Smutsfinger pastures

My best pastures on the farm are named Smutsfinger grass. It was named after a true polymath, General Jan Smuts. As a child, our dad would drag us up Table Mountain via the beautiful route named Skeleton Gorge. It’s a difficult hike, and my brothers and I would complain a lot. To get us to stop complaining, my father would tell us that even Jan Smuts used to do the hike and he was already age 70. That kept us quiet.

Later I heard about this man who to date still has the best marks at Cambridge for Law, a man who only went to school when he was 12. I highly recommend reading Richard Steyn’s biography. It is a balanced account of this great South African.

This speech to both houses of the British Parliament in the Second World War shows him at his best. Well worth watching. His relationship with Churchill is a fascinating part of the story.


2 Responses

  1. Good post, Angus. Smuts certainly gets none of the acknowledgement he deserves., both locally and overseas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *