I, Jan Christiaan Smuts, have but few days left on this earth. And when I die so too will die a link to much of our history. I am the last living member of Kruger’s government; the last senior general of the Anglo-Boer War; the last Minister of the Old Transvaal Colonial Government; the last, but one, of the signatories to the Treaty of Versailles; and the last member of the War Cabinet of the First World War.read more
White political leadership in South Africa is tough to defend. Publically I don’t hear many voices arguing for the merits of apartheid. In 1948 a more forward-thinking white government, who didn’t hold insane views about racial purity, would have made compromises with moderate Africans. They would have been careful not to stamp on the dignity of an entire people. They would have avoided radicalising the most aspirant and capable of black people, and instead would have invited them into the political and economic fold.read more
All it takes to poison the political atmosphere is an insidious idea. Here’s my least favourite one: Afrikaner Nationalism had merit. Some among South Africa’s current rulers have a grudging respect for the hard men of apartheid. Perhaps they admire the way ideology was used to galvanise a people and deliver on a dream.read more
Angus Douglas is one of Johannesburg’s leading corporate writers. He specialises in taking complex, industry-specific text – be it economics, finance, banking or engineering – and making it accessible to a broader audience.
He has worked with the country’s major organisations, and written speeches for notable captains of industry.
Clients include: FNB, McKinsey, Eskom, the Department of Energy, Standard Bank, Sasol.
Bosman is always ambitious in his writing, he writes not for now, but forever. He expresses his philosophy about art in Study of a Poet Genius: “An artist cannot be judged by his work but only by his life. Only if in the breadth of his being there is poetry; if his actions are not circumscribed by the conventional outlook of his times, but are subject to the cosmic laws of his own creating – it is only then that the man that writes becomes a poet and the painter and the stone-cutter and the player upon the stringed lute inherit from eternity their title of artist.”read more
This talk is mainly about the life and writings of Jan Smuts. But I also bring in Herman Charles Bosman and Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr. Bosman is the joker in the pack: an artist, a shape-shifter. He’s addicted to beauty; he worships at the altar of theread more
When Santa asked me to do something for this Festival I felt as Bosman did when Leon Feldberg asked him to contribute to the 10th anniversary of the SA Jewish Times; I felt honoured.read more