J.H. Hofmeyr and the Afrikaner Bond: A challenge to William Milton’s “Englishness” and the advance of the “coloured” cricketer

Winch, Jonty (2014-03)

CITATION: Winch, J. 2014. J.H. Hofmeyr and the Afrikaner Bond : a challenge to William Milton’s “Englishness” and the advance of the “coloured” cricketer. Historia, 59(1):18-37.

The original publication is available at http://www.scielo.org.za


In the late nineteenth century, the Western Province CC - with William Milton dominant - strengthened its position as Cape cricket's controlling power. Their intention was to become the "MCC of southern Africa" in keeping with press-led initiatives to promote "Englishness". Such developments were opposed by J.H. "Onze Jan" Hofmeyr, who championed Afrikaner sport and wished to create a cricket administration that served as a chamber of fair debate for all white clubs. He challenged the hegemony of the Western Province CC through the establishment of the Cape Town CC, and then engineered a new governing body, the Western Province Cricket Union, which would be headed - controversially - by Milton. The developments mirrored the wider political events taking place. As leader of the influential Afrikaner Bond, Hofmeyr was able to secure the Cape premiership for Cecil John Rhodes. That Milton should be appointed as the prime minister's secretary helped consolidate a process through which Hofmeyr became the major force behind Cape politics and Western Province cricket. Milton would in turn ensure cricket's administration adhered to the official racist ideologies and policies of the Cape government, notably when threatened with plans to include a player of colour, "Krom" Hendricks, in the national cricket side.

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