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A Legend in his own mind...

Some soldiers start the war at the bottom of the pile and become Heroes, a few start the war with a head start... then drop the ball.

Commandant J.P. "Koos" Jooste was one of the latter. Before the war he was a driving force behind the establishment of Danie Theron's Bicycle Despatch corps, a unit that would evolve into THE elite Boer unit of the war. Shortly after the outbreak of the war Jooste, a dynamic sportsman, was in the Cape Colony. Then, apparently because there was a price on his head, "it was decided" that Jooste should travel to Germany to raise funds for the Boer cause. It is worth mentioning that many "Cape Rebels" risked execution if caught, but still soldiered on.

After his arrival in Germany Jooste began to raise funds and market himself as a gruff, rough and ready Boer Commander... an travelling circus show that he kept up long after the end of hostilities... in fact, WW1 would see him as one of the worlds first motivational speakers, travelling from the Western Front to the Eastern Front speaking to the troops, lecturing them on national pride. Jooste kept up a steady stream of self published postcards and booklets, portraying himself in all sorts of heroic poses, these can be found quite often, sometimes with an autograph.

"Koos" Jooste should not be confused with Major J.P. "Piet" Jooste who served the whole war on General Bothas Staff. A letter to "Oom Piet" Jooste asking if he was related to "Koos" recieved the following answer... "As you may know, towards the end of the war he fled to Germany and has set himself up as an important person, apparently of high rank.."

Above: 2 Cards with a bit of credibility. Both are posed and show Kooste in action. Both are signed by Jooste, General Kritzinger and A priest named Van Heerden. Unlike Jooste, Kritzinger had fought and been tried and sentenced to death in Abstentia. The Death sentence was later overturned. Kritzinger and Van Heerden were "on tour" in Germany with Jooste at the time.

Above: The most popular cards, dating from the wartime period.

Below: Jooste then seems to have drifted off into his "great white hunter" period. Germans seem to have been fascinated by the African Bush and everything to do with it. Jooste published postcards with diverse African Motives, it seems by this stage he was doing the "Burenkommandant" thing to earn his living...

Below: One of Joostes Self Published booklets

By the time WW1 came arounf Jooste's Schtick must have been getting old... but he seems to have been welcomed as a motivational speaker. Apparently there is a Postcard with him in German Navy uniform, I will add it when I find one.

Below, Jooste motivating the troops...

Above: The last card is interesting, actually belongs with the just post Boer War era ones... it is signed by Jooste and Kritzinger... but shows Generals De Wet, De La Rey and Botha giving a speach in Germany. Just after the war the 3 generals went on tour to raise funds... Jooste seems to have hopped on their coattails.