General – Wynand Charl Malan

General Wynand Charl Malan
Birthplace:  Beyersfontein in the Murraysburg district, Cape colony, on August 16, 1872
Son of Jacobus Johannes Malan,and Margaretha Elizabeth Pienaar.
Husband of Elizabeth L Gibbs
Wynand Charl Malan (1872 – 1953) was a Boer soldier and farmer. He made a name for himself during the 1899 – 1902 South African War as a military hero, and particularly in association with the campaigns to invade the Cape Colony. He was severely wounded shortly before the war ended but made a full recovery. After the war, Malan farmed in the Murraysburg area and then in the Free State, but in 1906 following his marriage to Elizabeth Susanna Gibbs he, his father and other relatives trekked to German East Africa where they settled as farmers in the region west of Kilimanjaro.
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 chilling
inscription: Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
From November 1901 onwards the main commando activity was concentrated in the north west Cape under Generals Smuts, Malan and Manie Maritz with the Cape Midlands area around Graaff-Reinet relatively quiet In early 1902 the commando forces in the north-west divided up and four commandos (those of Pypers, Smit, Hugo and Van Reenen) under General Malan were delegated with the task of returning to the Midlands area. On 17 February on their way back, near Three Sisters’ Station, Cmdt Henry Hugo was killed and his place was taken by J Rudolph. Eventually it was only the men of Malan and Rudolph who made it across the railway line
On 18 May Malan and Fouche assisted Van Heerden in his attack on Aberdeen. Malan and Fouche guarded the escape route while 80 of Van
Heerden’s men and 20 of Fouche’s entered the town and surprised the garrison. They made off with a large number of horses but in the
process Van Heerden was killed. Malan and Fouche now moved south towards the Rooiberge and on past Jansenville and Waterford. On 27 May 1902 Malan was severely wounded and captured near Sheldon station (only four days before the final peace treaty was signed at Vereeniging)
On one memorable occasion described by the famous general Wynand Malan, his small detachment of less than 25 horsemen, including the
single mule-drawn artillery piece, fought a leapfrogging running battle for at least six hours. In turn the Boer artillery piece and the
horsemen would cover each other. On their tail was a brigade of 5,000 British horsemen ready to use the lance and sword. Accurate Mauser
fire kept the cavalry at bay during the drawn-out pursuit lasting from early morning till after midday. Just when things turned ugly with
the mules getting exhausted, the British force ran into the main Kommando’s trap. With commanders and scouts on a low ridge, a force of
approximately 1,000 Boers dismounted in an extended line and faced the British cavalry, the well trained horses standing calmly a few
paces behind their owners. The British, true to their spirit and hunger for the lance and sword cavalry charge – outdated since the
Balaclava Charge of the Light Brigade and the American civil war – halted and “displayed a fine performance of lining up shiny squadrons”
as Malan put it. With 5 bullets in each magazine, the Mausers waited. The British “shouted neat orders and the movement started” Malan
described. The British were “at full gallop to the thunderous sound of 5,000 horses’ hoofs when the rattle of the Mausers started. There
was complete pandemonium as rider-less horses got out of control and horses were shot from under their riders.” Amazingly, the British
fell back and lined up again. A second charge was shot to pieces. The Boers then successfully and in good order broke off the engagement
as from the ridge could be seen that the British cavalry brigade’s artillery was brought forward and a flanking movement was forming up.
Death: Died February 9, 1953 in Ngare Nanyuki, Tanganjika