Below is a short write-up on the architectural style of our house

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Proposed street name changes in Pretoria (Tshwane)

Reproduced from Rosa Swanepoel's Pretoria Nuusbrief of August 2012
Compiled by Charles Els, Pretoria, March 2012

This extract from Rosa's August 2012 newsletter provides background to rich history behind the original street names. 


Andries Street: Central

Andries Street was named after the Voortrekker leader General Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius (1798 – 1853). He was the hero of the Battle of Blood River (1838) and father of President Marthinus Wessel Pretorius (1819 – 1901), founder of Pretoria.

Soon after the founding of Pretoria in 1855, maps appeared showing the street as St Andries Street. There is much speculation about this. Some maintain that the ‘St’ was an abbreviation of Stephanus, the first name of Commandant-General Stephanus Schoeman (1810 – 1890), Acting President of the South African Republic, who lived at Klein Schoemansdal at the northern extremity of the street where the National Cultural History Museum now is in Boom Street.

Others say that the name was derived from the so called ‘kruisvlag’ (‘crossed flag’), a blue flag with a red saltire similar to the flag of St Andrew. This Voortrekker flag was supposed to have been the flag of those Voortrekkers who had followed Potgieter. The prefix ‘St’ was dropped during the Voortrekker centenary celebrations in 1938.

Thabo Sehume

THABO Sehume, was a Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and Azapo stalwart, a community worker and leader, a shrewd trade unionist, an uncompromising political activist, an irrepressible and devastating political opponent, an ideologue and visionary and, above all, a revolutionary intellectual.
Sehume loomed large over the security apparatuses of the apartheid regime and handled with mocking impatience those who pretended to represent the true interests of the oppressed black people.
For this reason, he was banned and house-arrested, subjected to countless detentions without trial and was always a must in the list of those to be apprehended in Atteridgeville, Tshwane .


Beatrix Street: Arcadia

The Dutch Government now objects not only to the proposed change of the name of Queen Wilhelmina Road which is, indeed, named after Queen Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria of the Netherlands (See “Queen Wilhelmina Road” below) but also to the proposed change of the name Beatrix Street, probably under the impression that it is named after Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, their reigning Queen.

Beatrix Street, however, was named after Beatrix Dorey Meintjes (1885), eldest daughter of Edward Philip Arnold (Eddie) Meintjes (1861), son of Stephanus Jacobus Meintjes (1819-1887). Meintjes Street, Sunnyside, was called after Eddie Meintjes.

Stephanus Jacobus Meintjes (1819-1887) was an Attorney and later an Advocate of the Supreme Court. He was the owner of Trevenna Estate, which now forms part of Sunnyside. He purchased the farm Arcadia, which he divided into erven. The hill on the farm, Meintjeskop was named after him. He erected the town’s first mill on the banks of the Apies River at Lion Drift (Bridge) in Church Street.

The land around Meintjeskop was bought by the Government in 1909 for £32 500 and the City Council donated a further portion own by them, valued at £25 000 for the erection of the Union Buildings on the site described by Lord Selborne (1859-1942) as “one of the finest in the world”. Meintjes square (now a small park) situated on the corner of Park and Beatrix Streets was first known as Arcadia Square and renamed by the City Council to honour Meintjes Sr.

Stephen Bantu Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977) was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s.
A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement. While living, his writings and activism attempted to empower black people, and he was famous for his slogan "black is beautiful", which he described as meaning: "man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being".
Even though Biko was never a member of African National Congress (ANC), ANC has included him in the pantheon of struggle heroes, going as far as using his image for campaign posters in South Africa's first non-racial elections in 1994. Nelson Mandela said of Biko: "They had to kill him to prolong the life of apartheid."
Mears Street

Named after James Edward Mears who arrived in Durban from London in 1840; he married Johanna Raats, a cousin of Voortrekker Gerrit Maritz. Mears came to Pretoria in the 1870's and purchased a portion of the farm Elandspoort on which he laid out Pretoria's first suburb, Sunnyside, in 1875. In the early 1880's he also owned a farm in the Boshoff district, Free State, where he bred horses.

Divorcing his Voortrekker wife, he remarried against the family wishes and left for England to further his business interests and had an extended honeymoon travelling the continent for a few years. On his return to Pretoria in 1903, he was a stranger to his family and friends and found that his assets were sold to pay his debts. He died and was buried as a pauper in the Brixton cemetery in Johannesburg. His son, Commandant Mears, served in the Boer service during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and married into the Moodie family that founded Melsetter in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

Voortrekkers Road: Wonderboom South, Mayville, Gezina, Capital Park

Voortrekkers Road is the main arterial route from Prinshof to where it passes the neck at the Wonderboom reserve from where the street took its name, which in turn was christened during the Van Riebeeck tercentenary celebrations in 1952.

Charles Street: Brooklyn

Charles Street is called after Charles Marais, son of “Ryk” Lang Piet Marais. Charles was a land surveyor associated with township development. He laid out and surveyed Brooklyn. Both Charles and Marais Street in Brooklyn are called after him. May Street in Brooklyn is called after his wife Catherine May Venitia Emmitt. He also laid out and surveyed Silverton. 

Rupert Street in Brooklyn is called after his brother, Rupert Ford Marais. He was an Attorney, partner in the firm S W Pienaar, solicitors, who had an interest in the establishment of Brooklyn. Rupert later became an Advocate of the Supreme Court. Stella Street here was named for his wife.
Justice Ismail Mahomed, SCOB S.C. (5 July 1931 - 17 June 2000) was a South African lawyer who served as the Chief Justice of South Africa and the Supreme Court of Namibia, and co-authored the constitution of Namibia.
Mahomed was refused admission to the Pretoria Bar Association, as it was reserved for white lawyers, but was able to join the Johannesburg Bar Association. However, because of the Group Areas Act, he was banned from getting an office of his own, and was forced to practice out of his colleagues' offices while they were away. In the 1960s he served as a lawyer in Botswana. Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. In 1974 he became the first non-white in South African history to take silk. In 1979 he was appointed to the appeal court of Swaziland and in 1982 was made an Appeal Judge in Lesotho, where he would later become president of the Appeals court. He was made an English Barrister in 1984. In 1991 he became the chair of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa and the country's first non-white judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa. He was later appointed to the Appeal Court. He was made a judge of the Constitutional Court in 1995. In 1996 he was made the Chief Justice of South Africa by President Nelson Mandela.
Walker Spruit/Street: Sunnyside

The stream rises in Nieuw Muckleneuk and is dammed at Magnolia Dell creating a children's pool, it then flows on to join the Apies River at Lion Bridge in Church Street. 
What becomes Walker Street, starts off as Jacob Mare Street in the west, then becomes Rissik Street at Victoria Bridge near Van Boeschoten Avenue, and then becomes Walker Street from the Bourke Street intersection.

The Walker family left Natal to settle in Pretoria in 1868. Arthur Hamilton Walker and his son Mackenzie Harry were both surveyors.  Arthur re-surveyed the Pretoria Township originally laid out by Andries Francois du Toit. Mackie (Mackenzie) worked in the government surveyor's office. He was born in Pietermaritzburg in 1848, married Augusta White and settled south of Sunnyside on the upper ridges of the farm Elandspoort which he had purchased in the 1870's.

He laid out Muckleneuk and Nieuw Muckleneuk. Bailey's Muckleneuk was established on ground that he sold off. He also surveyed Mayville in 1896. Mackie retired to his farm Klippan on the Springbok Flats, north of Pretoria, where he died in 1927 at the age of 78 years. Walker, Mackie, Sidney and White Streets and Walker Spruit were named after the family.

CHURCH STREET will now be changed to four different names:
  •  From Nelson Mandela to the East it changes to STANZA BOPAPE
  •  From Nelson Mandela to Church Square changes to HELEN JOSEPH
  •  From Church Square to R511 it changes to W F NKOMO
  •  From R511 to the West changes to ELIAS MOTSWALEDI
Church Street: Central

Church Street is approximately 12km long. The section between Colbyn in the east, and Atteridgeville in the west, is considered to be the longest straight street in the Republic. It will be noticed that the streets in the centre of old Pretoria are wider than other streets. Surveyor Andries Francois du Toit was instructed to plan them so as to allow an ox-wagon with a full span of 16 oxen to make a U-turn if necessary.

The name Church Street was derived from the fact that the first church was built on Church Square (by two Vermeulen brothers; see Vermeulen Street below).The church was known as the “Philadelphia Broederschap” (Philadelphia Brotherhood).

Stanza Bopape was born on 26 April 1961 in Mamelodi East. He began high school studies at Rebalelaka Secondary. He decided to move to Mamelodi High where he became politically aware. He joined South African Students’ Organisation and the local African National Congress Youth League branch. After matriculating he became involved in his community and was elected in 1987 as the first General Secretary of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in Mamelodi.
Believed to be a ‘security’ threat, the Security Police accused him of being a communist and a dangerous influence. Despite being on the run, he managed to mobilize and organize people against apartheid. The police threatened his family almost daily even with death in their efforts to capture him. On 10 June 1988, Bopape was finally arrested by the police. He was taken to John Vorster Square where he was brutally tortured along with, together with Murphy Morobe, a young activist from Soweto. He died on 12 June 1988, while in police custody.

Helen Joseph was born in Easebourne near Midhurst West Sussex, England and graduated from King's College London, in 1927. After working as a teacher in India for three years, Helen came to South Africa in 1931, where she met and married a dentist, Billie Joseph. She served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during World War II as an information and welfare officer. After the war and her divorce she trained as a social worker and started working in a community centre in a Coloured (mixed race) area of Cape Town.

In 1951 Helen took a job with the Garment Workers Union, led by Solly Sachs. She was a founder member of the Congress of Democrats, and one of the leaders who read out clauses of the Freedom Charter at the Congress of the People in Kliptown in 1955. Appalled by the plight of black women, she was pivotal in the formation of the Federation of South African Women and with the organisation's leadership, spearheaded a march of 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against pass laws on August 9, 1956. This day is still celebrated as South Africa's Women's Day.

William Frederick Nkomo was born in Makapanstad near Pretoria in 1915. He was the son of a Methodist minister, Abraham Nkomo, and attended primary school in Mafikeng and Klerksdorp. His secondary education took place at St Peter’s School in Rosettenville, Johannesburg and he matriculated at the Healdtown Institute near Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape.

Elias Motsoaledi was born on 26 July 1924 in Phokoane in the Nebo District in Limpopo He moved to Johannesburg at the age of 17. His first brush with the law in Johannesburg was his arrest for failure to produce his pass book – he was sentenced to work on a pretoria road construction. Upon his release he got a job in a furniture factory.

He joined the Leather Workers' Union, served on the Committee of Non-European Trade Unions, and later played an active role in the establishment of the South African Congress of Trade Unions.

In 1948 he joined ANC, in June he was elected as a branch secretary. He was a member of the South African Communist Party. He played a central role in many campaigns, including the Defiance Campaign of 1952, the year in which he was first banned. He was imprisoned for four months during the 1960 State of Emergency


D F Malan Drive:  Pretoria West/ Roseville/ Parktown/ Hermanstad/ Mountain View

Previously called Lorentz Street, the street was renamed to honour the South African clergyman and statesman Daniël Francois Malan (1874-1959).

Malan was born in Riebeeck-West in the Cape Colony. He obtained a B.A. in Music and Science from the Victoria College in Stellenbosch and entered the teaching profession. After leaving teaching he entered the Stellenbosch seminary in order to train as a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church. He entered the ministry and served at Heidelberg (Tvl.), Montague and Graaff-Reinet. Along with his studies in theology, he obtained a M.A. in Philosophy from Victoria College (later to be the Paul Roos Gymnasium and the Stellenbosch University). Malan left South Africa in 1900 to study towards a Doctorate in Divinity at the University of Utrecht, which he obtained in 1905. He took part in the founding of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Akademie voor Taal, Letteren en Kunst.

He founded the political National Party. The party came to power on the program of apartheid and began its comprehensive implementation. He is seen as a champion of Afrikaner nationalism. He became Prime Minister of the Union National Party government in 1948 and remain Prime Minister until 1954 when he retired.

Es'kia Mphahlele (17 December 1919 – 27 October 2008) was a South African writer, educationist, artist and activist. He was born Ezekiel Mphahlele but changed his name to Es'kia in 1977. He is celebrated as the Father of Afrikan Humanism. He was one of the founding figures of modern African literature. His journey from childhood in the slums of Pretoria to literary icon was an odyssey both intellectually and politically. As a writer, he brought his own experiences in and outside South Africa to bear on his short stories, fiction, autobiography and history, developing the concept of African humanism. He skilfully evoked the black experience under apartheid in Down Second Avenue (1959). It recounted his struggle to get an education and the setbacks he experienced in his teaching career. Mphahlele was an illustrious author of two autobiographies, more than 30 short stories, two verse plays and a number of poems. He is deemed as the "Dean of Afrikan Letters".
 Duncan Street: Hatfield
Prior to 1930 this street had four names along its length. From Church Street to the swimming pool it was Duncan; the short curve at the baths was known as Nixon; then it became Duncan again as far as Lunnon Road; finally it became James Street - after Mr. James Brooks who established Brooklyn Township.

The City Council bought portions of the properties and straightened the road somewhat and named the entire stretch Duncan Street, after Sir Patrick Duncan.

Patrick Duncan, K. C. (1870-1943) was born in Scotland and was chosen as private secretary to Sir Alfred Milner (1854-1925) in 1895. He was also Treasurer of the Transvaal from 1901 to 1903, Colonial Secretary of the Transvaal from 1903 to 1907 and represented Fordsburg in Parliament from 1910 to 1920. He became Minister of Interior, Education and Public Works in 1921 and held these portfolios until 1924.  From 1933-1936 Sir Patrick was Minister of Mines.

He  was the  first South African Governor-General  of the  Union  of  South Africa  from  1936 until his  death in  1943. His ashes were interred in the granite block at Duncan Dock in Cape Town, which was also named after him.
Jan Shoba was a leader in the Azanian People's Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). He was a member of their High Command. In the late 1980s the military wing (APLA) of the PAC was disbanded and their focus became political and social issues.

Jan Shoba was arrested in 1984 and placed in Robben Island Prison. He managed to get the prison authorities to agree to a delivery of the Zimbabwean daily The Herald. He was thus able to supply the PAC on Robben Island with valuable information regarding political developments.

In 1990, following the negotiated Harare Declaration he was released from jail. He was placed in charge of party security, which may have played a part in his demise.

In a Truth and Reconciliation report it was stated that Jan Shoba trained members of the PAC in the use of firearms in June 1991. At the time the PAC developed the "Great Storm" operation, designed to instill fear in farmers.

Jan Shoba's possible involvement in the "Great Storm" could be the reason for his demise. He was assassinated outside his yard in Atteridgeville - his killers are still unknown.

Esselen Street: Sunnyside

It is generally accepted that this name commemorates Ewald August Esselen, jurist and politician (1858-1918), who owned portion of the ground on which Trevenna Township was established.  He was born in the Cape Colony and arrived in the Transvaal soon after the First Anglo-Boer War (1881). He became a judge in the South African Republic in 1887 and resigned in 1890 to become a Member of the Second Volksraad for Potchefstroom in 1891. He was a member of the First Volksraad of the South African Republic in 1893. Esselen was Attorney-General during 1894 and 1895.

During the Second Anglo-Boer War he served as legal adviser on General Piet J Joubert's staff. In 1904 he became one of the founders of the Het Volk Party and in 1907 became a member of the Transvaal Legislative Council. He died at Sea Point (Cape Town) and was buried in the old Church Street cemetery.
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (5 December 1924-27 February 1978) was a South African political dissident, who founded the Pan Africanist Congress in opposition to South Africa under apartheid. In 2004 Sobukwe was voted 42nd in the SABC3's Great South Africans.

Sobukwe was born in Graaff-Reinet in the Cape Province on the 5 December 1924. He came from a poor household and was educated locally. He attended a Methodist college at Healdtown and later Fort Hare University where he joined the African National Congress

In 1952 Sobukwe achieved notoriety backing the Defiance Campaign. He identified with the Africanists within the African National Congress and in 1957 left the ANC to become Editor of The Africanist newspaper in Johannesburg.

He was a strong believer in an Africanist future for South Africa and rejected any model suggesting working with anyone other than Africans, defining African as anyone who lives in and pays his allegiance to Africa and who is prepared to subject himself to African majority rule. He later left the ANC to form the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), and was elected its first President in 1959.

General Louis Botha Drive: Lynnwood Glen, Lynnwood Ridge, Lynnwood Park, Menlyn, Waterkloof Glen, Garsfontein

Originally called the old military road made during World War II as a direct link between Roberts Heights (Voortrekkerhoogte Thaba Tshwane) and Zonderwater military camp near Cullinan.

Annie Botha Street in Riviera was originally called Plein Street, and then received the name Louis Botha Avenue as did the Louis Botha Home close by. General Botha was born in the Greytown district, Natal, in 1862; his birthplace was purchased by an Indian businessman and donated it to the authorities on condition that the site be preserved for posterity.
Botha was elected to the Volksraad in 1897 and was appointed Commandant-General on the death of General Piet Joubert on 7 May 1900. Botha fought brilliant battles at Colenso (15 Dec 1899) and Spioenkop (17-24 Jan 1900); Belmont, Stormberg and Magersfontein. Pretoria fell to the British on 5 June 1900, and he rallied his burghers and fought the British at Diamond Hill east of Pretoria and again in the last big battle at Dalmanutha.

Louis Botha became the first Prime Minister of the Union (1910). He led the Union Defence forces against German South-West Africa (1914). On returning home after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles he became ill and died of pneumonia on 27 August 1919; he was buried in Rebecca Street cemetery, Pretoria.

January Boy Masilela (1955 – 2008)  is the former Secretary of Defence for the South African Department of Defence. He also served as the Deputy Secretary-General of the African national Congress.
Hans Strijdom Drive: Equestria, Constantia Park, Erasmuskloof, Faerie Glen, Monument Park, Wapadrand

Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom (Strydom) (1893-1958), fifth Prime Minister of South Africa, born in the Willowmore district, Eastern Cape. On completion of his studies he went ostrich farming with the family, then moved to Pretoria and took up a post in the civil service. He was a member of the ambulance corps during the S W A Campaign in 1915. In 1918 he established himself as a lawyer in Nylstroom in the Northern Transvaal.

In 1929 he was elected to parliament and advocated republicanism. He became leader of the National Party and was South Africa's fifth Prime Minister, succeeding Malan. In the 1948 parliament he was called “The Lion of the Waterberg” or “The Lion of the North” for his uncompromising political views and for being the only Transvaal supporter of D F Malan’s party.

The J G Strijdom Tunnel in the Eastern Transvaal was named after him. A statue of him is found in the engineering faculty building at the University of Pretoria. There are still various monuments dedicated to him in South Africa. One monument which featured a large bust of him on “Strydom Square” in the Pretoria Central (next to the Volkskas Building, c/o Schoeman and van der Walt Streets) collapsed in 2001 injuring two people.

He died in Cape Town and was buried in the old cemetery in Church Street, Pretoria. His house in Modimolle (formerly Nylstroom) is now a museum, which holds parts of the collapsed bust.
Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu was born in Pretoria on 10 July in 1956. He was the second son of Martha Mahlangu. His father left him in 1962, and from then on only saw him infrequently. His mother was a domestic worker and took sole responsibility for his upbringing. He attended Mamelodi High School up to Standard 8, but did not complete his schooling as a result of the school’s closure due to ongoing riots.
He joined the African Nation Congress (ANC) in September 1976, and left the country to be trained as an Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) “The Spear of the Nation” soldier. The training was received in Angola and Mozambique and on 11 June 1977 he returned to South Africa as a cadre, heavily armed, through Swaziland to assist with student protests.
On 13 June 1977, Mahlangu and his companions, Mondy Johannes Motloung and George "Lucky" Mahlangu, were accosted by police in Goch Street, Johannesburg. “Lucky” Mahlangu managed to escape, however, in the ensuing gun battle two civilian men were killed and two wounded. Solomon Mahlangu and Motloung were arrested.
Solomon Mahlangu was tried from the 7th of November 1977 to the 1st of March 1978, for charges associated with the attacks in Goch Street in June 1977. He was therefore charged with two counts of murder and several charges under the Terrorism Act. Mahlangu pleaded not guilty to the charges. His council stated that he entered South Africa in June 1977 as part of a group of ten, bringing arms, ammunition, explosives and ANC pamphlets into the country 

HENDRIK VERWOERD proposal to change to JOHAN HEYNS

Hendrik Verwoerd Drive (H F Verwoerd Drive)

Previously called 9th Avenue; the drive extends from Voortrekkers Road in the North to Soutpansberg Road in the South. The name change came about in 1987 to honour the memory of Hendrik French Verwoerd, former Prime Minister of the Republic.

Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, often considered the architect of apartheid, was born in Amsterdam on 8 September 1901, six months before his parents moved to Wynberg, near Cape Town, South Africa. They then moved to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where the family lived for five years before moving to Brandfort, Free State, South Africa. After completing secondary school in 1918, he went to the University of Stellenbosch where he majored in sociology, psychology, and logic. After receiving his B.A., he was appointed to a position in the Psychology Department, completing his master's in 1923 and his doctorate in 1924. In 1925 he went to Germany to study at Leipzig, Hamburg and Berlin. In 1927 he assumed a position as professor of applied sociology at Stellenbosch, where he became chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Work in 1933.

Verwoerd joined the Purified Nationalist Party in 1935 and also became a member of the Broederbond. He left academia to establish the Nationalist paper Die Transvaler in 1937. The major objective of the paper was to lure Afrikaners away from the British-oriented United Party and foster the idea of a Christian-National republic. After the National Party's victory in 1948, the new prime minister, Daniel F. Malan, appointed Verwoerd to the senate and in 1950 Verwoerd became minister of native affairs. On the death of J. G. Strijdom, Malan's successor, Verwoerd became prime minister in 1958.

After organizing a successful referendum to create a South African republic, Verwoerd attended the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference in London in 1961. There he explored the possibility of South Africa remaining a member of the British Commonwealth. Although rebuffed by the British, Canadians, and Afro-Asian bloc because of apartheid, he received a hero's welcome when he returned to South Africa in early 1961. Afrikaner Nationalists applauded South Africa's removal from the commonwealth.

Verwoerd was assassinated on 6 September 1966, before a parliamentary session in the presence of about four hundred people. The assassin, Demetrio Tsafendas, was later tried and incarcerated in mental institutions until his death in 1999. Officially classified white, he had been born in Mozambique to a Greek father and a Coloured mother. In a 2001 book Henk van Woerden argued convincingly that the assassination was politically motivated.

Johan Heyns
Johan Adam Heyns (27 May 1928 – 5 November 1994), was an influential Afrikaner Calvinist theologian and moderator of the general synod of the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK). He was assassinated at his home in Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria. Although his murder was never officially resolved it is widely believed that it was directly related to his criticism of Apartheid. Nelson Mandela paid homage to him as a martyr for his country and a soldier of peace.


Jacob Mare Street: Central
This street has had many names. Originally it was Maré Street; in the late 1920's it became Paul Mare Street; and finally Jacob Maré Street. Jacob Phillipus Maré (1823-1900) represented Heidelberg in the Transvaal Volksraad from 1875-1877 and again in 1880. In 1880 he became a member of the Transvaal Executive Council and took part in the peace negotiations at Majuba. In about 1890 he moved to Nazareth (or Middelburg), South African Republic, for health reasons. He died there on 11 February 1900.

The famous South African song 'My Sarie Marais' recalls his daughter, Susara Margaretha Maré. It was composed by J P Toerien when he was in the Cape, before they were married.

Jeff Masemola
Jafta Kgalabi Masemola, “The Tiger of Azania”, also popularly known as “Bra Jeff” by many others, was born at Bon Accord near Pretoria on 12 December 1931. He lost both his parents at an early age and was raised by his sister. The family moved to Marabastad and then to Atteridgeville in 1942 where he enrolled at De Jong Primary School and completed standard six in 1947. He proceeded to Hofmeyr Secondary School where he obtained a Junior Certificate in 1950. Then he went to Kilnerton Training Institution (KTI) where he completed his Teacher’s Training Certificate.

His first teaching post was in Atteridgeville where he worked on a temporary basis until he got a permanent post at Mmakau Primary School (Rama) in Western Transvaal. In 1956, he returned to Atteridgeville to teach at Banareng Primary School where Rammopo Makhudu was principal.

 In 1958, he joined the African National Congress Youth League. In 1959, he joined the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania at its inception and was one of its founding members. He intertwined lessons with political education, thus influencing some of the children and as well as his colleagues at his school. As a result, some of his pupils became members of the PAC when they got to high school and were later incarcerated with him on Robben Island in 1963.

After the banning of the PAC on April 8, 1960 under the Unlawful Organizations Act, Masemola and other PAC operatives others were sent out of the country to set up the PAC’s underground guerrilla structure, Poqo in Lesotho. The formed underground structure planned an armed revolt in 1963. They gathered whatever weapons they could find for the planned uprising. The security police uncovered these activities and Masemola and other activists were arrested during a swoop on PAC-Poqo suspects on the night of 21 March 1963.

In June 1963 Masemola appeared in the Pretoria Supreme Court along with 14 others and was charged with conspiracy to commit acts of sabotage and with intention to overthrow the government by violent means. He was convicted and sentenced to imprisonment on Robben Island in 1963.

He spent over 26 years on Robben Island and other prisons. On the Island, Masemola, had access to workshop tools, including a grinding stone. Together with another prisoner, Sedick Isaacs, he devised an escape plan. Masemola crafted a copy of the cell master key, which allowed him to 'sneak' around at night. The plan was to steal medical supplies from the dispensary, dope the wells and put the wardens into deep sleep. Unfortunately, information about the plan was exposed when a common law prisoner leaked the information to the prison wardens. They raided the cells and discovered the key. Both men had an extra year added to their sentence.

Masemola was released on 15 October 1989. On the eve of his release, Nelson Mandela asked to have a meeting with him. Masemola was flown from Johannesburg (Leeukop Prison) to Victor Verster Prison in Cape Town to meet Mandela. Nothing has ever been disclosed about what transpired in that meeting. At his homecoming reception in Atteridgeville, the Super Stadium was filled to capacity. The police intervened and ordered the people to disperse before the function could end.


Leah Mangope is the late wife of Lucas Mangope (see below). She died in March 2003.


Kgosi Lucas Manyane Mangope (1923) is the former President of the “independent homeland” (Bantustan) of Bophuthatswana and current leader of the United Christian Democratic Party, a minor political party based in the North West Province of South Africa. He still holds a position in the North-West Provincial Legislature.

He became President of Bophuthatswana in 1977, believing that, by cooperating in the system of Grand Apartheid, he could bring benefits to the Batswana people of South Africa; a stance that placed him in a precarious and often contradictory position throughout most of his political life. Some considered him a puppet of the South African government during his presidency.

In 1988 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree by the former University of Bophuthatswana. In the same year he was briefly overthrown by members of a military police unit and was reinstated following intervention by the South African Defence Force. South Africa's government stated that it was responding to a request for assistance from the legal government of a sovereign nation.
Bophuthatswana collapsed after political chaos ensued in March 1994. Not even the intervention of the Afrikaner Volksfront and the militarized Afrikaner Weerstandbeweging (AWB) could save Mangope’s Bophuthatswana.

It the Kempton Park negotiations in 1993 that led to the first non-racial elections in South Africa in 1994, Mangope had made it clear that Bophuthatswana would remain independent of the new and integrated South Africa and that he would not allow the upcoming elections to take place in "his country". With most residents in favour of reintegration, his defense force mutinied and although Mangope called on outside help he was eventually forced to flee the homeland. Shortly thereafter, the homelands were reincorporated into South Africa

 Michael Brink Park: Sunnyside
This park was originally called Kruger Square, after President Paul Kruger. The name was changed to Michael Brink Park to avoid confusion with the Kruger Park between Mitchell, Rose-Etta, Soutter and Court Streets in Pretoria West.
Johannes Michael van Helsdingen Brink was born at Colesberg in the Cape Colony in 1889. He lived in Rietfontein for more than 25 years and was mayor of Innesdale for nine years and later a member of the Provincial Council.

Mitchell Street: Pretoria West

Named after George Mitchell, of Edinburgh, Scotland, father-in-law of John Lyall Soutter, the land surveyor associated with the laying out of a portion of Pretoria West. Soutter was born in Edenburg, Scotland in 1864 but came to Transvaal in 1888. He became principal clerk at the Surveyor-General’s office.


Paul Kruger Street: Central

Paul Kruger Street was originally called Markt (Market) Street, but the name was changed during the Voortrekker celebrations in 1938 to commemorate State President Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (1825-1904) who held office from 1883 to 1902.
Kruger was born at Bulhoek in the Cradock district of the Cape Colony on 10 October 1825. As a twelve-year-old youth he accompanied his family on the Potgieter Trek from the Cape. He first settled in Schoemansdal in the Zoutpansberg.

In terms of Republican law, Paul Kruger was allowed two farms; he acquired Waterkloof and Boekenhoutfontein in the Rustenburg district in 1842. The homestead and buildings on Boekenhoutfontein have been restored and are open to visitors.

Kruger married twice: Maria du Plessis, his first wife, passed away in 1846; his second wife, Gezina Susanna Frederika Wilhelmina du Plessis (1831-1901), was a cousin of his first wife. The township of Gezina was called after her, as was Frederika Street in that township.

Paul Kruger became Veldkornet (Field Cornet) in 1851 and Commandant in 1854, was a member of the triumvirate government during the first Anglo-Boer War (1880-1881) and served four terms (1883-1902) as President of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR).
The Second Boer War (Afrikaans: Tweede Vryheidsoorlog) was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics, the ZAR (South African Republic/Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State Republic. It ended with a British victory and the annexation of both republics by the British Empire; both would eventually be incorporated into the Union of South Africa, a dominion of the British Empire, in 1910.

The Dutch queen, Queen Wilhelmina (See Queen Wilhelmina Road) placed the ship 'Gelderland' at the disposal of Pres Kruger, on which he travelled into exile from Lourenco Marques (Maputo) on 21 October 1900. He died in exile in Clarens in Switserland on 14 July 1984 and was given a state funeral in Pretoria’s heroes’ acre (Afrikaans: “Helde Akker”) in the Church Street cemetery in December 1904.

Pretorius Street

The name represents both father and son:

Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius (1798 – 1853) was born in the Graaff-Reinet district. He was in command of the Voortrekker forces at the battle of Blood River in Natal when the mighty Zulu Army was defeated on 16 December 1838. After the Battle of Boomplaats (1848) in the Free State, he settled on the farm Grootplaats, also called Rust-den-Ouden, on the banks of the Crocodile River, at the present-day Hartebeespoort Dam, where he died in 1853 at the age of 54. He was the first to be buried in the heroes’ acre in the Church Street cemetery - his remains were reinterred there with full military honours in 1891.

His eldest son, Marthinus Wessel Pretorius purchased portions of the farms Elandspoort and Daspoort from Joachim J P Prinsloo (see Prinsloo Street) and Andries Petrus Jacobus van der Walt (see van der Walt Street) to establish a town bearing his father’s name and established Pretoria. He had the town laid out from plans submitted by Visagie, Skinner and Devereux brothers.

He was the first President of the Transvaal Republic (1819–1901). He succeeded his father as Commandant-General of Potchefstroom and Rustenburg in 1853. Under his guidance Transvaal became unified under a central government. In 1859 he was selected as president of the Orange Free State, a move that let to civil strife in Transvaal (1862-1864); he resigned the OFS presidency and was re-elected president of Transvaal.

Wakkerstroom was once known as Marthinus Wesselstroom, named after him and Lake Chrissie and Christiana was named to honour his daughter.


Potgieter Street: Central

This street was not named on Du Toit's first map of Pretoria because, it is said, of the feud between the two Voortrekker leaders, Andries W J Pretorius, (1798-1853) after whom Pretoria was named, and Hendrik Potgieter (1792-1852).

The Potgieter trekkers crossed the Pretoria valley in 1836 on their way to the Zoutpansberg in the north where they hoped to make contact with the Louis Trichardt trekkers.

Potgieter gave two of Pretoria's oldest places their names viz. Daspoort - after the many rock-rabbits (dassies) in the area; and Wonderboom, after the giant wild fig tree which nestles against the sheltered and frost-free northern slopes of the Magalies Mountains (Magaliesberg). Potgieter died in the Zoutpansberg and lies buried in the Schoemansdal cemetery.


Prinsloo Street: Central

The name recalls an early settler, Joachim J P (Tweeduim – ‘Two-thumb') Prinsloo, who owned a homestead on Church Square. He sold his house to John Robert Lys (1829-1880) who was a mining entrepreneur in the S A Republic, pioneer merchant and member of the Volksraad. The site later became the Grand Motel and the impressive Standard Bank occupies the site at present.

Prinsloo also owned property at the northern end of the street which bears his name. Prinshof was that area along the Apies River at Van den Hoven's Drift or Hovels Drift near Boom Street.

Waltloo Industrial Township near Silverton was named after him and Van der Walt.

Prinsloo sold portion of his farm Daspoort to Pres M W Pretorius for the establishment of the town Pretoria.


Proes Street: Central

Bernard Cornelis Ernst Proes (1831-1872) was an advocate, attorney and general agent. He was born in the Netherlands.  After studying law he came to South Africa in 1859 and was appointed as the first State Attorney of the South African Republic and Master of the Supreme Court. In 1860 he acted as Volksraad Secretary. During the Transvaal civil strife he was captured at Potchefstroom by the forces under the later State President S J P Kruger and dismissed from the post of State Attorney (1862). From 1864 to 1868 he represented the Wakkerstroom and Utrecht districts in the Volksraad. In 1869 he was appointed Government Secretary.

Proes helped revise the constitution of 1858 and assisted in drafting the Educational Act of 1866.

In 1870 State President M W Pretorius and Secretary of State Proes took part in negotiations with Lt-Governor R W Keate in respect of the Diamond Fields arbitration. The direct outcome was a decision, known as the Keats Award, which went against the interests of the South African Republic. Because of the widespread opposition in the Transvaal to the award, both the President and Proes were honourably discharged.


Queen Wilhelmina Road: Groenkloof, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Waterkloof

Also known as Koningin Wilhelmina Road; the road was previously called Plantation Road that covered the western part of the area towards the various sports fields. It received its present name when Prince Bernard of the Netherlands part of the area towards the various sports fields. It received its present name when Prince Bernard of the Netherlands visited Pretoria in 1947.

Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria, Queen of the Netherlands. She was born at the Hague on 31 August 1880; her father, William III, had by his first wife, Sophia, three sons, who predeceased  him; he married Adelheid Emma Wilhelmina Theresia, second daughter of  Prince George Victor, and Wilhelmina was the only issue  of that union; she succeeded her father to the throne on 23 November 1890.

The Dutch government and people sympathized with the Boer republics during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902); their feelings were so strongly pro-Boer that Queen Wilhelmina placed the Dutch Man-of-War 'Gelderland' at the disposal of Pres Kruger, on which he travelled into exile from Lourenco Marques (Maputo) on 21 October 1900.


Schoeman Street: Central

The  Voortrekker  settlement  of  Schoemansdal  in  the  Zoutpansberg,  which  was  founded  by  Commandant-General Andries  H  Potgieter  in  1848,  was  named after  Commandant-General Stephanus  Schoeman (1810-1890). On the 15 July 1867 the town was evacuated because of an uprising by the Venda tribe. To compensate previous residents, plots were granted to them in Pietersburg. Commandant-General Schoeman settled in Pretoria. 

He owned the larger part of the farm Rietfontein. His town house stood where the present old Boom Street museum stands and was called Klein Schoemansdal. He died at the age of 80 years in 1890.


Schubart Street: Central

Anton Frederik Schubert (1830-1898), a Dutch immigrant, arrived in Cape Town in December 1854, after having studied at the Utrecht State University. He made his way to Potchefstroom; he was one of the supporters of Commandant-General M W Pretorius and tried to persuade the Volksraad to agree to the establishment of the town of Pretoria.

Schubart was editor of 'De emigrant' in 1859 while in Potchefstroom where he became secretary of the local school committee (1866). He was also on the planning committee of a local physical museum and curator thereof in 1873.

Schubart served Commandant-General Andries Pretorius as secretary and was Government Secretary from 1860 to 1862. He was succeeded by Captain J H M Struben. In about 1890 he took up the position as Curator of the State Museum in Pretoria and retired in 1893; he passed away in Pretoria in 1898.


Skinner Street: Central

Skinner's Court and Skinner's Spruit recall William Skinner, Pretoria's pioneer landdrost (Magistrate). Born in Canterbury, England in 1828, he came to Natal in 1840 with his cousins, the Devereux brothers who were building contractors.

General Andries Pretorius encouraged them to come to Pretoria by offering them the job of building him a house on his farm Grootplaats at the Hartbeespoort Dam. They did so and the house was completed in 1853. They also built the first church on the Square in 1857 and the first Raadzaal (Government Building or 'Council Hall').

Skinner's second wife was a grand-daughter of the Voortrekker Piet Retief. Skinner was Landdrost (Magistrate) from 1869 to 1871. He died in 1885 and was buried in the Church Street cemetery.

Van Der Walt Street: Central

Andries Petrus Jacobus van der Walt was born at Graaff-Reinet in 1814 and died in the Pretoria district in 1861. He was Field Cornet of Winburg in the Orange Free State (1843), but left for Potchefstroom after the Battle of Boomplaats (1848).

He was an early settler who owned portion of the farm Elandspoort and advocated the establishment of a farm. He sold out to President M W Pretorius who had the later town called Pretoria laid out on it and a portion of the farm Daspoort. Andries’s wattle and daub house, one of the first built in the Pretoria Valley, stood on the Southern end of the street named after him near where the present Berea Park sport ground is now situated.

Van der Walt was a member of the Farm Commission and was Pretoria’s first Filed Cornet. He later settled on the farm Knoppiesfontein where he died at the age of 47 years. His wife died eight days later.

Vermeulen Street: Central

The farm Hartebeestpoort was purchased in 1853 by Christopher Guilliam Vermeulen (1788) and his son-in-law. In 1859 his son, Hendrik Johannes Vermeulen (1819 - 1895), inherited his father's share of the farm. The town of Silverton was later established on a part of the farm. Guillium's farm house became the property of the City Council of Silverton, which was incorporated into Greater Pretoria in 1964. In 1972 the City Council of Pretoria donated the house to the National Cultural History and Open Air Museum. Today it is called the Pioneers Open Air Museum.

The first Magistrate of Pretoria, Andries Francois du Toit, was asked by President M W Pretorius to plan the town Pretoria. The area where the Voortrekkers settled on Elandspoort, Daspoort, Groenkloof, Derdepoort, Garsfontein and Koedoespoort was declared a town on 16 November 1855. A commission council of the Volksraad met from 27 to 30 May 1856 at home of Hendrik Vermeulen, at which occasion Pretoria was elected as capital.

Morelettaspruit runs through a portion of the land. One Mundt and his wife, Aletta, lived there. It is said that passing travelers used to call-greet her with “Môre Letta!” This is how Morelettapruit got its name.

Henry was involved in horse carriage trips to eastern Transvaal but he also played a major role in public life. He was, inter alia, a member of the Land Commission and a member of the Heemraad.

His brother, Jacobus Gerhardus VERMEULEN, called Kootjie (1821 - 1898) participated in the Battle of Boomplaats on 29 August 1848 and was wounded in the knee, whereafter he walked with a limp.

Henry and Kootjie were farmers and, as gardeners, they played a role in the construction of a water furrow to the Church Square. They lived in the neighborhood of the current Church Square. Henry's house stood on the site of the present Palace of Justice while Kootjie loved in a brick house where the Capital Theatre was later erected (near the eastern entrance to the current building of the Transvaal Provincial Administration).

Both brothers also had experience of building work and helped to build the first church on Church Square. Kootjie, for many years was sexton of the church known as the Philadelphia
Brotherhood Pretoria.

Vermeulen Street was named after the two brothers.


Zambezi Drive

The Zambezi River is the fourth longest river in Africa, and the largest of those flowing to the Indian Ocean. The Zambezi River owes much of its world fame to the Victoria Falls and the Kariba Dam.


1. Tom Andrews; The Place of names; Emagameni:

2. Tom Andrews; Place and Street Names of Pretoria; Second Edition; 1999:

3. Tom Andrews: Pioneer Sketches (Church Street Cemetery); Emagameni; May 

4. Wikipedia Encyclopedia;

6. Ons Vermeulens se Verbintenis met Pretoria; Johan Vermeulen (

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