Sir Cornelius Hermanus Wessels (Rietfontein, Winburg, Orange River Sovereignty 26 April 1851 – Bloemfontein, Orange Free State 1 March 1924) was a South African statesman.Wessels stemmed from an important Orange Free State family clan, dedicated to farming and the Boer way of life.
Mainly self-educated, he turned to politics in his early thirties.
As a member of the Volksraad he developed his skills as a diplomat and mediator, and was involved in many of the important political decisions the Orange Free State had to make in the 1880s and 1890s.
In 1896 he was appointed president of the Volksraad.
During the South African War (1899–1902), Wessels was first a member of the war cabinet, and later a member of the Joint Diplomatic Delegation of the Boer Republics sent to Europe and the United States to muster support for the Boer cause.
After the war Wessels sided with De Wet and Hertzog and became a cabinet minister in the Free State government.
In 1915, the colonial government appointed Wessels as administrator of the Orange Free State.
He was awarded a knighthood for his services to the state in 1920.
Author: Atelier Straugh, formerly Kameke, Javastraat 20, The Hague, The Netherlands Source: Collection Dr. Hendrik Muller, Photo Collection no. VA0963, Provincial Archives of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. License: PD US