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Museum to commemorate Mabhida, Makhathini
22 Feb 2012
Thobani Ngqulunga

A GRAND museum is to be built where struggle heroes Moses Mabhida and Johnny Makhathini are buried in Willowfountain.


It will also have a wall commemorating the Seven Days’ War that tore Edendale apart at the height of political violence between the Inkatha Freedom Party and the ANC in 1990, Premier Zweli Mkhize said in his state of the province address.

The museum was long overdue and would be part of the tourist Freedom Route, said Bunny Bhoola, chairperson of Pietermaritzburg Tourism.

She added: “It is not easy to access such rich heritage because there is no proper infrastructure to enable us to integrate these important historical destinations.”

Bhoola said the museum would help put the nearby iconic Manaye Hall on the map. That was where former president Nelson Mandela had delivered his last speech before being arrested at Tweedie, near Howick.

She said that in the U.S. visitors could easily learn about the history of black people and their struggle for liberation because of the well-developed Martin Luther King Freedom Route.

“We welcome the premier’s speech and hope that after it, work on the ground takes place. We are also available to help where we can because this will only be achieved once those involved are dedicated in achieving this milestone.”

Dumisani Mthalane, the spokeperson for the South African National Civic Organisation, also welcomed the initiative.

“This is good news because it will give an opportunity for black people in the Midlands to be able to tell their own history.”

He said the museum would be a place where the stories of many freedom fighters in the Midlands would be told.

“This will also create economic growth for the people in the township because other developments will take place to complement the museum,” Mthalane said.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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