n Journal for Contemporary History - Genl. Jan Kemp se vormingsjare : was dit verantwoordelik vir sy besluit om as rebel die nuutgestigte Suid-Afrikaanse Verdedigingsmag uit te daag?

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



During the Jameson Raid in December 1895, General Kemp became a lieutenant in the Krugersdorp Voluntary Corps. At the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War in 1899 he joined the Krugersdorp Commando and soon became an officer in General Koos de la Rey's ranks. His war record is a story of great courage and bravery. He was successful in battles such as Vlakfontein in 1901 and in the last months of the war he gained, in an act of courage, a victory over General Hamilton's forces at Roodewal. At the Peace Conference at Vereeniging in May 1902 he was one of the six delegates who voted against the British peace proposals. In 1912 he became a major in the newly founded Defence Force of the Union of South Africa. In 1914 he resigned from the Defence Force in protest against the war policy of General Botha's government. From the North-Western Cape he led a rebel force on horseback through the Kalahari, under extreme conditions, to join General Manie Maritz at the border to German South-West Africa. After an unsuccessful attempt against the Union's Forces at Upington in January 1915, he was forced to surrender. For his participation in the Rebellion he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and a fine of R2 000. This embittered Kemp and he regarded Botha and General Smuts as traitors of the Afrikaner nation. Kemp, the die-hard, remained an enemy of British imperialism for the rest of his life. The freedom he so dearly loved and had fought for remained in his spirit and on his deathbed his last words were, "I do not fear".

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