General – Schalk Willem Burger.

General Schalk Willem Burger.
Schalk Willem Burger (6 September 1852 – 5 December 1918) was a South African military leader, lawyer, and statesman, and was acting President of the South African Republic from 1900 to 1902, whilst Paul Kruger was in exileThe ‘Acting President’ of the Transvaal, was born at Lydenburg in the year in which the Sand River Convention was signed, 1852. His grandfather, one of the original Voortrekkers, had the distinction of having the price of £300 set on his head by the British Government, in consequence of his share in a Natal rebellion. His grandson was more of a politician than a soldier. Enlightened and shrewd, he did rival Mr Kruger in his influence over his countrymen. He participated in the Sekhukhune Campaign of 1876, and was an Acting Field Cornet in the First Anglo Boer War of 1881. He served as a Commandant in 1885 and was elected to the Volksraad in 1887, serving later as Chairman. In 1895, he stood for election as Commandant General but was defeated. When the Boer War started, he was tasked with patrolling the Swaziland border as Commandant of the Lydenburg Commando. He took part in the Battle of Modderspruit on 30 October 1899. He was censured for neglect after the successful British raid on Gun Hill on the night 7/8 December 1899. He was preset at Spion Kop. Due to illness, he withdrew from the fighting and pursued his political career once more. He acted as State President after President Kruger had left for Europe. During the “Krigsraad” (military council / tribunal) in May 1901, he advocated a cessation of hostilities, but his proposal was strongly opposed by President Marthinus Theunis Steyn of the Orange Free State. Burger remained president until the
Treaty of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902. He died on 5 December 1918 at Goedgedacht, near Krugerspos.

Burger3

Burger4