The Kaalvoetvrou monument in the Northern Drakensberg has some interesting historic stories that gives insight into our history.
The Voortrekkers were renowned for their free spirit of independence and for their hardy resilience. Retief’s Klip (Retief’s Stone) is where Piet Retief’s party of Voortrekkers descended the Drakensberg and entered Natal on 14th December 1837. Retief’s Pass is the route taken by Piet Retief’s party as they descended the Drakensberg and headed for Mgungundlovu, King Dingane’s capital.
The Kaalvoetvrou (Barefoot woman) Monument commemorates Susanna Catharina Smit, sister of Gerrit Maritz, who claimed that she would prefer to walk barefoot over the Drakensberg than live under the under the British flag. Ironically, she died in Natal, which meant that she never did walk barefoot across the Drakensberg.
They had decided not to proceed with the rest of the Voortrekkers to what was to become the Transvaal Republic. Retief’s group consisted of some 66 wagons and these were the first wheeled vehicles to enter Natal.