ďIf you want a similar experience in Johannesburg to that of hearing stories of the Zulu battles, spend a day with Robin BinckesĒ - The Late David Rattray, Master Storyteller.
- Make your own tour - see places to visit
- A Taste of the History of South Africa (A)
- A Taste of the History of South Africa (B)
- Mandela's Footprints - The Struggle for Freedom
Travel + Leisure Website article about Rob as a tour guide. Amy Farley, senior editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, USA.
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Fight for Freedom
Voortrekker MonumentThe 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.
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.
VlakplaasThis is not a conventional tourist destination!
Vlakplaas was the home of the "Death Squads" during the 80ís & 90ís. Special permission has been obtained to take visitors to Vlakplaas. It is believed that more than 1000 people met their deaths as a result of the operations of the operatives and Askaris from Vlakplaas. The visitor is told the stories of torture and assassination, as a small group of men who believed that they were supported by the politicians and Generals, carried out acts of murder and assassination in the belief that they were defending the country from Communism.
We examine and explain the roles of Dirk Coetzee, Eugene de Kock, the commanders of Vlakplaas, as well as others. Some of the killings are explained in detail. The Harmse Commission and the attempts to murder Dirk Coetzee are described. The rooms and areas where certain events took place are visited and shown. The Braai area and the recreational area of the farm are visited.
The three phases of the life of the "Badger unit" are outlined. The role of "turning" ANC operatives into Askaris, the role of "fighting organised crime in Hillbrow" and the role in crime and gun-running are examined. The Third Force activities culminating in the arrest of Eugene de Kock in 1994 and his subsequent sentencing to 212 years plus two life sentences in prison are also examined.
The Government's role in the activities at Vlakplaas, and the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are discussed. Extracts from the testimony provided by Eugene de Kock and Dirk Coetzee are presented. The link between the attitudes of the operatives at Vlakplaas with the 16th December is made. Throughout, parallels are drawn with what was happening in the rest of the world at that time.
N.B. This visit is not suitable for children.