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Discovering the Enchantment of Kroonstad, Free State

Kroonstad - Free State - kroonstad-info.co.zaKroonstad - Free State - kroonstad-info.co.za
Kroonstad - Free State - kroonstad-info.co.zaKroonstad - Free State - kroonstad-info.co.za

Discovering the Enchantment of Kroonstad, Free State

Despite its royal name (Kroon is the Dutch word for "crown"), Kroonstad had very humble beginnings. It was named after the horse of Voorktrekker Sarel Cilliers, which drowned in a nearby stream. (Charl Arnoldus Cilliers was a leader of the Voortrekker movement and a minister. In 1838, he led the Boers to a decisive victory over the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River, alongside Andries Pretorius.
The Vaal River flows through the city of Kroonstad, with willow and poplar trees and parks lining its banks.

Kroonstad's primary industry is agriculture. It is the hub of a prosperous agricultural district that produces corn, wheat, dairy and meat products, as well as wool. In addition to being a transportation hub, Kroonstad contains marshalling yards, grain elevators, and engineering works. It is the educational hub of the province's northern region, with vocational and trade schools. The Free State goldfields are within 64 kilometers, and there are coal and diamond mines to the north. According to the 2001 Census, the population was 23,994 individuals.

Winnie Mandela was incarcerated at Kroonstad Prison in 1975. In February 1975, our founding president, the late Nelson Mandela, encouraged her not to let this prison break her!

During the official renaming of the Kroonstad Correctional Centre to "Bizzah Makhate Correctional Centre." This name honors Wilfred Sefularo "Bizzah" Makhate, a comrade who was incarcerated at this facility in the 1980s. This ceremony was led by Minister Sibusiso Joel "S'bu" Ndebele, who was born on October 17, 1948. From 2012 to 2014, he held the position of Minister of Correctional Services. Since 1997, he has served on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC), and from 1998 to 2008, he was the Provincial Chair of the ANC.

Minister Ndebele said: “The colonial powers used incarceration as a way of subjugating the indigenous populations. Oliver Tambo, in his December 1964 Foreword to President Nelson Mandela’s book “No Easy Walk to Freedom,” writes about South Africa’s high prison population and notes: ‘South African apartheid laws turn innumerable innocent people into ‘criminals’. Apartheid stirs hatred and frustration among people...every case in court, every visit to the prisons to interview clients, reminded us [me & Mandela] of the humiliation and suffering burning into our people.’

Article Courtesy of www.sahistory.org.za/place/kroonstad

Kroonstad - Free State - kroonstad-info.co.za