As much as we’d most prefer to forget about apartheid and demolish what’s left of it that is the statues, buildings and all that, it is always good to reflect back at what used to be and anyway it’s part of our heritage whether we like it or not . Imagine telling your kids that back in the days the was apartheid, segregation act, land areas act and all the laws that were used to oppress blacks without having any proof, as much as they say adults don’t lie but the kids these days wouldn’t mind telling you “ah mama/papa wayaka(mom/dad you’re lying)”.
Anyway you’ve never seen the whole of Pretoria if you haven’t been to Church Square to chill or maybe take a few pictures with the old man called Paul Kruger, you know the statue that disrespectful doves tend to help themselves on. We’ve all been in a taxi at some point and told the driver “ke fologa ko Paul Kruger(drop me off at Paul Kruger Street)”, and ever wondered who’s this Paul Kruger?
Well Paul Kruger is the former president of the Transvaal Province(consisting of Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and eastern part of North West), Pretoria was the capital city back in the 18th to 19th century during the segregation era where whites lived in the cities and black were forced to live in the townships. Oom(uncle) Paul as he was known lived with his wife Gezina in a house now named the Kruger House.
The Kruger House was built in 1884 by architect Tom Claridge and builder Charles Clark. The house was amazingly built using milk as a substitute for water as the cement back then was deemed poor when it comes to quality, if you thought dikhothane(people living lavishly) didn’t exist back then think again. The Kruger House was also the first house in Pretoria to have electricity and a landline phone.
On the veranda of the Kruger House reside two lions that were given to Oom Paul by a mining magnate Barney Barnato on his birthday in 1896, obviously put on the entrance to intimidate. Inside the house there’s a knife that Kruger once used to amputate his thumb that got injured after a shooting incident. There’s also furniture, paintings and other Kruger memorabilia that were preserved to provide a real feel of how him and his wife used to live. There’s also a display of the state coach as well as his private railway carriage that he used to travel around Transvaal. Now people talk of private jets well he used to use a private railway carriage.
If you’re curious about the South African and Pretorian history, want to know more about Paul Kruger, get a feel of how he used to live and see some vintage furniture, then visit the Kruger House Museum situate at:
60 WF Nkomo(Church) Street
Tel: 012 000 0010
Weekends and Public Holidays 09:00-16:30
Edited By: K