The Castle of Good Hope will on Friday the 9th of December 2016, hold a national tribute in honour of three indigenous warrior-kings, their majesties King Cetshwayo kaSenzangakhona of amaZulu, King Langalibalele kaMthimkulu of amaHlubi, King Sekhukhune of BaPedi and Gorochougua clan freedom fighter and Khoe (khoisan) leader Doman all of whom, at different periods, were captured and incarcerated at the castle after having led various wars of resistance against the land and cattle dispossessions that ensued following the arrival of Dutch and later British settlers in South Africa.
The Castle of Good Hope (CGH) under the direction of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Hon. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula – MP, as its oversight authority, supported by the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Hon. Kebby Maphatsoe – MP, as sponsor and champion of the CGH 350th commemorative program, has organised and coordinated a year-long program of action to mark the watershed moment of the 350th year of the existence of the oldest building in South Africa, which was also recently declared a national heritage site.
Under the theme ‘Freedom from Oppression’ government, through the Castle of Good Hope’s 350th year-long commemorative program, has sought to not only correct historical biases and inaccuracies around our shared and often difficult history, but also to galvanise South Africans to debate and dialogue as well as reshape the common narrative around our national symbols with the aim of advancing the post-colonial and apartheid efforts of national reconciliation and nation building.
Statues in honour of their majesties, Kings Cetshwayo, King Langalibalele, King Sekhukhune and Khoisan freedom fighter Doman will be unveiled.
Their majesties; Isilo Samabandla Goodwill Zwelithini of amaZulu, Kgoshigolo Kenneth Sekhukhune of BaPedi, Inkosi Manzewenkosi Radebe kaLangalibalele of amaHlubi and King Calvin Johannes of the Khoe (Khoisan) as well as other royal families will be in attendance.
A high-tech training facility to be named the ‘Centre for Memory and Learning’, in tribute to the slaves at the Castle of Good Hope who were forbidden from reading and writing will also be unveiled.
The Centre for ‘Memory, Healing and Learning’ will serve as the nodal skills transfer and training site for military veterans under the coordination and programs of the Department of Military Veterans.
The President is expected to officiate at the Castle of Good Hope 350th Commemoration National Tribute event.