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Commandant Malan

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.

Schreiner met Malan in the immediate aftermath of the South African War when he was called as a witness in a court case and was billeted locally. In 1903 she visited his family farm and here Malan and his family, especially his aunt Mrs Van Heerden, clearly made a strong impression on her. Schreiner makes frequent reference to Malan and his activities in her letters to Isie Smuts, and her comments suggest she found him something of a visionary.

For further information see:
D.W. Krüger (1977) ‘Malan, Wynand Charl’ in (eds) D.W. Kruger & C.J. Beyers Dictionary of South African Biography  Vol III Pretoria: National Council for Social Research, pp. 573 - 574
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