ANGLO BOER WAR no more – changing history

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Making light of concentration camps: ANC decides to rename Anglo Boer War

The ANC government has changed the name of the Anglo Boer War to the “South African War”.

But in the period 1899 to 1902, during which the war took place, South Africa did not exist. South Africa is a concept which only came into being in 1910 with the establishment of the Union.

It therefore makes it problematic to refer to the war as the South African war. The war was declared between the governments of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republic, the Republic of the Orange Free State and Britain.

The former Natal and Cape Colonies did not declare war against anybody, although the war also impacted on their residents.

The role of the black people in the war is highly problematic as British troops used them to rape Afrikaner women and pillage homes.

Research has confirmed that there were some 65 concentration camps, 49 of them white. Tens of thousands of Afrikaner women and children perished in these camps yet Britain has never apologised for the slaughter.

Black people not fighting on the British side also suffered at the hand of the British marauders.

Researchers, historiographers and historians determine appropriate names which is then established through usage, says an opposition party member, dr Pieter Mulder.

In the last couple of decades, the name Anglo Boer War has been established and used widely.

The question is whether it is the government’s task to change history and an already acknowledged name in this fashion.

If the Board of the War Museum in Bloemfontein decides to change their name to the South African War Museum, it is certainly within their powers. It however does not mean that the war now automatically has a new name, Mulder says.

Historians were not consulted at all, not in the parliamentary portfolio committee or through public participation, about such a name change.

With the changing of town names, strict requirements are in place regarding the way in which and with whom consultation should take place.

The war has over the years had various names. Afrikaners who suffered greatly in the British concentration camps, referred to the war as the “English War” or “Second Liberation War”, because they knew that the British had caused the war.

Most even objected to it being named the “Boer War”. The name “Anglo Boer War” has been established internationally and in South Africa in the past century.

The white genocide, the first concentration camps, the British war against women and children, and the suffering by blacks on the “wrong side” have all been airbrushed from school history books by the ANC.

The Holocaust is studied at South African school instead.