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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dissecting the Myth: Paul Kruger and the Kruger National Park
Author:Carruthers, Jane
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
national parks and reserves
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
About person:Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (1825-1904)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637390
Abstract:South Africans generally assume that the Kruger National Park was called after Paul Kruger, the president of the Transvaal Republic, in order to commemorate his personal interest in nature conservation. In this paper the accuracy of this link between Paul Kruger and the Kruger National Park is examined closely and found to be entirely inaccurate. An analysis of contemporary sources demonstrates that Kruger lagged behind public opinion (both in South Africa and internationally) on wildlife conservation. The correspondence files and legislative debates of the colonial Transvaal between 1900 and 1910 do not mention Kruger in connection with nature protection. His name became prominent only when the consolidated game reserves (altered slightly in area), known from 1923 as the Transvaal Game Reserve, were elevated in status to a national park in 1926. The author argues that the connection between Kruger and national parks has been deliberately fomented to serve Afrikaner Nationalist political purposes. Chief among these have been the advancement of republican and apartheid ideology, the denigration of Britain, a need for international respectability and the promotion of Afrikaner scientists. Ref., sum.