A concentration camp in Vryheid? Believe it…

    Rudie Rousseau is overjoyed to receive this valuable book from Graham Leigh.

    WOULD you believe that there was once a concentration camp in Vryheid?

    Rudie Rousseau and his team, who have been researching the existence of British concentration camps throughout South Africa for the last seven years, recently visited Vryheid in search of some of the final pieces of the puzzle that he has been piecing together for a series of documentaries he has been putting together.

    More than 100 years after the Second Anglo Boer War, Rousseau is intent on exposing the truth of the atrocities that took place in these concentration camps where Boer women and children suffered and died at the hands of the British.

    On display at Vryheid Museum.

    A local, who grew up in Vryheid, contacted Rousseau explaining that he had discovered old bullets and historical artefacts while tending his father’s garden as a child. Rousseau and his team headed down from Roodepoort, excited for what they might find and they were not disappointed. They established that the ‘Donkey Veld’ was, in fact, the site of a British concentration camp from 1900 to 1902.

    Rudie Rousseau is overjoyed to receive this valuable book from Graham Leigh.

    His visit to Vryheid included both museums where he discovered several interesting historical facts and information from the relevant time period to add to his archives. He and his team visited the Lucas Meijer house as well as the old courthouse and were impressed by what they found documented at both sites.

    Rudie requests an “autograph” from Graham Leigh and thanks him for his contribution.

    A visit to Vryheid Cemetery led to another fascinating discovery or two. They discovered a memorial site with names of people who may have been linked to the concentration camps. Some of the graves at the cemetery were unidentifiable, however, and it was not possible to establish if they were also linked.

    They discovered a memorial site with names of people who may have been linked to the concentration camps.

    The group met with Graham Leigh, who donated a book to the project called To The Bitter End, which contained photos and information that would aid Rousseau and his team in their search.

    Anyone who can assist Rudie Rousseau in his search for missing fragments of the past pertaining to the Second Anglo Boer War and the subsequent concentration camps, in the form of photos, information or anything that might seem relevant can contact him on 082 536 1917 or email him at [email protected]

      AUTHOR
    Elaine Rodway

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