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Boer War

Voortrekker Monument

The Voortrekker Monument is one of the most fascinating and imposing monuments in the world. A visit to this monument allows for an understanding of some of the history of this country and provides an insight into the motivations and reasons for the attitudes amongst many whites in this country. Visitors are provided with a background to events which led to the decision to build the monument.

We outline the political structures in place at that time, the role of the Broederbond and the re-creation of the Great trek in 1938 and the reasons for it. We discuss the physical and symbolic aspects of the Monument in detail to understand itís importance to the Afrikaner people and how to many it still represents a symbol of apartheid.

Robin telling the story of the Voortrekker Monument
Robin telling the story of the Voortrekker Monument.
Inside the Monument the detail is explained and the importance of December 16th highlighted and illustrated. The various treks from Trichard to Retief are recounted in story form. The 27 panels (made out of Italian Marble and the largest of itís kind in the world) representing the story of the Voortrekkers are shown with explanations given, with the focus on the killing of Retief and his men by Zulu King Dingaan. The personalities of the two men are examined and the killing of Retief and the reasons for his death explained from a traditional white history perspective as well as the more recent Zulu perspective. Visitors are left to decide whether the event was murder or execution?

The massacre at Weenen, the death of trekker leader Uys and the role of Pretorious are explained and the role of the women highlighted. The taking of the Vow is dealt with and the subsequent battle at Blood River described in vivid detail, leaving the visitor with the feeling that they had actually been there! The final exodus of the trekkers from Natal to escape the British is explained and the signing of the Sand River Convention explained.

The museum with the "Flame of Civilisation" is visited and the wonderful tapestry telling the story of the Trek shown. Finally, visitors travel to the top of the monument where a beautiful view of Pretoria and surrounds can be enjoyed.

Irene Concentration Camp

Depending upon time we then visit the Farm of Jan Smuts. He was one of the founders of the League of Nations and the man who founded the Royal Air Force in Britain during World War 1, as well as the South African War Concentration Camp Memorial in Irene. The stories of the war are told and of the concentration camps.

Paul Kruger's Home

After providing a background to the man, we visit Paul Krugerís home, now a museum to that era and the man.

Melrose House

We visit Melrose House, where the Peace of Vereeniging was signed in 1902 to end the South African War.

Church Street Cemetery, Pretoria

We visit Church Street Cemetery and Heroes Acre, visiting the graves and telling the stories of history of the graves visited. Apartheid, the South African war, the 1914 Rebellion, Joepie Fourie, Queen Victoriaís nephew, Australia, Breaker Morant and his execution by the British, are all stories touched on in the cemetery.

Churchill Prison

We drive past the building where Winston Churchill was imprisoned during the South African War and tell the story of his capture and subsequent escape.