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RAID ON VREDE, Issue 15696, 9 January 1915
RAID ON VREDE
MA m STR AT E IT ARAN GU E D
DEFFXCE OF THE SJAMBOK
The Yiede correspondent of the 'Cape Tim-es' supplies the following story of De Wet's raid on that town: For the wist week the rebels were
expected. and to-day they arrived, like a gust of wind. On hearing they were co mine; the postmaster (.Mr Evans) told hi.; assistant iMr Swan) to ride to the outskirts of the town and ascertain how many were ooaiinc. Mr Swan rode like a madman, sighted 300 men fully armed.
with De Wet at the head, and then turned and made for the P. 0., the rebels chasing him for his life. They shouted for him to stop, but on lie flew till ho reached the post ofliee window-ami shouted the information required to the postmaster inside.
'The rebels shouted, t" Swan to stop speaking or lie would he shot. They then surrounded him, and he said: "Do Wet is a. fine/ man to-day. but, you wait and see." A boy named Langton. seeing that -Swan had no hat, tried to give him bis. a.-, he. thought Swan was going to ho taken a way in the hot sun. At this moment (ieneral De Wet, rode up. caught hold of the boy, and began to sjambok him, while the rebels were trying t-o force liio post ofliee door, which proved very stronc;. The postmaster then opened it, and Do Wet marched in, demanding all telegrams and papers, amongst which was a caricature of him-
self, with someone saying: "You led us to victory once, general: don't lead us to now." De Wet asked why the. post njiiee was closed. The. postmaster said ii wa.s always closed on Wednesdays. The rebels' then totally wrecked the. instruments, also a. fine new switchboard, and scattered things in all directions, (hie of the rebels used the telephone, hut received no reply, which angered hint greatly. The postmaster was disgusted at seeing his ofliee being destroyed, and asked if he. could go. .Do Wet said "Oh, yes." They took all keys, etc., but got no valuable information, thanks to tho postal officials. Mr Swan was waiting to be shot, hut, Dr. Wet thought better of it. and allowed him to go, much to the disfruiit. of the rebels. —Sjambok Summons 'Meeting.—
Beuter's South African Agency describes what followed. The rest of the troopers galloped, through the town, in all directions, ordering the inhabitants to assemble at tho monument in front of tho Dutch (.'hnrch. They were promised a. sjamboking if they disobeyed, General l)e Wot had in the meantime taken up a. stand on the monument, and ordered that tho Magistrate should he brought before him. Two men were despatched to the Magistrate's ofiieo to order him to attend the meeting, (.hi entering the office, one of tho men (Do Wet's son) extended Ids hand to greet the Magistrate, who told him
that he would not give his hand to a, rebel, and when ordered, in the name of the general, to attend the meeting ho replied that he was not going to attend a meeting held by the enemy. This message, was brought to General De Wet, who was furious, and sent six men down to bring Mr Eraser (the Magistrate) by force, and, if necessary, to drag him up. The- men again entered the Magistrate's office and iaid hands on him, pulling him out of the chair. The. Magistrate thereupon said that if they were going to take him by force, ho would go, and he walked up with them, lie faced General De Wet with, a defiant air.
—Fire Shillings for Whipping a. Hoy.— General Do Wet. after employing some abusive Language to the Magistrate, addressed the meeting as follows:--"Ladies, Gentlemen, and Burghers,—l have asked you to eome together here to explain to you my position." Tlii" 11 turning to the Magistrate, ho said: ''Magistrate. 1 want, you to get a shorthand writer to take down every word that ]. am going to say. because whatever I may do in Die future I oa.ii never commit a greater act of rebellion than I have already eoinmitted. I am going through to Marii/,, where we will receive arm.* ami ammunition, and from there we. are going' to Pretoria, to pull down the British flag and proclaim a free South African Republic. All those who side with inn must, follow me. and those who hide, with the Government must, go to them I signed the Verceniging Treaty and swore to be faithful to the British Flag, but we, have been so downlroddrn by the. miserable and pestilential English that ivo can endure it no longer. His Majesty King Edward VIE promised to protect us. but. he has failed to do so. and has allowed a. Magistrate to be placed over us i.he is one of the pestilential English) who is ;m absolute tyrant, and litis made it impossible, for tis to tolerate it n)ty longer. I was charged before him for beating a, native boy. 1 only did it with a small shepherd's whip, and for that 1 was fined five .shillings." Here the Magistrate interrupted him, and asked bun whether he did not- plead guilty.
' Genera! ])r Wet admitted that, lie pleaded -mil'.y. fF.- ordered tin; Magistra.li-> t'i keep quiet, j.nd .-vii-fl hj» would allow him to say as much as he liked when he had finished speaking. It lie would not hold his tongue lie would make him hold it.
font inning. General ])'■ Wot said after the Magistral had delivered judgment, instead of reprimanding the hoy and order ing nim in future fo be. obedient and. do his dutv, he looked at the native as ii he would have liked to give him a. kiss. The .Magistrate was ;•, brother-in-law of a man for whom he had the greatest, respect, find who was very dear to him. ex-President. Sleyu, and for that reason he would give him another dunce. Otherwise lie would have taken him prisoner and would have handed' him over to the Germans. The Magistrate's father was one of ih" Ma/mciiest pillars of tin; C'hinvli. and if lie. were alive todav Jm would hj" In-art and soul with him iu this movrme.it. and would o.ondemu tins dastardly a-t uf robbery which (he (.overnment were t-oing to commit. -- Kngland a Dead Dor.-
I 'The ungodly policy of Botha, had ;;oiia lon long enough, and the South African j I hitch were going to stand as one men Ito crush this unholy scandal. Some of ; his friends had advised him to wait, a j little longer, until England had received I another knock, hut it was beneath him I and his people to kick a dead dog. K.-ig-I lanrl had got ]jer hands full enough. " ! ! b;;!o the lies which am comimwOv b»;/>g , spread," he. continued, "to the. effect that, thousands of Australians. Canadians, and I Indians can be sent to light ns. WTvrwill England get them from? She.' lias enough to light her own battles. •'I am going through (he town to take the following six articles, vi/.. horses saddles, bridles, halters, arms, and ammunition, and if anybody should refuse to hand to rny men these, articles, if tiiey shonld be found in their possession, [ will give him a thrashing with a sjambok. T order the shopkeepers, to go a.nd onen their shops, and ] will: select, men to'go round a.nd take whatever I require, apart, fi-oin the above articles, and they will givt« receipt." for what they take, and 'f they do not open their shops willinglv 1 will open them in another way. My advice to you English is to remain quiet m your houses, and. not to interfere with my men, and if you don't, beware when 1 come back. I have got my eight sons and sons-in-law hero -with me, and the only people Jeft on my farm are my wife and daughter. Anybody can go and sea if they like, and I request the Magistrate to give them any help they ma.v require if he. will do so." The rehels commandeered all saddles, etc., but paid for all drinks. They then paraded the. .streets with, many local people, and left Yrede at midnight, so the post office was able to make up mails as usual.
RAID ON VREDE, Issue 15696, 9 January 1915
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