Jacobus Arnoldus Graaff

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Sir Jacobus Arnoldus Combrinck Graaff, KCMG
James Graaff.png
Born (1863-03-04)March 4, 1863
Villiersdorp, Cape Colony
Died April 5, 1927(1927-04-05) (aged 64)
England
Occupation Businessman, politician
Nationality South African

Sir Jacobus Arnoldus Combrinck Graaff, KCMG, also known as 'Sir James', was a South African cabinet minister, Senator, businessman, and South African Party whip.

Jacobus Graaff, younger brother of Sir David Graaff, was born on the Wolfhuiskloof farm near Villiersdorp in 1863. Following his father's death in 1875, he left Villiersdorp to work with his brother David at the Combrinck & Co. butchery in Cape Town. In partnership with his brother he took over the business in 1881.[1]:155 In 1899 he and his brother co-founded and was a partner in the Imperial Cold Storage and Supply Company.[1]:55

David Graaff and his brother Jacobus Graaff presenting a £100,000 donation to the De Villiers Graaff High School in 1907. David Graaff is making a speech, Jacobus Graaff is sitting to the right and Jan Smuts is seated in the extreme right.

He was chairman of the Afrikaner Bond's Cape Town branch and was elected to the Legislative Council representing the northwestern Cape in 1903. After the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, he became a senator. From 1913 to 1920, he was minister without portfolio in Louis Botha's cabinet. He was minister of public works, posts and telegraphs in Jan Smuts's second ministry. He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1917.[1]:155

In 1907, Jacobus and his brother made a GB£100,000 donation (equivalent to £41,100,000[2] or R471,195,167 in 2010[3]) for the establishment of the De Villiers Graaff High School in Villiersdorp.

He lived in a large mansion, Bordeaux, on the beach front in Sea Point. Graaff was regarded as an expert on animals as well as an eccentric, earned the moniker "Mal Jan" (crazy Jan).

Graaff was buried on his estate in Bellevue, Portervilleweg. He insisted on being buried in a coffin with a glass lid and a working telephone in case he woke from the dead.[4]:251

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  1. ^ a b c Brooke Simons, Phillida (2000). Ice Cold in Africa: The History of Imperial Cold Storage & Supply Company Limited. Cape Town: Fernwood Press. p. 252. ISBN 1-874950-50-4. 
  2. ^ Measuring Worth, Relative Value of a UK Pound Amount - average earnings, retrieved on the 26/06/2010
  3. ^ EX Archived 2008-02-02 at WebCite, Universal Currency Converter, retrieved on the 26/06/2010
  4. ^ Dommisse, Ebbe. Sir David Pieter de Villiers Graaff: First baronet of De Grendel. Tafelberg.