Travel through time in the west

The Daspoort tunnel.

After interest in the history of Pretoria West, the Rekord investigation uncovered a few more interesting facts about Pretoria.

Two farms – Elandspoort and Koedoespoort – that were bought by Marthinus Wessel Pretorius in 1853.

The suburb of Pretoria West was established in 1892 and Hermanstad in 1897.

In 1903, the suburbs of Gezina, Wonderboom South, Rietfontein, Parktown, Mountain View and Claremont were established.

Pretoria Gardens, Daspoort, Rietondale and Waterkloof were established in 1904.

On 23 May 1905, Lord Selbourne arrived in Pretoria.

Soon thereafter Lady Selbourne was established and proclaimed a black township.

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The suburb was named after Lady Beatrice Maud Selbourne, the wife of Lord Selbourne who served as high commissioner of SA and governor of the Transvaal and Orange River colonies until 1910.

Lady Selbourne was a portion of a farm called Zandfontein.

Later that year, Hatfield and Booysens were established.

In 1939, Atteridgeville was established and named after deputy mayor, Patricia Atteridge.

The first 50 families moved from Marabastad to Atteridgeville in May 1940.

Danville was established in 1942.

On 1 July 1949 the Hercules municipality was merged with Pretoria.

In 1957 residents of Lady Selbourne took part in the bus boycott.

The Treason Trial began shortly thereafter and the 30 accused, including Nelson Mandela, would be released in March 1961 as the state could not prove its case.

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In 1958 Lady Selbourne was declared a white area.

The Ollie Deneyschen tunnel, commonly called Daspoort tunnel, was built in 1972 to connect Claremont to Danville after a sympathetic councillor noticed that Iscor workers in Hercules had to travel a long distance to work.

Construction took 40 months at a cost of R1.7 million and was opened on 10 August 1972 by the mayor of Pretoria.

On 18 March 1988 guerrillas attacked a tavern in Atteridgeville frequented by policemen, killing three.

On 9 April, a limpet mine exploded near the Atteridgeville development board’s canteen.

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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Kayla van Petegem

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