4x4 Routes

In 1821, when farms were distributed according to the quitrent tenure system, Gert Johannes Cloete bought Matjiesvlei, a farm of 2742 morgen for 39 rix dollars. In 1830 at the age of 17, Gert's daughter Isabella married 21 year old Casper Francois le Grange. After the wedding Casper partnered his father-in-law in farming on Matjiesvlei, but his father-in-law passed away that same year.

About two years after the marriage, Casper's wife Isabella passed away after suffering a bad miscarriage. They had no children. The farm was inherited by Casper. Casper then married Johanna Jonker and his son Gert Johannes le Grange was born on the 22/01/1835. He took over the reigns on Matjiesvlei after his father's death. Gert and his wife also had a son named Gert Johannes, he was the fourth eldest son and was born 26 March 1863 and partnered his father on the farm.

This father and son partnership led to great success. The farm expanded quickly and they soon came to own an extensive piece of property in Matjiesvlei

In 1899 during the Anglo-Boer War, Commandant Scheepers and his 600 troops rode into Matjiesvlei. They were hoping to find a thoroughfare so that they would be able to reach the Great Karoo on horseback.

Gert le Grange and his son provided the men with food and drink to sustain them on their journey. The enemy, however, discovered their location and the troops therefore had to move swiftly along the river's edge and flee through seweweekspoort to safety.

Gert Johannes, three of his sons and a certain Flip Nel were arrested because they assisted the troops. Gert Johannes was already an elderly man and his sons therefore decided to apply for a fine on their father's behalf. Their father was eventually released after his wife Johanna paid a large fine, but his sons were sentenced to 2years and 9 months in prison. They were released with the Treaty of Vereneging.

Today, Bennie remains the only descendent who still owns land in Matjiesvlei. He is the 5th generation farming in this area.

Click to view historical documents [1] and [2]

(Gert Johannes Cloete - Back row, third from left)

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