Irene

JC Smuts was born on the farm Bovenplaats, part of Ongegund near Riebeek West, in the then Cape Colony, and what is now the Western Cape, to parents Jacobus Abraham and Catharina Petronella (nee de Vries) on 24 May 1870.

 

Irene is a wonderful village located less than twenty kilometres south of Pretoria. Visitors can feel the history around them whether staying at a local hotel, visiting the Smuts House Museum or touring the working farm. Residents are proud of the area's rich history and rightly so! Below are a few edited passages revealing the early history of Irene Farm. A longer version of the article appeared in a 1961 edition of South African Panorama.

 

In 2014 The Heritage Portal Team visited Irene and were taken on an emotional tour of the Concentration Camp Cemetery. Below are a few historical details of the camp courtesy of the Centurion Heritage Society.

The Irene concentration camp was opened on 2 November 1900. The population of the camp increased rapidly and refugees were housed in tents under extremely poor conditions.

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