The President of the Republic of Jacob Zuma unveiled a monument erected in his honor at his Site of Arrest in Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality at the newly established Groot Marico Heritage Site on Wednesday.
Speaking at the site during the unveiling, President Zuma thanked the provincial government for erecting the monument to honor him and those who played a crucial part in the liberation struggle of South Africa.
“This site has a special place in my heart not only for my personal history but because it taught us many lessons as freedom fighters. This is where many of us got arrested by the apartheid police and subjected to harsh conditions. I’m going to write a book to reveal great details of what happened at the time of our arrest.
I am really honored by the North West government for preserving this site for the future generation to know what we went through while pursuing liberation struggle,” said President Zuma.
The unveiling activities formed part of plans by the provincial government efforts to promote job creation, tourism and economic growth in Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality.
The President was among 52 new Umkhonto weSizwe recruits arrested, by the apartheid police in the area in 1963, as they made their way to Botswana to undergo military training.
President Zuma who was accompanied by the Premier of the North West, Supra Mahumapelo and Members of his Executive council, Mayors, local Traditional Leaders and delegation from Botswana also toured the side before addressing the community.
The President explained that the site, which will have a museum and an exhibition site, will not only tell our history but will also improve local economy and tourism.
“The building and maintenance of the heritage site has a greater potential to stimulate economic activity and create much-needed jobs in the communities of Groot Marico, Bahurutshe villages, Zeerust as well as surrounding areas in this province. It will also contribute towards cultural tourism both domestically and internationally,” explained President Zuma
President Zuma took time to thank the people of Lehurutshe for having stood against apartheid and allowing anti- apartheid activists to cross through their region to Botswana.
The Premier of the North West, Supra Mahumapelo also explained the importance of the site to the people of the province saying it will narrate the true history to the visitors about the freedom fighters who played critical part in the liberation of the country.
“We are not only honoring President Jacob Zuma but we are sending a message that as we are moving forward in building our country, we must make sure that we do not erase our history, but we preserve and tell it to our future generation not distorted.
The people of Groot Marico will use the site for tourism purposes while in the process improve local economy because more quests will take place in this area,” he explained.
Premier Supra Mahumapelo and President Jacob Zuma after the unveiling of the monument.
Issued by the Presidency