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Prince Edward Islands, South Africa
Last modified: 2006-01-21 by
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image by Mark Sensen and Antonio Martins, 09 Mar 2000
Prince Edward Islands: introductionFlag usage on the Prince Edward Islands is unexceptional - the former South African flag was flown there from the time of the islands being claimed by South Africa in 1947 and since 1994 the current SA flag has been in use. Following the Second World War it was agreed between Britain and the then South African Prime Minister, General Jan Smuts, that South Africa should annex the islands (previously nominally under the British flag). The SA Navy was ordered on 17 December 1947 to annex the islands. The SAS Transvaal sailed from Table Bay on the Sunday before Christmas, and reached Marion Island on Christmas Day. Because of bad weather the flag was not hoisted on Marion until 29 December 1947, and on Prince Edward Island this happened only on 04 January 1948. Naval and army personnel occupied Marion Island, and in February 1948, a weather station was established.
I quote from the Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa: "Since 1948 Marion Island has been an important link in the network of sub-Antarctic meteorological stations." The islands lie 1 141 sea miles south-west of Cape Town. They lie 11 sea miles apart. Marion is 12 sea miles long, about 9 miles wide, and 298 sq km in area. Its position is 47°S, 37° 45' E, and the highest peak is 1 230m high. I can't recall the original South African name of the peak, but I have an idea it was named after a South African antelope species (possibly Springbok). It was later called President Swart Peak, and I am sure it has again been renamed.. Prince Edward is about 47 sq km in area. (All dimensions taken from SESA, which only gives the name President Swart Peak for the mountain.)
Mike Oettle, 31 Dec 2001
The Prince Edward Island group (including the base on Marion Island), the base area on Gough Island (Tristan da Cunha group, British territory and the South African National Antarctic Expedition (SANAE) base in Queen Maud Land (Norwegian claim in Antarctica), are officially part of the magistrate's district of Pretoria.
The magistrate's jurisdiction over Gough and SANAE is obviously over the personnel, not the territory, since in neither case is the land South African territory.
So although Pretoria lies in the northern part of Gauteng Province, its district also extends to one of the southernmost parts of the Earth!
Mike Oettle, 30 Aug 2002