POW NUMBER: 3390
FORENAME: SAREL JOHANNES
AGE: 30 YEARS
RANK: STARTED AS A LIEUTENANT IN ZAR POLICE AND THEN PROMOTED AS COMMANDANT OF JOHANNESBURG COMMANDO. (HE WAS THE GRANDSON OF PRES PAUL KRUGER.)
CAPTURED: 1900/05/12, MAFEKING
POW: ST HELENA
Another photograph of Sarel Johannes Eloff (seated, on left)
He came to England in June 1896 to stand as a witness during the trial of the Jameson Raiders at Bow Street Magistrates' Court.
London Evening Standard, 12th June 1896
The first Witness was Mr Saul [Sarel] Johannes Eloff, a lieutenant in the service of the Transvaal Republic, and a near relative of President Kruger. Very tall, spare and upright, youthful looking, beardless face, he presented, in his well-made black frock coat and light tie, far more the appearance of an English gentleman than that associated with the popular conception of a Boer. He spoke English, too, very well, save for an occasional misplacing of past and present tenses, but could only with the greatest difficulty be induced to raise his voice above a mere murmur.
A BOER OFFICER’S STORY.
Saul [Sarel] Johannes Eloff, a Lieutenant in the Krugersdorp District of the Transvaal Republic, was called and examined by Mr Sutton. He said that on 31st December, in consequence of instructions, he left Krugersdorp, in the direction of Mafeking, with nine men. About six o’clock the same evening he met Dr Jameson’s column. He ordered his men to halt, and went forward to meet the column. In a few minutes he was stopped by the scouts of Dr Jameson. They led him to Colonel Frey, he believed, who asked him if he was in the police, and on patrol. He replied “Yes” to both questions. He then asked how many men he had with him, and he said he did not think it necessary to answer that question. He said he would find out for himself. Witness was placed under the charge of an armed guard for about half an hour, and his arms and horse were taken away. The officer who took his arms and horse gave a receipt for them.
Have you the receipt with you?
Yes. Here it is (handing over to the Magistrate a small page, evidently from a pocket book).
Sir John Bridge – Here is written “Received one revolver, horse, saddle, and bridle”. The paper is signed “Major White”.
Witness – The officer said I could get my horse and arms back at Johannesburg, or, if I liked, they could be sent to the Government at Pretoria. I then asked if I could see Dr Jameson. The officer said at first he did not think it would be possible; then he sent some one to see. After that he sent me to Dr Jameson, and the guard was taken away. I saw Dr Jameson, and asked him why he arrested me, a Transvaal officer, when there was no war declared or anything of that sort. He said he would give me back my horse, but would keep my arms. Some one then gave me back my horse. Dr Jameson made no conditions, but the man who gave me back my horse said I would have to stay two hours where I was after the column had left. I agreed to that condition. The column then saddled up, and went in the direction of Krugersdorp’ They must have left about nine o’clock. I remained there two hours, according to my promise. The nine men, when they saw I did not come back, rode away to make a report, as I had arranged that they should do. Afterwards I went in the direction of Rustenburg to meet Commandant Malan. I met him between two and three o’clock in the morning on January 1. Commandant Malan had about 300 men with him, and we marched towards Krugersdorp, halting at Queen’s Battery, which is about a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes’ drive from Krugersdorp. We arrived at the Queen’s Battery at about noon. Dr Jameson’s column arrived between three and four o’clock. They sent a note to the Commander of the Boers saying that Jameson would pass through Krugersdorp, and that if he met with resistance he would shell the town. He requested us to send all the women and children out of the place. I think that was the whole of the message. The man who brought the note said he was one of Dr Jameson’s prisoners. After delivering the note the messenger went away, and we did not see him again. About half an hour after the note was delivered the first shell was fired from Jameson’s column. The Boers had not fired up to that time, as the column was too far off. We had no cannon at the Queen’s Battery. When the first shot was fired we had about 500 men. The shelling continued about an hour and a half. After they had fired a little while, Jameson’s column charged one of the battery outposts. The Boers fired upon them and beat them back, several of the column being killed and wounded. The Jameson column then moved away, and the Boers remained all night. Next morning, Thursday, we moved to Doornkop, where the battle took place. I was present, but was away when the surrender took place.