief Justice J.G. Kotzé, who knew Kruger quite well as state president and had weekly appointments with him,2 made an interesting observation on the importance that Kruger attached to landownership:
However, these farms, together with the other farms that he bought in the 1850s and 1860s, created a financial problem for Kruger.
In the early years of the South African Republic, officials such as Kruger were largely remunerated with land instead of salaries because of the poor state of the economy.11 Kruger nevertheless had to pay transfer duties etc. for the land he acquired in this manner, as well as the full purchase price for land that he bought from other persons.
In the matter of banking, however much he may have trusted the deposit of state funds in the bank, the President kept no personal banking account, preferring to cash the Treasury draft received of his monthly salary and having the money in his possession, investing it in land.3
The earliest land registers for the Transvaal contain at least two entries for the young Kruger – one for “Paul” Kruger and the other one for “Stephanus Johan Paulus” Kruger for, respectively, 1849 (Rietvalei [sic] “on the Magalies berg”) and 1842 (“on the Hexrivier”).4 The latter entry refers to the farm Waterkloof No. 4 which, according to Kruger’s memoirs, he obtained in that period – evidently on the strength of the practice of allocating two farms to new farmers in the initial years of white settlement in the Transvaal (ZAR).5 This farm was initially allocated to J. Cronjé but he does not appear to have utilised it; either way, he did not pay the inspection fees.6 Rietvalei (sic) 824 is located to the southwest of Rustenburg. The government awarded this farm to Kruger.7 During his short stay in the Eastern Transvaal in 1845 the farm Swartkop on the Steelpoort River was also allocated to Kruger.8 However, since he returned to the western Magaliesberg area a few months later, this was not really of any significance.
In the period up to 1877 Kruger acquired possession of at least 27 farms or portions of farms in the Rustenburg district in addition to the farm allocated to him on the Steelpoort River (see above). Nine of these farms were awarded to him for services rendered to the state.9 The farms were Rietvalei 824 (sic) (see above); Doornpoort 251; Saulspoort 269; Welgevonden 351; Rhenosterkraal 563; Middelkuil 564; Modderkuil 565; Koedoesspruit 572; and Roodekraalspruit 592.
Apart from the nine farms that Kruger obtained from the government in the District of Rustenburg for his services, he also bought a number of other farms or portions of farms in this district in the period preceding the 1880s, inter alia Losperfontein 119; Boschfontein 193; Klein Doornspruit 255; Baviaanskrans 288; Beestkraal 296; Turffontein 297; Boekenhoutfontein 336; Kookfontein 337; Zwartkop 355; Zoutpansdrift 359; Rietspruit 419; Beerfontein 432; Klipfontein 538; Waterval 544; Bierkraal 545; and Palmietfontein 551. At a later stage, Kruger bought the farms Driefontein 696 (later No. 83, in the Warmbaths district) and Albion 376 in the Rustenburg district. He possibly also acquired other farms as well.
Now it was earlier laid down that nobody could register a farm located at a native village; people, however, did not heed this and various burghers and speculators registered farms on which natives lived, or near to where they lived. This was, however, against the law. They received transfer for those farms and then it would have meant that the Government had no land left and that the natives would have to be driven away. Therefore the Volksraad resolved to give such burghers this land on a proportional basis and a Commission was appointed to see from the returns made on the land whether burghers had received more than the value of such farms. As far as the granting of locations was concerned, the Government had always been careful …
The following piece is written by a friend and fellow Paul Kruger enthusiast Ronald van Heeringen.
In the time of the second Boer War the Dutch were concerned with Transvaal’s president Paul Kruger’s resistance against Holland’s former rival Great-Britain. They had a strong interest in the war, as they cherished the thought that the Boer South African and the Dutch shared common ancestors.
The at that time the very young queen of the Netherlands (Wilhelmina, 18 years old) sent the Dutch battleship “Gelderland” to the coast of Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) in October 1900, in order to save president Paul Kruger from the British troops that became more and more successful in their conquest of the Transvaal.
Kruger arrived and disembarked in Marseille in November 1900, where he lived in France until he moved to the Netherlands in 1901. He lived in hotel “De Nederlanden” (nowadays hotel “Les Pays Bas”) in central Utrecht for two months. Kruger moved to villa “Casa Cara” in the city of Hilversum in April 1901, where he stayed until December 1901. Meanwhile Kruger’s second wife Gezina du Plessis, who he had left in Pretoria because she was too ill to travel to Europe, died in July 1901.
Kruger moved back to Utrecht, in December 1901 because he suffered from a severe eye disease. His eyes were treated by professor Snellen of Utrecht University. Kruger lived in “Villa Oranjelust” located on the broad and majestic Maliebaan in Utrecht. After Transvaal signed the “Treaty of Vereeniging”, the three Boer Generals Botha, De la Rey and De Wet visited Kruger in Utrecht in 1902. In October of that year Kruger left the Netherlands for a short stay in Menton on the French Mediterranean coast.
In May 1903 Kruger moved back to Hilversum in the Netherlands, where he lived in “Villa Djemnah”. After the summer of 1903, Paul Kruger moved to Clarens in Switzerland for the sake of his health. He spent the last six months of his life in Clarens en died there on the 14th of July 1904.
Paul Kruger lived in three different houses during his time in the Netherlands. Casa Cara was bombed by the English during World War II. Villa Oranjelust and Villa Djemnah still exist, but are currently in use as offices for commercial companies. Paul Kruger was extremely popular among the Dutch while living in the Netherlands. However, nowadays there are hardly any traces of his presence in the Dutch Kruger houses left.