Kempton Park

Population nearly 172,000 People
Elevation 1,676 m
Area 149.05 km2
Makeup Black 46.6%
Coloured 2.3%
Indian/Asian 3.3%
White 46.9%
Other 0.9%

Carl Friedrich Wolff was born on Christmas Eve 1851 in Kempten, the capital of the Austro-Bavarian district Allgäu in South Germany. After school and an early training in the iron and steel industry, he moved to London and in 1873, embarked on a financial career. In 1875 his company, Adolph Mosenthal & Co. transferred him to South Africa where he took command of the accounting division in the Port Elizabeth branch. In 1880 he was transferred to Bloemfontein where he married Maria Fichardt, granddaughter of Carl Wuras, a noted missionary.

In 1888, Wolff was transferred to Pretoria to establish a branch office. He became a leading figure among the German community and was elected as chairman of the local German Club. From Pretoria he moved to Johannesburg to open another branch office and became a founder member and the first chairman of the German Club in the city.

Because of his German origin, Carl Friedrich Wolff was a natural choice as a go-between for the Z.A.R. in their transactions with the Nobel Trust, who were building the dynamite factory. The Nobel company had established the Zuid-Afrikaansche Fabrieken voor Ontplofbare Stoffen and had appointed Wolff as local director in South Africa (although he apparently retained his connections with his English employers).

The Nobel Trust exercised complete financial control over the dynamite factory and Wolff’s major role appears to have been as negotiator with the Z.A.R. government and local landowners. During the establishment of the dynamite factory and the delicate negotiations which evolved as a result of the private rail link from the factory to Zuurfontein, Wolff played a prominent part.

The exciting events taking place at this time can well be imagined. Gold fever had gripped the Witwatersrand and the dynamite factory was a vital industrial necessity. Land speculation was rife, community development was beginning to take shape and Carl Wolff, at the peak of his career, was right in the heart of the drama.

Establishing the rail link was of prime importance and successful negotiation with the owners of the farm Zuurfontein, the Buitendags, was crucial. The Buitendags’ great complaint was that the existing railway line already divided their property and some 113 morgen on the east side of the farm was completely cut off from the main property. The new railroad to the dynamite factory would further divide their property and disrupt their farming operations.

Tembisa is a large township situated to the north of Kempton Park on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1957 when Africans were resettled from Alexandra and other areas in Edenvale, Kempton Park, Midrand and Germiston.

Storming of the Kempton Park World Trade Centre

The storming of Kempton Park World Trade Centre took place on 25 June 1993 when approximately three thousand members of the Afrikaner Volksfront (AVF), Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) and other paramilitary right-wing Afrikaner groups stormed the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. At the time of the attack the World Trade Centre was the venue for multi-party CODESA negotiations to end the apartheid system through the country’s first multi-racial elections. These negotiations were strongly opposed by right-wing white groups in South Africa. The invasion came after other clashes between police and right-wingers, such as the Battle of Ventersdorp, and much belligerent rhetoric from right-wing leaders such as Eugène Terre’Blanche of the AWB.

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