Piet Joubert

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Piet Joubert

Petrus Jacobus Joubert (20 January 1834 – 28 March 1900), better known as Piet Joubert, was Commandant-General of the South African Republic from 1880 to 1900.


  • ...gezien hebben dat de bijbel in de Scholen moet gebruikt worden, zooals de wet voorschrijft.
Translated: ...they [the field cornets] should have seen to it that the bible be used in schools, as the law prescribes.
Thomas Francois Burgers, MS Appelgryn, 1979, p. 62
In 1874, in reply to a controversy which arose due to remaining influence of the state church (Hervormde Kerk) in ZAR schools, which for the first time were not state controlled
  • ...de gevaare drygt aan alle kanten om een oorlog met die kaffers.
Translated: ...dangers are arising on all sides which could precipitate a war with the Africans.
Thomas Francois Burgers, MS Appelgryn, 1979, p. 71-72
August 1875, informing President Burgers of the agitation by Cetshwayo and Sekhukhune, after Cetshwayo was prevented from attacking the Swazis, and a buffer zone was annexed by Joubert on May 25, 1875
  • Waarom was de mensche niet doodgeschiet toen hulle bijde eerste laager gekom het?
Translated: Why were the people not shot dead when they arrived at the first laager?
The Last Boer War, H. Rider Haggard, p. 237
Vicinity of Lang’s Nek, February 1881. From a statement made in Newcastle by the hottentot driver, Allan Smith, who quoted a certain Viljoen, who would have quoted Joubert. Haggard and Fitzpatrick used his statement to implicate Joubert in the murder of Dr. Barber and wounding of Mr. Walter Dyas, who arrived without prior arrangement in a boer camp during the First Boer War.
  • Ze waren begin geweest van den val. Van daar was de roepstem uitgegaan om protectie uit den vreemden. Die Goudvelde waren een bron geweest van ellende voor die Regering. Aan de goudvelden was het te wijten geweest dat het land in oorlog was gewikkeld worden.
Translated: They were the beginning of the fall. From them the call went out for protection by foreigners. The Gold fields were a source of misery for the Government. It was due to the gold fields that the country was drawn into war.
Thomas Francois Burgers, MS Appelgryn, 1979, p. 150
Address to Volksraad in 1882, concerning the eastern ZAR goldrush, the associated uitlander element and First Boer War.
  • …the real truth. Now, you must have heard that the English – or as they are better known the Englishmen – took away our country, the Transvaal, or, as they say, annexed it. We then talked nicely for four years, and begged for our country. But no; when an Englishman once has your property in his hand, then is he like a monkey that has its hands full of pumpkin-seeds — if you don't beat him to death, he will never let go – and then all our nice talk for four years did not help us at all. Then the English commenced to arrest us because we were dissatisfied, and that caused the shooting and fighting. Then the English first found that it would be better to give us back our country. Now they are gone, and our country is free, …
The Transvaal from Within, 1899, J.P. Fitzpatrick.
Letter to Lobengula, dated March 8, 1882, which Fitzpatrick, writing from Pretoria jail, attributes to Joubert. The letter was found by Francis Thompson at Lobengula’s kraal, while negotiating on behalf of C.J. Rhodes.
  • The heart of my soul is bloody with sorrow. … (Nonverbatim: I have done my utmost for peace, despite England pushing the Boers out of their inheritance bit by bit, and taking advantage of us in every conference and native war. My hope till the present war had been for a South African Confederacy under English protection – the Cape, Natal, Free State and Transvaal all having equal rights and local self-government.) … But now we can only leave it to God. If it is His will that the Transvaal perish, we can only do our best.
The Diary of a Siege, 1900, H.W. Nevinson.
In conversation with Henry Nevinson, October 2, 1899, at the outbreak of war. According to Nevinson, Joubert spoke English with a "piquant lack of grammar and misuse of words".

Quotes about Joubert[edit]

  • I liked Kruger more than I liked Joubert. The latter was Slim Piet and … I saw nothing else. The former [Kruger] has always the idea of a Boer empire, and as far as his lights went was an astute honest peasant. He is as the French peasants were in the Revolution, capable of cruelty but it would only be incidental cruelty, and due to his thinking it either necessary or unavoidable. Joubert on the other hand always strikes me as a cold schemer.
Buller: A Scapegoat?: A Life of General Sir Redvers Buller VC, Volume 3, 1994, Geoffrey Powell, p. 116
Redvers Buller to his wife, comparing Joubert to Paul Kruger

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