A landscape of maize fields, sheep farms and gold mines surrounds the small town of Brandfort in the Free State province.
The town was originally a church centre established in 1866 on the farm Keerom which belonged to Jacobus van Zijl, a Voortrekker elder. A small fort on the farm burned down during the wars with the Sotho in the 1850s, hence the name Brandfort ('burned fort').
It is also said that the town was named after President Brand as both he and the fort are depicted on the town crest.
In front of the Dutch Reformed Church there is a memorial to the Voortrekkers.
The house where the first aeroplane was built in Africa is still in the town.
Brandfort was home to former prime minister H.F. Verwoerd who matriculated here. Winnie Mandela, ex wife of Nelson Mandela was exiled here and the British built a concentration camp here during the Anglo-Boer war where Boer women and children were imprisoned.
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