Struggle Heritage Shame – The Cradock Four Memorial

Wednesday, 8 January, 2014 – 16:15

“The death of these gallant freedom fighters marked a turning point in the history of our Struggle. No longer could the regime govern in the old way. They were the true heroes of the struggle.” Nelson Mandela

Over the weekend we paid a very depressing visit to the Cradock Four Memorial just outside Cradock. The site is in an appalling condition and is an insult to the memory of Matthew Goniwe, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mhlauli (for the story of the Cradock Four click here).

The four concrete pillars of the memorial are visible from the N10 as you approach Cradock from Bedford but getting there is another story altogether. The signage is poor to non-existent making it very easy to miss the dirt road to the site. It took us over half an hour to get there (a distance of only a few kilometres).

Once there the desolation of the place is clearly evident (see photos below). One lone security guard watches over unfinished and abandoned structures connected by overgrown pathways. He tells us of the once grand vision and then sighs at the gloomy reality. What should be a thriving tourist attraction and educational facility is an embarrassment to the Province and Country.

Does anyone know how things got so bad and who is responsible? Perhaps there are plans in the pipeline to revive the site?

Email any information to admin@heritageportal.co.za

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