New criticised Zuma monument unveiled to boost tourism in the area

2017-10-04 14:15 - Gabi Zietsman
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(Twitter/@RubyKekana)

(Twitter/@RubyKekana)

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma today officially opened the Groot-Marico Heritage Site and Liberation Heritage Route, despite backlash over the expense.

The monument marks the site of Zuma's arrest during Apartheid, as well as recount the story of 45 other activists who were also intercepted by security police in June 1963.

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The monument consists of a tall sculptor with a big fire ball with the face of President Zuma set upon curved rods, and eight walls surrounding it. The walls each depict a story from the President's life.

The second phase of the Groot-Marico Heritage site includes a house that will be used as a venue for meetings and events, as well as a craft centre.

There are plans to include a museum at the site as well, that will exhibit artifacts of the region. 

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In his address, President Zuma recounted what happened on the day of his arrest in 1963. His party were on their way to train overseas when they were stopped by Apartheid police. He gave them a false name as instructed by his leaders.

"We got arrested. We were hungry, we were thirsty, we had our last meal a previous night," says President Zuma. He also said this arrest was the beginning of his journey to Robben island.

The monument was initially supposed to be a R6 million-bronze statue of the president himself, but was scrapped after much criticism.

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