Bloukrans: Vootrekker massacre in 1838 remembered

2013-02-18 00:00

DR Danie Langner, executive head of the FAK Afrikaans culture organisation, yesterday led a memorial service for the 482 Voortrekkers who were stabbed to death at Bloukrans 175 years ago.

He speculated that they were asleep in their beds on what was a Saturday night on February 17, 1838, when an impi of Zulu king Dingaan attacked and killed 185 Voortrekker children, 56 women, 41 men and 200 employees.

Dramatically recalling the event, Langner said: “There were mutilated bodies everywhere, blood was dripping from the ox wagons and babies were trodden on under the wagons’ wheels …”

Members of the Voortrekkers youth movement gathered from across South Africa to honour the fallen at the monument near Vryheid. Four young men rode on horseback along the Voortrekkers’ trail from Kerkenberg to Bloukrans. “This was the only time in South Africa’s history that so many children died on one night.

“All of them, white, black and brown, were buried in one grave,” Langner said.

He also introduced a book he authored on the surviving children’s bravery, one of whom had 21 stab wounds from assegais.

Marie Ludick from Harrismith, who has been a member of the Voortrekkers movement for 30 years, brought a group of 10 children to the Bloukrans monument.

“We don’t harp on the history as we used to do, but the children must know their origins,” she said.

Dirk Lamprecht (18), who has been a Voortrekker for 12 years, said he has learned a lot in the movement. “Of course the beautiful Voortrekker girls in Doornkloof are also an attraction,” he joked.

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