Graaff-Reinet is a town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is the fourth oldest town in South Africa, after Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Swellendam. The town was founded by the VOC Dutch East India Company in 1786, being named after the then governor of Cape Colony, Cornelis Jacob van de Graeff, and his wife, whose maiden name was "Reynet".
In 1795 the burghers, smarting under the exactions of the VOC, expelled the Landdrost and proclaimed a republic. Similar action was subsequently taken by the burghers of Swellendam. Before the authorities at Cape Town could take decisive measures against the rebels, they were themselves compelled to capitulate to the British. The burghers having endeavoured, unsuccessfully, to get aid from a French warship at Algoa Bay surrendered to Colonel (afterwards General Sir) JO Vandeleur.