NALEDI LOCAL MUNICIPALITY
Naledi Local Municipality is an administrative area in the Xhariep District of the Free State. It comprises of 3 towns Dewetsdorp, Van Stadensrus, Wepener It was incorporated into the Xhariep District following the 2011 local government elections. The name is a Sesotho word meaning ‘a star’.
The municipality is located in the eastern highland of the region and a border gate to Lesotho is just 7km from Wepener. It is a largely rural community, with almost a third of its land used for farming cattle, sheep and grain. The area is traversed by the N8 Maloti Tourism Route and the R26 route. It has become known as ‘The Adventurous Weekend Destination’.
Dewetsdorp lies 75km south-east of Bloemfontein on the R702. The town of Dewetsdorp is part of the Battlefields Route. One attraction is the British War Graves and Monument. The town has a beautiful nine-hole golf course and is also the home of the Osram Total Car Rally. Wepener was founded in 1867 on the banks of Jammersbergspruit, a tributary of the Caledon River. The Caledon Nature Reserve is about 15km south of Wepener on the R701. The Caledon River flows through the reserve, and the Welbedacht Dam is located in the southern region of the reserve. Also of interest is the Louw Wepener Memorial statue, Thaba Bosiu Memorial stone and Jammerbergdrif Battlefield site. The sandstone street of Jammersberg Bridge over the Caledon River has been declared a national monument. The town of Van Stadensrus is located between Wepener and Zastron, and is one of the frontier towns on the border of South Africa and Lesotho. It is in close proximity to the Egmont and Van Stadensrus Dams, and is on the Anglo-Boer War Route.
Jacobus de Wet, field-cornet and father of Anglo-Boer War general Christiaan de Wet, decided, even without the approval of the Volksraad, to set up a village as a safe haven on the farm Kareefontein. Eventually recognised officially, the village was named after De Wet and became a municipality in 1980.
|General Christian De Wet||
He was born on the Leeuwkop farm, in the district of Smithfield in the Boer Republic of the Orange Free State. He later resided at Dewetsdorp, named after his father, Jacobus Ignatius de Wet. De Wet served in the first Anglo-Boer War of 1880–81 as a Field Cornet, taking part in the Battle of Majuba Mountain, in which the Boers achieved a victory over the British forces under Major General Sir George Pomeroy Colley. This eventually led to the end of the war and the reinstatement of the independence of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, more commonly known as the Transvaal Republic.
In the years between the First and Second Boer Wars, from 1881 to 1896, he lived on his farm, becoming a member of the Volksraad in 1897. De Wet progressively weakened and at length, on 3 February 1922, he died on his farm. General Smuts, who had become Prime Minister, cabled his widow: ‘A prince and a great man has fallen today.’ De Wet was given a state funeral in Bloemfontein and buried next to President Steyn and Emily Hobhouse at the foot of the memorial to the women and children who died in the concentration camps. On the hundredth anniversary of his birth, a bronze equestrian statue, by Coert Steynberg, was unveiled at the Raadzaal in Bloemfontein
While attacking Moshoeshoe at Thaba ‘Nchu during the second Basotho War, Louw Wepener, a Boer leader, was killed. The town, founded on the banks of the Jammerbergspruit in 1867, now bears his name. Many subsequent battles, including a 1900 British siege which lasted 17 days, have taken place here.
|Louw Wepener Monument||A South African military decoration that was in use from 1952 to 1975. It was awarded for “most conspicuous or greatest heroism, in circumstances of great danger” and was primarily a non-combat decoration. The Khubelo Pass is sometimes referred to as Wepener’s Pass. The town of Wepener, founded in 1867, and the Regiment Louw Wepener, since disbanded, were named after him. He is honoured by this memorial which was erected on his farm Constantia, 10 km north of the town on the R715 (Springfontein Road).|
|Lord Fraser Guest house||
Lord Fraser, the name itself evokes images of days gone by of aristocracy and good living of an atmosphere of old leather, fine cognac and times when life seemed easier and less complicated…
Previously Lord Fraser Guest House was the summer residence of the well-known, blind Lord Ian Fraser of Lonsdale. He was the chairman of the board of the once powerful retail business, Frasers in Lesotho.
On his death in 1974 Lord Fraser wished his home to become the Ian Fraser Memorial College. After the closing down of Fraser’s Head Office in Wepener in 1988, the buildings were donated to the municipality to be converted into a museum. This never materialised and the property was sold to Willem and Wilna Swanepoel in 1993 and they have turned it at great expense into the present Lord Fraser Guest House.
Address: 10 De Bruin St, Wepener, 9944
Louw Wepener (died 1865) was a military leader (kommandant in Afrikaans) in the Orange Free State who was killed during the Second Orange Free State-Basuto War at Thaba Bosiu, while trying to storm the mountain stronghold of Moshoeshoe I, founder of the Basotho nation. Wepener was killed in what was to be the last attack on Thaba Bosiu in Moshoeshoe’s lifetime. Wepener was killed at Khubelo Pass and today this pass is sometimes referred to as Wepener’s.
According to the epitaph on the Louw Wepener Monument he was born in 1812. The monument is erected at his burial site on his farm (Constantia) between Aliwal-North in the Eastern Cape and Bethulie in the Free State.The town of Wepener (founded 1867) and Regiment Louw Wepener (since disbanded) were named after him.
|Lord Fraser||Lord Fraser, the name itself evokes images of days gone by of aristocracy and good living of an atmosphere of old leather, fine cognac and times when life seemed easier and less complicated. Previously Lord Fraser Guest House was the summer residence of the well-known, blind Lord Ian Fraser of Lonsdale. He was the chairman of the board of the once powerful retail business, Frasers in Lesotho.
He died in 1974.