(nee Richter)
6 Feb 1964

HERBERT, Petronel (nee Richter):

(Richter) PETRONEL2 RICHTER (JOHANNES HENDRICK HERMANUS1) was born 6 February 1964 in Cape Town South Africa. She married PATRICK AUSTIN HERBERT 16 June 1995 in Holy Trinity Kalk Bay Cape Town, son of RONALD HERBERT and KATHLEEN FLEMMER. He was born 15 April 1953 in Salisbury Rhodesia.


I was born in Cape Town on 6 February 1964 at the Vincent Palotti in Pinelands to Afrikaans parents. My father, Johann Richter, hailed from the enclave Eendekuil near Piketberg, and was Assistant Chief Translator at Parliament. He also authored two books, Spykerskoene op die Gruisblad, when he was in his twenties, and South West, which was commissioned by Struik Publishers. He passed away in 1977 at the age of 46. 

My mother, Trudie, is originally from the Boland town of Villiersdorp. She was one of the first women BComm graduates at Stellenbosch University, and worked primarily as a bookkeeper. Retired in the 1980s, she lives in Hermanus. I have an older brother, Heini, who is a qualified accountant, married to Lorraine, with two sons, Jannik and Joshua. They live in Somerset-West.

I was a student at Jan van Riebeeck Laerskool in lower Kloof Street from 1970, and at Jan van Riebeeck Hoërskool in upper Kloof Street until matriculating in 1981 at the age of seventeen. Thereafter I studied BA Drama at the University of Stellenbosch and appeared in several student stage productions. After graduating in 1984 I travelled to Australia for three months, and then commenced teaching drama at the Battswood Art Centre in Wynberg, Cape Town. I remained there for two years, before being employed by the Auto & General Insurance Company as a PR/Marketer. During my time there I progressed to Assistant Branch Manager at their Stellenbosch branch, before leaving to spend a year in England. 

While in England I worked as an au pair and housekeeper, and managed to travel and holiday on the Continent. Upon my return to Cape Town I was employed by Fairheads Insurance Brokers to run a group scheme at the City Council. The man who employed me - Patrick Herbert - would become my husband three years later! Paddy and I were married in 1995 during the Rugby World Cup, which, as we all know, South Africa won! We remain big rugby fans to this day.

I resigned from Fairheads in 1997 in order to pursue my studies, and graduated in English Honours from UNISA in 2000, cum laude. Since then I have been involved with developing a guest farm in the Cederberg area with Paddy and Bill Mitchell. I embarked on a freelance-editing career in 2001, and was eventually offered an editorial position on a six-month contract basis by Struik in May 2002. I was offered - and accepted -- a full-time position as editor at Zebra Press, an imprint of Struik Publishers, in October 2002, a position I still hold - and love. This year Paddy and I will be visiting China in celebration of his 50th birthday. We live in Kalk Bay.