The South African Government invites the media to the reburial of Klaas and Trooi Pienaars. The couple’s repatriated remains returned to South Africa on 20 April 2012, following four years of negotiations between South African and the Austrian governments. The Pienaars will be laid to rest in their ancestral land on Sunday, 12 August 2012 in Kuruman, Northern Cape.
President Jacob Zuma will give a keynote address during the event. The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Joe Phaahla and the Northern Cape MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture will lead the programme of the day. The event will unfold in two phases: the formal programme will be held at the Kalahari High School followed by the burial at Kuruman Cemetery.
The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Joe Phaahla, led the South African team to Vienna in April 2012 to finalise the return of the remains of the Pienaar's. The Pienaar couple were illegal exhumed from the graves by an Austrian anthropologist, Dr Rudolph Pöch in the 19th Century. The remains of the Pienaar's were part of a larger collection taken without permission from South Africa. It is believed that European researchers might have left South Africa with more than 80 human remains in that excursion.
The repatriation of the remains of Klaas and Trooi Pienaar is part of the governments’ effort towards the restoration of the dignity of victims of racism and colonialism; many of these remains are stored in museums all over the world, especially Europe. In 2002 the remains of Sarah Baartman were safely returned to the country and buried in Hankey, Eastern Cape. The South African Government is committed to human rights, reconciliation, promotion and the protection our cultural heritage and social cohesion.
Media accreditation will take place on the day of the event from 08:00 – 11:00
The reburial arrangements are as follows:
Date: 12 August 2012
Venue: Kalahari High School, Kuruman
Media enquiries can be directed to: Teresa Magidela - TeresaM@dac.gov.za, 012 441 3626/0829339156. Morapedi Sekhoane - email@example.com, 0538074782/0789440200