Marie Koopmans-De Wet followed in her father’s footsteps as she established herself in the social and cultural life of Cape Town. In 1864, she married Johan Christoffel Koopmans, who was an officer in the German Post Office. Marie and her husband were living in Wale Street at that time. They later moved to Marie’s parental home in Strand Street. In 1879 Johan Koopmans died. Marie wore black for the rest of her life and referred to herself as Marie Koopmans-De Wet in memory of her husband.
Marie played a prominent role during the South African War (1899-1902). She organised petitions, women’s meetings and received about 2 000 boxes of relief goods from the Netherlands. She packed them personally and sent them to the women that were in the concentration camps. Her house in Strand Street served as a depot for all the material she received. Marie and her sister, Margaretha Jacoba, were private owners of the house.
Marie died on 2 August 1906 at the age of 72, and her sister died on 18 October 1911 at the age of 73. After their death, the house was donated through their will and declared as a museum in 1914. The house is situated in Strand Street, Cape Town and is recorded as the oldest house in the country.
• Iziko Museum, ‘History of Koopmans, De Wet House, Occupants of the house’, [online], Available at www.media1.mweb.co.za [Accessed: 24 July 2014]
• De Wet, H.C., ‘The De Wet family Biographies’, from Familie De Wet,[online], Available at www.hankduval.com [Accessed: 24 July 2014]