Piet Retief, Mpumalanga
Typical colonial building in central Piet Retief
|• Total||66.00 km2 (25.48 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,251 m (4,104 ft)|
|• Density||870/km2 (2,300/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||88.2%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
|Postal code (street)|
The town was founded by the Voortrekkers in 1883 and named it after the Voortrekker leader, Piet Retief, who was killed by the Zulus under their King Dingane's orders, after a negotiation for land failed.
In 1886, the inhabitants of the town declared the Klein Vrystaat (Little Free State), which contained a population of only 72. This republic existed until 1891, when it was incorporated into the South African Republic.
Climate and economy
On 2 February 2010, South African Arts and Culture minister Lulu Xingwana approved a state decision for Piet Retief to be renamed to eMkhondo. Like many other post-apartheid name changes in South Africa, the incident remains controversial. Most residents are uncertain what the new name means, and have argued that "Piet Retief" did not evoke widespread public offence, as did Verwoerdburg. Prominent Afrikaner groups, including the Freedom Front Plus, have promised to contest the change.
- Jack Diamond, architect, born in Piet Retief
- Sandra Laing, woman who was born to white parents but reclassified as coloured during the apartheid era in South Africa, born in Piet Retief
- Jabulani Mbatha, lifetime Chief, died in Mkhondo in 1945
- Ntokozo "K.O" Mdluli, musician (rapper), Teargas member
- Pretty Yende, opera soprano
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