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Kriel was proclaimed on the farms Onverwacht and Roodebloemin the early seventies, essentially to service three mines, two power stations and the farming community in the viscinity - and named after the first resident magistrate Mr. DJ Kriel from nearby Bethal. But the 'old town' has been in existence since the late 1800's and is 10km from the last great battle of the Boer War.