Council must rebuild Great Trek memorial

A settlement in the case involving the destruction of a Great Trek memorial in Standerton was reached in the Pretoria Palace of Justice yesterday .

A settlement in the case involving the destruction of a Great Trek memorial in Standerton was reached in the Pretoria Palace of Justice yesterday .

The mayor and the municipality of Lekwa in Mpumalanga were to bear the cost of rebuilding the monument, the court ruled. This followed the destruction of the memorial, on the mayor's instructions, last year.

Judge Eberhardt Bertelsmann said the settlement had been reached in a reconciliatory manner.

The rebuilding process will take place under the guidance of the Provincial Heritage Resources Agency.

Erected in front of the municipality offices in Standerton, the memorial consisted of a large concrete slab with the tracks of an ox wagon set into it. It was removed with the help of a grader and dumped on a heap of rubble.

The matter was brought before the court by DA councillor Rosier de Villiers, the Standerton Action Committee and the civil rights grouping AfriForum.

They had previously asked the court to rule that the mayor, Queen Radebe-Khumalo, be ordered to rebuild the monument and that both the mayor and the municipality be held accountable for the cost of rebuilding the monument.

Attorney Thulani Kgomo, who represented the municipality, said the decision to reach a settlement was the result of an instruction from the municipality following consultations with an MEC.

Speaking outside the court building, Kgomo said the details on the costs of rebuilding the memorial were yet to be discussed among the parties.

Reacting to the news, De Villiers said Standerton residents would celebrate the ruling. He said this was "a great win" for the Afrikaner culture.

AfriForum deputy chief executive Alana Bailey said she was happy with the outcome as it gave "recognition to communities" in the country.

The court ruled that the municipality should not remove a concentration camp memorial, also in Standerton, without consultation. - Sapa

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