Jopie Fourie was born in the Pretoria district in 1878. He was a scout and dispatch rider during the South African War, and was wounded and captured in an action north of Pretoria.
After the war he became a captain in the Active Citizen Force, and in 1914 decided to join the rebellion in protest against Prime Minister Louis Botha’s decision to invade German South West Africa as part of the international war effort against Germany. He was captured in the Rustenburg area on 16 December 1914 and was court-martialled. On 20 December of the same year he was executed by firing squad.
Jopie Fourie is seen as a traditional Afrikaner Boer hero, standing up for his beliefs and Louis Botha was severely criticised by many Afrikaners for not reprieving Fourie. He died singing the hymn ‘Als wij de doodsvallei betreen’.
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