Hanover – Taaibosch trio

In the cemetery on the outskirts of town a pyramid of stone marks the grave of three young men executed during the Anglo-Boer War. The people of Hanover were deeply touched by this event. A train had been derailed and plundered at Taaibosch, 20 km from town. Shortly afterwards several young men sleeping in the outside rooms of a nearby farm were taken into custody. They were charged with ‘maliciously assisting Boer forces,’ robbery and the deaths of passengers. Tried on somewhat dubious authority by a military court at De Aar, three, Sarel Nienaber, J. P. Nienaber and J. A. Nieuwoudt, were shot. They protested their innocence to the end.

In H. J. C. Pieterse’s book on General Wynand Malan’s Boer War experiences, the general states that his commando was responsible for the derailment. The general says the young men were not involved at all. The British, in fact, had sent them to the farm to collect fodder for horses. After the war General Malan joined Olive and Cron Schreiner in a lengthy campaign to have the names of the three cleared. The pyramid of stone over their grave bears this inscription: ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord’