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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.