Betty Hans and her sister, Marie Wentzel, insist that they are the oldest living twins in Cape Town at the age of 92.
Their children did research and heard of a set of twins living in Somerset West, who were in their nineties when the twins were 80 years old.
But when Marie and Betty celebrated their 90th birthday, the oldest living twins had passed away, making them the oldest living twins in the Cape.
Despite living 183 kilometres apart, Marie, who lives in Grassy Park, and Betty, who lives in Elim, speak to one another often via cellphone video calls and still have a strong bond.
The twins were born on 14 July 1927 on their family farm in Sondagskloof, which is about 20km from Stanford.
They were the youngest of 10 children raised by August and Phillipine Engel, and moved to Elim at the age of 10.
Betty’s son, Julian Hans, 61, says his mother and aunt moved to Cape Town as teenagers.
Marie married at age 20 and had 11 children, the oldest of whom is 72. She has 23 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Betty had four children, three of whom are still alive. The oldest is Julian.
“When they moved to Elim, the family continued farming and the sisters completed the highest schooling standard at the time, which was Standard 6, and then they worked in local shops and moved to Cape Town where they worked as domestics,” explains Julian.
“They had their 21st birthday in the Wynberg Town Hall.
“Marie married Wilfred who died 26 years ago and my mother married, Paulus who passed away in 2015.”
Julian and his sister, Phillipine Theron, 60, help to take care of their mother, who still cooks and washes herself.
When asked which twin is older, Betty tells the Daily Voice: “We are not identical. We are one minute apart and Marie came out first.”
Julian says Betty believes her longevity is a gift from God for looking after her own mother until the age of 93.
“She looked after her mother until the age of 93 and this is why she is so blessed,” he says.
“My grandmother’s sister also lived until the age of 90.
“They have what you call ‘twin intuition’. Even when they are apart, they can feel when something is wrong with the other twin.”
Julian says he and his family have done their research and determined that the sisters are the oldest known living twins in the Cape.
Marie’s son, Frank Wentzel, 58, says it is a “blessing and an honour” to be children of the oldest twins.
Earlier this week, the Daily Voice interviewed Benjamin and James Cole, who, at the age of 80, could be the oldest living twin brothers in the Cape.
Identical twins, Dora Uys and Ethel Nembula, were the oldest living twins in the country in February 2008.