Stories and Traveltips

ID #4959

Boer War Catch 22, Graaff-Reinet, Karoo, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Jan Daniel Momberg of Aberdeen was young when, in September 1901, he joined a Boer Commando. Unfortunately, he was captured and tried by the British for joining the enemy’s forces and marauding. He was sentenced to death but his sentence was commuted by Kitchener because, when faced with death, he agreed to give evidence in the prosecution of “rebels”, as those who joined the Boer forces while resident in the Cape Colony were known. While free to go, the Commandant was obliged to keep him in the guard tent of the garrison at Graaff-Reinet to protect him from the wrath of the locals. Attempts were made to get rid of him by persuading him to enlist in the navy or becoming an apprentice; even De Beers was approached.  Kitchener eventually disowned him and ordered that he be released. It was pointed out that anyone who molested him would be punished. Cold comfort for Momberg!  He survived by moving to Pretoria, where he qualified as a printer. 

Graaff-Reinet is on the N9 south of Middelburg, which is at the intersection of the N9 with the N10.  ASBoer

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Last update: 2014-03-17 02:20
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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