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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Free State attractions


Louw Wepener Grave Site

Louw Wepener Grave Site

Louw Wepener Grave Site

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Between the towns of Bethulie and Aliwal North one passes a monument to Kommandant Louw Wepener. Wepener was born in 1812 and died in 1865. The monument also honours Adam Raubenheimer who also died in action against the Basuto people.

Wepener was killed in action during the second Orange Free State-Basuto War. He led an attack on the founder of the Basuto nation (now Lesotho), Moshoeshoe I, at Thaba Bosigo and he died at Khubelo Pass.

Initially Wepener was buried at the top of Thaba Bosigo but Moshoeshoe I allowed Wepeners son to identify and remove the remains in 1866. The remains were reburied on his farm, Constantia, in an unmarked grave but there were moved to their current location in 1940 and the monument was erected.

Louw Wepener Grave Site

Plaque showing the attack on Thaba Bosigo

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

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Meul River

Afrikaans name: Meulrivier

Meul River

Photo © Steven Herbert

The Meul River, or Meulrivier, is a small river in the Free State. It flows from east to west. The Meul River is crossed by the N3 highway roughly halfway between Harrismith and Warden.

The Meul River is a tributary of the Wilge River which later flows into the Vaal River.

Meul River

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

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Wilge River

Afrikaans name: Wilgerivier

The Wilge River at Swinburne

Photo © Steven Herbert

The source of the Wilge River is near the border between Free State and KwaZulu-Natal near Swinburne. The Wilge River ends when it flows into the Vaal Dam.

The Wilge River flows through Swinburne, Harrismith and Frankfort.

Sterkfontein Dam is on the Wilge River. Water in the dam is predominantly pumped from KwaZulu-Natal to help supplement the water supply in Gauteng.

Along its course the Wilge River is joined by the Meul River, Cornelis River and Liebenbergsvlei.

References and further reading

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