Pretoria was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius and chose a spot on the banks of the "Apies rivier" (Afrikaans for "Monkeys river") to be the new capital of the South African Republic (ZAR).The elder Pretorius had become a national hero of the Voortrekkers after his victory over Dingane and the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River.

The city surrendered to British forces under Frederick Roberts on 5 June 1900 and the conflict was ended in Pretoria with the signing of the Peace of Vereeniging on .

The Pretoria Forts were built for the defence of the city just prior to the Second Boer War.

The elder Pretorius also negotiated the Sand River Convention (1852), in which Britain acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal.

It became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on .

Similar record-breaking extreme heat events also occurred in January 2013, when Pretoria experienced temperatures exceeding 37 °C (99 °F) on several days.

The year 2014 was one of the wettest on record for the city.

Pretoria is a city in the northern part of Gauteng, South Africa.

It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government (Cape Town is the legislative capital and Bloemfontein the judicial capital).

January 2016 saw Pretoria reach a new record high of 44 °C (111 °F) on January 7, 2016.