On the eve of the Afrikaner Rebellion, 1914-1915, General JH (Koos) de la Rey was at the apex of a
political and personal transformation in his career. He had finally decided to physically oppose the
Union Government’s policy to support the British war cause to invade German South-West Africa.
De la Rey was now basically committed to launch his rebellion from the military camp at Potchefstroom
and to lead a bloodless coup by hoisting the Republican flag (Vierkleur) with the support of senior
officers from the ranks of the Union Defence Forces and move towards Vereeniging. At the culmination
of De la Rey’s decision to take the lead in this supposedly bloodless coup, he had parted ways with
Niklaas van Rensburg, the Visionary (“Siener”), who had exerted considerable influence on De la Rey
since the Anglo-Boer War. Although it is difficult to determine at which point the Siener’s influence over
De la Rey was replaced by De la Rey’s headstrong determination to follow his own will, it is clear
that by the time of his death De la Rey had already committed himself to lead the Rebellion from
Potchefstroom. This article reconstructs De la Rey’s political transformation from sources – many
hitherto unpublished – in the De la Rey family as well as from his circle of close friends and associates.