Smuts house was home to South African statesman, General Jan Christiaan Smuts and his wife, Isabella (Isie) Margaretha Krige, better known as “Ouma” and their six children. Today, it is a museum in memory of this great man.
Born on May 24, 1870 on his parents, Jacob and Catharina Smuts’ farm (Bovenplaats) in the Cape Colony. Jan Smuts grew up to become one of South Africa’s most distinctive leaders.
Having served under Paul Kruger and Koos de la Rey in The Boer War (1899), and Winston Churchill in World War I, in later years he would serve his country through politics. Jan Smuts is also widely recognized for his help in establishing the League of Nations (1920). In 2004 Jan Smuts was named as one of the ten greatest leaders of South Africa of all time.
Jan Smuts moved his family into the Smuts house in July 1909 and lived peacefully with his family until his death in 1950.
Today you can take a walk on the Oubaas hiking trail that leads you to Smuts Koppie, there you will find an obelisk, erected in memory of the Smuts family.
In 1960, after trying unsuccessfully to offer the big house to several organisations, Mrs Kitty Smuts, widow of Japie Smuts, finally sold it to Mr Brathwaite, and ex-service and attorney. Mr Brathwaite proudly announced: “Doornkloof had been secured for the nation as a permanent memorial to the Oubaas and Ouma and all the ideals which we cherished and for which we fought during the war years”
In 1969, the Smuts house was declare a National Monument.
The Friends of General Smuts Foundation is a voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting the museum in all ways, whether it be preserving the museum or maintaining the grounds around the museum and Smuts koppie, to assisting with fundraisers.
Every first and last Saturday of each month, the Smuts museum host the Irene village market, that offers various arts and crafts and other hand made items.
Created: ; Last updated: