Abbotsford, Johannesburg

Set in the leafy more affluent northern suburbs of Johannesburg, Abbotsford lies to the east of Atholl-Oaklands Road, the M1 and James and Ethel Gray Park. Neighbouring suburbs include Oaklands, Birdhaven, Melrose Arch, Waverley and Orchards, and it has easy access to two golf clubs – Killarney Country Club, and the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

Abbotsford is rather famous. Two highly publicised murders accurred here. The first was Brett Kebble, the mining tycoon with close ties to the ANC, whose death lead to the revelation of the corrupt and shadowy underbelly of Johannesburg. (For more on the story: read Killing Kebble: An Underworld Exposed by Mandy Wiener)

And the second was Hazel Crane, a close friend of Winnie Mandela, who was shot in her car on her way to give evidence at the trial of alleged Israeli mafia member Lior Saat. Juicy stories both. Both were killed within 800 metres of one another. Two years apart. The media initially speculated, just after the killing of Kebble, that both were mafia killings. Certainly neither was a random shooting – the neighbourhood is usually quiet and sedate.

On a more gentle note, you also find one of the more auspicious Hindu Temples – Melrose Temple - in Abbotsford, on Second Street. There are only another five Hindu temples listed in South Africa, most of them in Durban.

A stay in Abbotsford is perfect for those who need access to Sandton, Hyde Park, Rosebank and other northern suburbs of the city. It gives quick access on to the M1 – a major road around the city – and other major tributaries, like Oxford Road and Louis Botha Avenue.

Access from Abbotsford to the city centre is also relatively easy, on the M1 via Newtown.

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