The country’s - and possibly the world’s - oldest living person survived the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, which killed 500 000 people in South Africa and 50 million around the world.
Now 102 years later, Fredie is living through the Coronavirus crisis, which has already killed about 40 000 people globally and five in South Africa.
Fredie will be celebrating his 116th birthday on May 8 and was born in 1904 in Adelaide in the Eastern Cape.
He has been married to his wife, Jeanette Blom, 87, for more than 40 years. They live in a house in Voorbrug in Delft.
The Daily Voice team visited the centenarian this week to find out how he was doing during the period of lockdown.
When asked if he knew about the Coronavirus, he recalled “die groot siek”.
“Die epidemic. 1918,” he begins.
“Mense het baie doodgegaan, groot mense en kinders.”
Fredie was 14 and says he had a younger sister who died during the pandemic.
He describes with great sadness in his face witnessing his sister’s death, and that those who had been exposed to the outside environment could not enter the home.
“If you were outside, you had to stay outside,” he says.
“The food would be brought to you and your water.
“Those who were inside had to stay inside until the sickness passed.
“I was outside for a bit, I found myself a strooi hoop (haystack), I made a hole in it and that is where I slept.
“Dit het binne gebroei, dit was so warm as jy klere aangehad het.
“My sustertjie het dood gegaan.
“Daai jare was daar nie karre nie.
“Daar was waantjies (carriages) waar hulle die lyke opgelaai het.
“The men would bury everyone and not the women.
“As daar siekte in ‘n huis was, was die meubels en alles gebrand.
“Kinders, hulle moes nie dood gaan nie, as ‘n kind gesterwe het, was dit ‘n groot skaamte.”
Fredie says he still remembers getting an injection but that doctors used a blade, and points to his right arm where there is still a mark from the incision.
“Daar was nie naalde nie, hulle het ‘n blade gevat en so gekrap op jou arm.
“Ek het dit nog op my arm.”
Fredie says he survived the epidemic by God’s grace and says people must believe in the Almighty now.
“Ek het dit deurgemaak, ou boet.
“Dit was deur God se genade.
“Daar is net een ding nou, jy moet glo, dit is net wat God wil he.”
Jeanette says they won’t be doing anything special for Freddie’s birthday next month: “If people want to bring him a cake, they can do so.”
Fredie didn’t know too much about lockdown and social distancing, but was upset when he was informed he couldn’t buy twak (tobacco) under the 21-day rule.
However, Fredie, who used to work as a gardener, doesn't seem to mind the lockdown as he spends most of his days in the backyard, where he recently built his own hokkie.
Jeanette says since his last birthday, Freddie has now started walking with a stick, and apart from “suiker” complaints, is healthy.