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Book 14- Streets Paved with Gold

Length: 24 pages22 minutes


The year is 1901 during the Anglo-Boer war. The fight is between the Boer Republics and the British Empire. As the war drags on and on, it becomes a war of attrition. This story is set in a small town in the Northern Cape which is under siege by the Boer forces. Food is running out. People are hungry. Officially, this is a white man’s war and the indigenous black and brown population is not involved. But, the local people are also facing food shortages. Bullets and shells kill indiscriminately. Meanwhile, a black market in food springs up. Theft occurs and the commanding officer feels compelled to make an example of anyone caught stealing. The claim that blacks are not involved in the war is a fiction. Both sides use the local people as spies, as runners, for digging trenches and for building forts. Their efforts are essential to the war. Both sides deny arming blacks for combat, yet there is evidence that they did so. The local black and brown people’s involvement in the Anglo-Boer War has been relatively unreported, if not ignored. We follow the story of the siege and its effect on the population, black, brown and white. Is it really true to say that this is a white man’s war, or is this just a little white lie?

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