I recently ended up in Graaff-Reinett. An old town filled with 250 years of history.


Graaff-Reinet is a town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is the fourth oldest town in South Africa, after Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Swellendam.

The town was founded by the VOC Dutch East India Company in 1786, being named after the then governor of Cape Colony, Cornelis Jacob van de Graaff, and his wife, whose maiden name was “Reinet”.

In 1795 the burghers, smarting under the exactions of the VOC, and under the leadership of Adriaan van Jaarsveld, expelled the Landdrost Maynier and proclaimed an independent “Colony of Graaff-Reinet,” requesting guardianship under the government in the Netherlands (and not the VOC).

The Great Trek & Boer War


Graaff Reinet became the centre of British military operations for the whole Eastern Cape during the Second Boer War. In 1901, a number of captured Boer rebels were tried in the town for crimes ranging from high treason, murder, attempted murder, arson and robbery. Nine were sentenced to death, with eight of these being executed by firing squad on the outskirts of the town, while the ninth sentence was carried out in Colesberg. The Burgher Monument in Donkin Street commemorates the fallen Boers.


Monument dedicated to Andries Pretorius.


Andries Pretorius, who was born in Graaf-Reinette in 1798. A Great Trek Leader after whom Pretoria was named farmed in the district before the Great Trek. Also instrumental in the creation of the Transvaal Republic.


Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray was the second child of Andrew Murray Sr. (1794–1866), a Dutch Reformed Church missionary sent from Scotland to South Africa. He was born in Graaff Reinet,

Murray pastored churches in Bloemfontein, Worcester, Cape Town and Wellington, all in South Africa. He was a champion of the South African Revival of 1860.

Through his writings, Murray was also a key Higher Life or Keswick leader, and his theology of faith healing and belief in the continuation of the apostolic gifts made him a significant forerunner of the Pentecostal movement. 

Murray authored over 240 books.Many of these are considered classics and are still in print today




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