General Petrus Jacobus (Piet) Joubert.
Petrus Jacobus (Piet) Joubert was Commandant-General of the South African Republic from 1880 to 1900.Joubert was born in the district of Prince Albert, British Cape Colony, a descendant of a French Huguenot who fled to South Africa soon after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. Left an orphan at an early age, Joubert migrated to the Transvaal, where he settled in the Wakkerstroom district near Laing’s Nek and the north-east angle of the Colony of Natal. There he not only farmed with great success, but turned his attention to the study of the law. During the first British annexation of the Transvaal, Joubert earned for himself the reputation of a consistent irreconcilable by refusing to hold office under the government, as Paul Kruger and other prominent Boers were doing. Instead of accepting the lucrative post offered him, he took a leading part in creating and directing the agitation which led to the First Boer War (1880–1881), eventually becoming, as commandant-general of the Boer forces, a member of the triumvirate that administered the provisional Boer government set up in December 1880 at Heidelberg. He was in command of the Boer forces at Laings Nek, Ingogo, and Majuba Hill, subsequently conducting the earlier peace negotiations that led to the conclusion of the Pretoria Convention.He took little part in the negotiations that culminated in the ultimatum sent to Great Britain by Kruger in 1899, and though he immediately assumed nominal command of the operations on the outbreak of hostilities, he gave up to others the chief share in the direction of the war, through his inability or neglect to impose upon them his own will. His cautious nature, which had in early life gained him the sobriquet of Slim Piet (Clever Piet), joined to a lack of determination and assertiveness that characterized his whole career, led him to act mainly on the defensive; and the strategically offensive movements of the Boer forces, such as Elandslaagte and Willow Grange, appear to have been neither planned nor executed by him.On the 28th of November 1899, during a raid south of the Tugela river in Natal, Joubert was thrown from his horse and suffered internal injuries. As the war went on, physical weakness led to Jouberts virtual retirement, and, though two days earlier he was still reported as being in supreme command, he died on 27 March 1900 at Pretoria from peritonitis. Sir George White, the defender of Ladysmith, summed up Jouberts character when he called him “a soldier and a gentleman, and a brave and honourable opponent”.
He was buried on his farm Rustfontein in the Volksrus district