Author Archives: Joep Stevens

A history of Punda Maria and vicinity

  1. Introduction

The Shingwedzi Reserve was proclaimed in 1903 and comprised the area between the Luvuvhu and Letaba Rivers. Being a very remote part of South Africa, poaching and other illegal activities, such as prospecting, illegal logging and so called “black-birding” (the illegal recruitment of black workers from Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) and Mocambique (then Portuguese East Africa) for the gold and coal mines) was a serious concern to Major James C Stevenson-Hamilton, Warden of the Sabie and Shingwedzi Reserves. From 1904 until 1919, the only ranger in charge of the entire Shingwedzi Reserve was Major AA Frazer, based at Malunzane next to the Shongololo River (a tributary of the Tsende), west of the existing Mopani Camp. Stevenson-Hamilton expresses the need for a game ranger in the far north of the Shingwedzi Reserve.

Captain Johannes Jacobus (“Kat”) Coetser was appointed as game ranger on 01 May 1919 for the far northern part of the Shingwedzi Reserve and enjoys the distinction of being the first Afrikaans speaking ranger to have been appointed in the Sabie and Shingwedzi Reserves. Due to lack of roads, he had to have his belongings brought in by black carriers along the old trade route past Dzundwini, a large conspicuous hill on the plains southeast of Punda Maria next to the existing road to Shingwedzi. Dzundwini is a Tsonga word meaning “at the land belonging to the chief and cultivated by his people” (G Dzakani). At Dzundwini fountain he set up a temporary camp under a huge Sausage tree (Kigelia africana) which is still visible today. As winter progressed, the water from the fountain deteriorated and became brackish and could barely be used for drinking water. He had heard of a strong fountain in the region of Chief Shikokololo’s fertile place known to the Tsonga people as Dimbyeni ra Shikokololo (water or fountain of Shikokololo – G Dzakani), roughly 18 kilometres northwest of his camp. In the beautiful area on the foot of Dimbo Hill (a shortening of the original Venda name Dimboni, the name of a person from bygone days – the name was used by H Berthoud as early as 1903) and close to the fountain, he set up his permanent camp. He had his family come along and named his camp Punda Maria. With his appointment in 1919, the illegal harvesting of Rhodesian Mahogany (Afzelia quansensis) and Msimbit or Lebombo Ironwood (Androstachys johnsonii) in the Punda Maria area was brought under control. He was known as “Gungunyane” amongst the local Blacks and he built a hut over the fountain at Punda Maria to keep it clean and apparently there were a few tame barbel (catfish) to keep the fountain free of insects.

Coetzers old camp site below Dzundwini Hill

Coetzers old camp site below Dzundwini Hill

The name Punda Maria stems from one of two origins.

2.1 The first and most documented origin is that of the first animals which Ranger Coetser encountered upon his arrival in the Shingwedzi Reserve, namely a herd of zebra. The Swahili name for zebra is punda milia (striped donkey). His wife’s name was Maria and apparently she was fond of wearing striped black and white dresses. He therefore thought that Punda Maria would be a suitable name for the post. In 1959, the National Parks Board (on recommendation of RJ Labuschagne), changed the name to Punda Milia, based on the incorrect assumption that Coetser had spelt the Swahili name incorrectly. In 1981, the true facts were brought to the attention of the Board by Dr U de V Pienaar and the original name was restored.

Aerial image showing terraces and facilities - taken in 1948

Aerial image showing terraces and facilities – taken in 1948

2.2 The second possible origin comes from some of the older Venda people, who called the Punda Maria area, which includes the easternmost foothills of the Soutpansberg, Phande Mariha, “border of the winter(s)”, as they noticed the area to the west (inland) to be greener and with a more moderate climate than the plains to the east, with it’s frost, cold and brown winter grass (phande – stop, up to here, border of, and mariha (plural of vuriha) – winters). They therefore maintain Punda Maria to be a corruption of Phande Mariha.

2.3 Punda Maria camp lies in a place previously (before 1919) called Shikokololo and it was situated next to old hunting and trade routes. One of these routes was known as the Ivory Trail, referring to the era around the early 1900s when the route running from Crooks Corner to Soekmekaar was used for recruiting of labour for the mines in the hinterland of South Africa and also for hunters, as the name suggests. Several interesting people lived in the area over the many years and some are described below:

Previous poacher, hunter and recruitment officer, Cecil Barnard, named Bvenkenya, by the local Tsonga people, meaning “the one who swaggers as he walks”, remembers meeting Shikokololo en route to Crooks Corner in about 1910, when he arrived in the area and describes him as a short, brownish- coloured old man. He had fine gardens at this fertile place, but gave him more trouble than contentment as he spent his life in endless bitter struggle with the wild animals over the never settled question of who was to reap his crops. All around his gardens, Shikokololo had erected with prodigious labour a vast protective fence of thorns. Around this African battlement the wild animals laid permanent siege. Within it, old Shikokololo marshaled his defences with cunning and patience. His womenfolk beat drums all night when the crops were ripening, and the place was littered with so many snares and traps that Shikokololo himself, when leaving his hut one moonless night, had come to grief in a pitfall and remained tangled in his own contrivances until morning. To Bvenkenya, Shikokololo was an ingenious and loquacious friend and he had been involved in elephant hunting as long as he could remember.

Makahane was a chief who used to live on a hill which has since been named after him and is situated close to where the Madzaringwe stream flows into the Luvuvhu River, 48 kilometres north east of Punda Maria. The tribe that used to live here and across the Limpopo River, were known as the VhaLembethu, who were the forerunners of the Venda people. All that remains today are the many stone ruins as well as a miniature cave. Although no gold artifacts have been found, gold was smelted here and poured into stone cavities. Although the ruins are quite dilapidated, it is clear that it once was a worthy place for a chief. It is one of the few ruins of it’s type of which the tribe and headman are known. The history of the ruin was conveyed to Kruger National Park officials (Pienaar) during a visit to the terrain in 1963 by headman Filemon Makahane, who was quite aged at that time and was living on the western bank of the Luvuvhu River. It is estimated that Headman Makahane had lived at Makahane during the second half of the eighteenth century. Makahane lived as one of two subordinate captains under his father, the great Captain Makahane who lived north of the Limpopo River (currently Zimbabwe). However, due to the distances, the captains reigned virtually independently and with great authority. On the northern side of the hill was a massive rock extending from the base to the top with a sheer drop of about 60 metres. For petty offences and for his pleasure Makahane had his subjects thrown over this cliff – a truly horrible death. Eventually Makahane was killed by his brother Nelome and on orders from his father who had heard of the inhumanity and cruelty against his people and there was great rejoicing amongst his people, who then, under the leadership of Makahane’s son, Mashande, chose to depart from this hill of evil and move across the river. Headman Makahane was buried on the hill.

Old trading store that was adjacent to the old bungalows

Old trading store that was adjacent to the old bungalows

Klopperfontein is a perennial fountain situated in the upper reaches of the Senkhuwa Spruit named after Hans (JPJ) Kloppers (1851 – 1928), a slightly built, fair faced and long bearded hunter, and was the site of one of his favourite camps. This site, previously know as Senkhuwa (from the Tsonga name, “nkhuwa”, meaning great wild fig trees), was also en route the old trade and hunting route running past Punda Maria between Crooks Corner and Soekmekaar. At the eye of the fountain there was large wild fig and this is where Kloppers made his camp site. He had a preference for hunting giraffe (Giraffe camelopardalis), which according to oorlewering were quite numerous at the time. He apparently had a great liking of the marrow of the long bones of the giraffe legs and it is said that for many years after the area became the Shingwedzi Reserve in 1903, a large pile of giraffe bones could be seen at his camp site. The fountain later dried up and in 1955 a concrete weir was built by Percy Stephansen to provide water for game. Two boreholes provide additional water at this point. During the high rainfall years between 1971 and 1978, the old fountain started flowing again and this was maintained until the long droughts of the eighties. The local black people mentioned that Kloppers moved into the area during the winter months with his wagons and hunted primarily giraffe and eland. He was known as Ribada by the local black people meaning “always on the move”. In the days before 1896, the tsetse flies were a serious problem and caused serious casualties amongst his horses. After the proclamation of the Shingwedzi Reserve in 1903, Kloppers was forced to move his hunting activities elsewhere and he moved his camp to Mocambique. Kloppers lived on his farm, Doornspruit, approximately 20 kilometres south east of Louis Trichardt (on the road to Elim).

Close to Mashikiri windpump on one of the hills a Venda man named Matjigwili used to live. The ruins are still visible today and Ranger Gus Adendorff found the highly prized blue beads (Valunga ha Madi) which are regarded as sacred by the Venda people. These were supposedly brought from the north by earlier generations of the Venda when the migrated south. It is said that a family was very proud to possess such beads and would never willingly part with them and they were passed from generation to generation.

Gumbandebvu hill is situated north east of Punda Maria en route to Pafuri and was regarded by the black people as the rain hill. Many years ago a woman named Nwakama, a relative of Modjadji, the famous rain queen, lived there. Nwakama was supposed to have been invested with the power to call up the rain gods. When rain was needed she ordered a black beast to be slaughtered and the meat taken to a certain spot on the hill and offered as a sacrifice to the rain gods. Only a few chosen men would venture on the hill with her as it was believed to mean certain death for anyone attempting to climb the hill without her knowledge. The name Gumbandebvu originates from Venda, Gumba ndebvu, meaning “to shave one’s beard”, a custom whereby only those who shaved their beards, were allowed to climb this sacred hill.

Gumbandebvu Hill north east of Punda Maria

Gumbandebvu Hill north east of Punda Maria

Crooks Corner, the area between the Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers, with the borders of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mocambique meeting there, was an area inhabited by a variety of fortune seekers, poachers, smugglers, thieves, renegade and those fleeing the law. The main attraction was the unlimited hunting opportunities (especially elephant) in the adjoining Mocambique and Zimbabwe regions as well as recruitment of blacks for the gold mines of the Witwatersrand. The primary connecting route between Crooks Corner and Soekmekaar, from where the recruits were transported by rail, came past Punda Maria. Originally the recruits were transported by donkey cart, but after World War I, the official recruitment agency, Witwatersrand Native Labour Association (WNLA) improved the road and after 1929 Thornycroft busses were used.

Captain Kat Coetser was born in Lydenburg on 03 May 1872 and was married to Maria Johanna de Beer and the couple had 14 children, of which four died at a young age. He worked as a sheriff in Standerton for a while and then joined the Department of Native Affairs as he could speak quite a few black languages. Later he becomes member of the State Artillery and is promoted to rank of Captain with the outbreak of the Second War of Independance. He was in command of the Johannesburg fort until he was succeeded by Judge Krause and he could then take up active duty. He was taken prisoner of war and held in camp at Green Point. After the war he joined the army and became an intelligence officer. With the start of World War 1, he joined General van Deventer’s Reconnaissance and he experienced the whole East African campaign. It is during this period that he learned the Swahili language. In 1919 he was appointed as game ranger at Punda Maria and was transferred to Satara in July 1924 and left the National Parks Board on 15 December 1928 to join the Department for Veterinary Field Services. On 21 November 1935 Coetser was manning a foot and mouth disease cordon next to the Limpopo River east of Musina, when he was attacked by an angry elephant. His rifle bearer had apparently fled the attack and Coetser was crushed to death by the elephant. His remains are buried in Pretoria.

Lt Col Petrus Lafras de Jager succeeded Captain Coetser in July 1924 and a new brick house was built at Punda Maria in 1926. However, the Highveld design proved impractical without the verandah around the house and this was added later on. He retired in January 1929.

Thomas Llewellyn James succeeded de Jager in February 1929 until April 1930.

Izak Johannes Botha was transferred to Punda Maria in April 1930 and during the winter of 1931, tourists were accommodated for the first time in a tent camp at Punda Maria. Soon afterwards, Botha and a team of black labourers, commenced with the construction of the traditional pole and mud thatch roof huts. The design and outer shell of these huts is still in use today, more than seventy years later. These huts were completed in July 1931 and an ablution block was added in 1933. During this time, Botha also constructed the roads from Punda Maria to Dongadziva, Shidzavane, Magovane and Klopperfontein. In the rangers garden at Punda Maria, Botha planted a seedling Baobab (Adansonia digitata) on 04 February 1931 and in the more than seventy years it has grown into a beautiful young tree and has a circumference of 6,7metres (01 April 2002). Amongst his black colleagues he was known as “Mawawa” meaning the dominant one. In 1935 he obtained permission to build the gravel dam, just south of the camp and for many years this has drawn game to the area. In 1937 he constructed a number of side roads on the Punda Maria Shingwedzi road, including the picturesque routes along the Shisha and Mphongolo Rivers. Botha resigned on 31 May 1938.

Lt Col Maurice Rowland-Jones succeeded Botha on 01 June 1938 and was called up to do military duty in Madagascar and the Middle East on 21 May 1940. He was relieved by Walter Henry (Harry) Kirkman stationed at Shangoni and Herbert Ernest (Bert) Tomlinson of Shingwedzi and resumed duties on 01 January 1946 and was promoted to senior ranger at Skukuza on 26 June 1954. 

Ivory Trail

Ivory Trail

Today, Punda Maria Camp has 31 units – 22 in the old units that Botha built in 1931/2. The interior construction was altered in 1978 to convert the rooms into units with shower and toilet en-suite. The outer walls and roof construction remains original and the resistance of the Msimbit or Lebombo Ironwood (Androstachys johnsonii) to insect boring is clearly evident. Two four-bed cottages were built in 1978 to the west of the camp reception complex. They were originally intended to house staff, but upon completion, were made available to the public, and have been upgraded significantly since 2001. In 2001 7 fully equipped tents were added to the camp.

Old Punda Maria with filling station near current reception/ restaurant and shop complex

Old Punda Maria with filling station near current reception/ restaurant and shop complex

The Shikokololo fountain remains in use to supply Punda Maria with fresh clean water and is situated 50 metres to the east of the camp gate. It had a large and fairly distinctive Jakkalsbessie tree (Diospyros mespiliformis) close by.

Old Jackal Berry outside Punda Maria Camp with Dzundwini Hill in background

Old Jackal Berry outside Punda Maria Camp with Dzundwini Hill in background

The police station at Punda Maria was a landmark for many years. Sergeant Oosthuizen was succeeded by Sergeant van Deventer. The last commander stationed at Punda Maria before it was closed down was Awie de Clerq. The old house still stands to the east of the camp and the many stone terraces are still visible too.

Old Police House which has been rebuilt as guest accommodation (known as Russel House)

Old Police House which has been rebuilt as guest accommodation (known as Russel House)

Many terraced walls built by the "Mafourteens"

Many terraced walls built by the “Mafourteens”

These were built by prisoners who were mostly illegal immigrants passing through the Park from Mocambique.

Old stables behind the Police House east of the camp

Old stables behind the Police House east of the camp

REFERENCES

ADENDORFF, GM (1984) – Wild Company – Books of Africa Ltd, Cape Town

BULPIN, TV (1954) – The Ivory Trail – Books of Africa (Pty) Ltd, Cape Town

BULPIN, TV (1974) – Kruger National Park (No. 1 & 2) – Mobil Travel series 18 and 19.

COX, GRAHAM – Personal discussion.

DAVIES, PETER – Personal discussion.

HOPE, DOUGLAS – Custos – Letters from our Readers – December 1973

KLOPPERS, JJ AND HANS BORNMAN – A Dictionary of Kruger National Park Names – First Published 2005.

NATIONAL PARKS BOARD – Northern Parts of Kruger Park now easily accessible (Custos September 1972)

NATIONAL PARKS BOARD – Seclusion of Punda Milia (Custos May 1977)

NATIONAL PARKS BOARD – Punda Milia and Shingwedzi (Custos August 1974)

PIENAAR, U de V (1990) – Neem uit die verlede – National Parks Board, Pretoria

PRETORIUS, BEN – Personal discussion

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Background & Development History

The Kruger National Park lies in what is commonly known as the lowveld on the north eastern edge of South Africa where it borders Zimbabwe in the north and Mocambique in the east. The lowveld for many people represents the true or wild Africa of our country with its savannah landscape, tropical to temperate climate and an average altitude of approximately 350 metres. For outsiders, the lowveld was hostile with its malaria and tsetse fly and forays into the area mainly took place during the cooler winter months.

SHILOWA MOUNTAIN IN THE LEBOMBO RANGE ON THE EASTERN BOUNDARY OF THE PARK

SHILOWA MOUNTAIN IN THE LEBOMBO RANGE ON THE EASTERN BOUNDARY OF THE PARK

 

During the latter half of the 19th century the lowveld opened up to outsiders much as a result of miners that came to seek their fortunes after gold was found in the vividly beautiful escarpment forming the western edge of the lowveld. The fortune seekers could not wait until winter to go down and hunt the teeming wildlife in the lowveld. Earlier the Voortrekkers had settled not too far away in areas such as Ohrigstad, Lydenburg and Schoemansdal and wildlife was the basis of their economy.

SHABENI HILL IN THE SOUTH WEST OF THE PARK

SHABENI HILL IN THE SOUTH WEST OF THE PARK

 

At this time the area formed part of the South African Republic, one of two Boer republics, which later became known as the Transvaal after British colonies of the Cape and Natal and the other Boer Republic, the Orange Free State amalgamated in 1910 to become the Union of South Africa. During the late 1800’s it became evident that excessive hunting was exterminating wildlife at an unprecedented rate and that measures had to be taken to counter this destruction.

SHIP MOUNTAIN ALONG WHICH A TRADE ROUTE WAS ESTABLISHED BETWEEN THE COAST AND INLAND OF SOUTH AFRICA

SHIP MOUNTAIN ALONG WHICH A TRADE ROUTE WAS ESTABLISHED BETWEEN THE COAST AND INLAND OF SOUTH AFRICA

 

      1. From about 1836 the hinterland of South Africa was colonized by Voortrekkers from the Cape Colony, using the abundant game stocks as their means of survival. Europeans also entered the area as traders, missionaries and explorers and hunted for “sport” and “adventure”.
      2. The first law in the Transvaal aimed at controlling hunting was promulgated in Ohrigstad (then called Andries Ohrigstad) in January 1846. In general enforcement of these laws to protect game was ineffective.
      3. By the late 1850’s game numbers in the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR), even in remote areas, had declined to such an extent that more encompassing laws to protect the remainder became essential.
      4. On 12 April 1877 the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) was annexed by Great Britain and the first Anglo-Boer war commenced.
      5. On 31 July 1889, the Executive Council of the Volksraad, by accepting resolution 482 approved the principle of banning hunting on certain tracts of state land, essentially making provision for the establishment of game reserves.
      6. ZAR President Paul Kruger thought it essential that steps be taken to preserve the remaining wilderness areas in the republic and that game be preserved “voor de verre toekomst” in other words for evermore. Article 1244, which authorized game reserves in the republic was adopted. Under Proclamation R8009/89 the Pongola Game Reserve as was the first to be established on 13 June 1894. Hendrik Frederik van Oordt was appointed as first warden
      7. Two members of the Volksraad, JL van Wijk for Krugersdorp and RK Loveday for Barberton, gave notice during the 6 September 1895 session of the Volksraad, of their intention to table a motion asking the Executive Council to proclaim a game reserve between the Sabie and Crocodile rivers. On 9 September 1895, this motion was submitted and it was approved the following week (17 September 1895) by 12 votes against 11.
      8. Two major incident in the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek had a major influence and therefore delayed progress in proclaiming the new game reserve, namely:
        1. The Jameson Raid in the first week of January 1896.
        2. The Rinderpest Epidemic which spread like wildfire through the republic, from April 1896 to February 1897, killing hundreds of thousands of cattle and susceptible game species such as buffalo, kudu and eland. The Volksraad lifted certain hunting bans for three years to ensure that the impoverished population had a food source.
      9. In November 1897, RK Loveday confronted the Volksraad, wanting to know why proclamation had not yet been promulgated. This was intensively discussed for the following month.
      10. Under Proclamation R8748/95 that was promulgated by the president on 26 March 1898, and published in the Staats Courant on 13 April 1898, the Gouvernements-Wildtuin was established. Dr. JWB Gunning, the director of the State Museum in Pretoria, was placed in charge of the running of the new reserve.

        OLD STONE BEACON MARKING THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN THE PARK AND MOCAMBIQUE

        OLD STONE BEACON MARKING THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN THE PARK AND MOCAMBIQUE

      11. In September 1898, after LK Loveday asked the Volksraad why a warden had not yet been appointed, two police force members were placed in charge of enforcing the hunting laws, namely Izak Holzhausen stationed at Komatipoort and Paul Bester of Nelspruit.
      12. On 11 October 1899, President Paul Kruger declared war on the mightly British Empire after it had rejected his ultimatum of 9 October 1899 to withdraw its troops massed on the borders of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. The Anglo-Boer War was to last until 31 May 1902 when the ZAR and the Free State lost their independence on 31 May 1902. After three years of blood, bitterness and misery, they could start rebuilding the Lowveld, but the earth was wild and bleak and pillars of smoke rose from the plains
      13. During the last few months of the Anglo-Boer War the British Administration, headed by Governor Lord Alfred Milner, decided to reproclaim the Sabie Game Reserve in its original format. In as early as June 1902 this was accomplished and the original Dutch text was used in the description of the boundaries.
      14. On 28 August 1903 issued Administrative Proclamation No. 38 in which the boundaries of the Sabie Game Reserve were described in English. A large tract of land (both state land and that belonging to the Transvaal Consolidated Land and Exploration Company (TCL)) between the Sabie and Olifants Rivers was added.

        - Sardelli is said to have exploited returning migrant mineworkers on their return to Mocambique

        SITE OF SARDELLI’S STORE WITH OLD BLUEGUM TREES – Sardelli is said to have exploited returning migrant mineworkers on their return to Mocambique

      15. In accordance with Administrative Proclamation No. 19 of 1903, the Shingwedzi Reserve was proclaimed and it boundaries went from the confluence of the Great and Klein Letaba rivers in a straight line north to Shikumdu Hill and the Luvuvhu River and then northeast along the Luvuvhu to its confluence with the Limpopo River. It then followed the international boundary until the Olifants River, went westwards until the confluence with the Great Letaba River and then to the confluence with the Klein Letaba River.
      16. In 1906. Administrative Proclamation No. 31 added a considerable tract of land to the Sabie Game Reserve. This consisted of the old Kaap blocks E & F, which was state land for winter grazing by Highveld farmers.
      17. In 1911 the farm Burgers Hall was added to the Sabie Game Reserve.
      18. The border of the Shingwedzi Game Reserve remained more or less the same from proclamation in 1903 until 1913 when the Mhinga and Shikumdu settlements (No. 284 and 285) were cut out.
      19. In 1913 the following farms in the southwestern corner of the Sabie Game Reserve were excised, Logies Farm, Engelbrechtshoop and Burgers Hall.
      20. Under Administrative Proclamation No. 48 of 1 December 1914, a significant piece of land between the Sabie and Shingwedzi game reserves , which until then had fallen under Department of Mines, was added. This comprised the eastern section of the land between the Great Letaba and Olifants rivers.
      21. In 1916 the Sabie and Shingwedzi game reserves were consolidated into the Transvaal Game Reserve, managed by the provincial secretary
      22. In March 1916 the Transvaal Provincial Adminstration appointed a commission under Advocate JF Ludorf to investigate the administration of the Transvaal Game Reserve and make recommendation.
      23. The Ludorf Commissions report was submitted in 1918. This recommended, inter alia.
        1. Most of the old Kaap blocks (E & F) (west of existing boundary along railway line between Numbi Gate and Crocodile River) that were added to the Sabie Game Reserve in 1906 be cut out of the Reserve.
        2. A large area between the Sabie and Olifants River on both sides of the Selati Railway Line be cut out of the Reserve. This area today comprises the Sabie Sand and Timbavati Game Reserves.
        3. More land be added to the part of the Reserve between the Olifants and Letaba rivers to establish a more meaningful connection between the former Sabie and Shingwedzi reserves.
        4. A draft border description of the newly proposed reserve and that it be proclaimed a national park as soon as possible.
        5. That the border for rivers be the riverbank rather than the middle of the river.
      24. In February 1925 26 state-owned farms known as the Alexandra Block, with Newington as the centre, were added to the Transvaal Game Reserve. The Transvaal Consolidated Land Exploration Company (TCL) owned many farms between the Olifants and Sabie Rivers. During the extensive negotiations between Minister Piet Grobler and TCL, the farms known as the Alexandra Block were offered in exchange of those they owned between the Olifants and Sabie Rivers. This offer was accepted and proclamation of the Kruger National could become a reality.
      25. On 31 May 1926 the Kruger National Park was proclaimed under Proclamation No. 197 in the Government Gazette of 10 September 1926.. Borders described as recommended by the Ludorf Commission.
      26. In 1933 the warden of the Kruger National Park was put in charge of game preservation in the Pafuri Reserve (between Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers). This arrangement lasted until June 1954, when the Parks Board itself discontinued it.
      27. In July 1946 Eileen Orpen bought the farm Newington and donated it to the Board, but as there was no way of connecting this land to the Kruger National Park, the Board regretfully had to hand back the title deeds.
      28. In April 1954, the state proclaimed the farms Zeekoeigat No. 4, Knaboomkop No. 5 next to the Olifants River, Middelin No. 106, Johniesdale No. 355 and Batavia No. 298 as part of the Park.

        MOUNT NEWU ALONG THE OLD TRADE ROUTE IN THE SOUTH OF THE PARK

        MOUNT NEWU ALONG THE OLD TRADE ROUTE IN THE SOUTH OF THE PARK

      29. During 1961- 1962 the western border of the Park was fenced to control the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.
      30. In 1965 Phalaborwa Phosphate Mine had difficulties finding suitable land for its silt dams and dumps and asked the Parks Board to make an area between Phalaborwa Gate and the Klaserie River Mouth (north of the Olifants River and including Mahulule Hill) available. In exchange, Phalaborwa Mining Company bought the farm Peru No. 208 just north of the farm Zwartkops for inclusion in the Park.

REFERENCES

PIENAAR, U de V (Dr) (translated by Helena Bryden) – 2012

A Cameo from the Past