Women and children who perished in the concentration camps of the South African War honoured

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05 Feb 2014

Arts and Culture Minister, Mr Paul Mashatile, will deliver a keynote address during the Sod turning of the Garden of Remembrance and the new Sol Plaatje Hall at the War Museum on Friday, 07 February 2014 in Bloemfontein.

In partnering with the Provincial Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and the War Museum, the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) seeks through this project  to honour the women and children who perished in the concentration camps of the South African War (commonly known as the Anglo-Boer War) between 1899 and 1902.

The South African War is one of the most tragic events in the history of South Africa where the highest number of casualties were not the soldiers killed in battle, but civilians. It was during this war where 27 000 of the 144 000 Boer women and children kept in 49 concentration camps died as well as approximately 24 000 of the 140 000 Black women and children kept in the 65 camps. The story of the black camps was until recently an untold story.

The Garden of Remembrance will comprise a wall with names of women and children who perished during the war as well as an Amphitheatre for an interactive learning experience. It will be a comprehensive learning centre where visitors can learn about the history of the South African War and the suffering it brought to the people of South Africa as a whole.

The new Sol Plaatjie hall will enable the museum to display more heritage items thus enabling the museum to provide a broader and more inclusive picture of all participants in the war. The project is worth approximately five (5) million rands and will be constructed on the premises of the War Museum in Bloemfontein.

As we mobilise society towards 20 years of freedom and democracy, the role of women and children should continue to take a centre stage. As we transform the heritage landscape, this reconciliation project is not only meant to be a platform for enhancing nation building but is also meant to re-emphasise the message of no violence against women and children. The message of the wall is thus that never again in our South Africa shall women and children suffer senseless violence and abuse as it happened during the war.


Members of the media are invited. The event will take place as follows:

Date:                       07 February 2014 (Friday)

Time:                       09:00 – 13:30

Venue:                      War Museum – Bloemfontein (Memorial Street)

RSVP:                       Obed Makgoale: ObedM@dac.gov.za : 079 311 8546, 012 4413713

Enquiries:                     Mogomotsi Mogodiri: MogomotsiM@dac.gov.za , 071 687 4984