1887

n Historia - Die vroeë militêre loopbaan van generaal Ben Viljoen 1896-1898

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Abstract


Ben Viljoen was born in the Eastern Cape Border district in 1868. In 1889 he and his family moved to the Witwatersrand. After a period of service in the ZARP (South African Republic Police) and a few attempts to make a living as a businessman, he chose a career as a journalist. Eventually he made his first steps in the field of politics.
Viljoen was very interested in military affairs. He not only loved the uniform and the parade ground, but also wrote articles on strategy and tactics. From 1896 till the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War, he was active in the Krugersdorp Volunteer corps and as the fieldcornet of the Krugersdorp Mine district. In these functions he took part in the action in Swaziland and in the war against Mphephu in 1898.
As fieldcornet he was responsible for a number of administrative activities in connection with arms, licences and law enforcement. This part of his duties caused him several problems. Viljoen, however, was respected by the majority of the population of his district. This became clear in 1899 when he was elected for the Second Volksraad and appointed as Commandant of Johannesburg.

Ben Viljoen is in 1868 in die Ooskaapse grensdistrik gebore. In 1889 het hy en sy familie na die Witwatersrand verhuis. Na 'n loopbaan in die ZARP (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek Politie) en 'n paar pogings in die besigheidswêreld, het Viljoen 'n joernalis geword. Vervolgens het hy hom ook op die politieke terrein gewaag.


Viljoen het baie belanggestel in militêre aangeleenthede. Hy was lief vir die uniform en die paradegrond, maar hy het ook artikels geskryf oor strategiese en taktiese onderwerpe. Van 1896 tot die uitbreek van die Anglo-Boereoorlog was Viljoen aktief in die Krugersdorpse Vrywilligerkorps en as veldkornet van die Wyk Krugersdorp Delwerye. In dié hoedanighede het hy deelgeneem aan die aksie in Swaziland en die veldtog teen Mphephu in 1898.
As veldkornet was Viljoen verantwoordelik vir 'n aantal administratiewe aktiwiteite in verband met wapens, lisensies en wetshandhawing. Hierdie deel van sy werk het hom verskeie probleme besorg. Viljoen is egter deur die meerderheid van die inwoners van sy distrik gewaardeer. Dit het in 1899 geblyk toe hy verkies is tot lid van die Tweede Volksraad en aangestel is as kommandant van Johannesburg.

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/content/hist/39/2/EJC37828
1994-11-01
2016-12-04
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