On September 24, the Gauteng provincial government is set to converge in Munsieville, Krugersdorp, for an expansive Heritage Day celebration. This event holds special significance, honouring both the rich cultural diversity of democratic South Africa and the valiant struggle against apartheid.
The festivities commence with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Munsieville/Sterkfontein Cemetery. This poignant tribute will be dedicated to four local struggle stalwarts—Petrus Ntshole, Thomas Molatlhegi, Richard Motsoahae, and Josiah Mocumi—who were tragically hanged by the apartheid government in 1964. Fondly remembered as the “Munsieville Four,” their remains were reburied at the cemetery in 2019, commemorating and respecting their legacy in the fight against apartheid.
Following the ceremony, a vibrant Carnival Street parade will occur along the Liberation Heritage Route of Munsieville. More than 1,300 students from various Gauteng schools, actively engaged in the Arts in Schools program, will lead this spirited procession with songs, dances, and colourful regalia, infusing the day with festivity.
The parade route encompasses four significant landmarks: the Exit house, the Old Pentecostal Church (site of an underground shooting range tunnel), the Pentecostal Church where Mama Winnie Mandela delivered one of her renowned speeches, and the childhood home of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among others.
This year’s Heritage Day is themed “Celebrating our cultural diversity in a democratic South Africa.” It underscores the profound message that, since 1994, every individual possesses the equal right to embrace their heritage, cultures, and languages, ensuring the enduring legacy of our collective heritage.
MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture, and Recreation, Morakane Mosupyoe, emphasises the vital lesson in celebrating heritage—accepting other people’s heritage, cultures, and traditions. As a province, Gauteng continues to lead by providing a nurturing environment for people from diverse backgrounds to live, work, and play together, fostering unity, resilience, and social cohesion.
Coinciding with Tourism Month in September, Gauteng extends a warm invitation to all to explore its rich heritage landscape, boasting over 245 heritage sites, including the Cradle of Humankind, the National Heritage Monument, the Union Buildings, museums, and numerous other culturally significant establishments.
As Heritage Day approaches, the community is encouraged to share their plans and activities for the day by reaching out via email at [email protected]. The celebration promises to be a vibrant tribute to heritage, culture, and the enduring spirit of South Africa.
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Photo: Supplied by Krugersdorp News