‘Courageous Conversations’ to mark anniversary

2013-09-16 00:00

THE 175th anniversary of the Battle of Blood River/Ncome will be commemorated in November with a conference titled “Courageous Conversations”, which the organisers hope will break new ground in the debate on socio-cultural issues.

It is being arranged by the Msunduzi Museum in Pietermaritzburg and the Ncome Museum on the site of the battlefield. The three-day conference is the direct result of a challenge issued last year by the rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University, Professor Russel Botman, when speaking at a function marking the centenary of the establishment of a museum at the Church of the Vow in Pietermaritzburg.

Botman said the Msunduzi Museum with its emphasis on transformation as well as its close association with Voortrekker history and the Battle of Blood River/Ncome reflected South Africa’s ability as a nation to make peace and strive for reconciliation. He called on the museum to regard reconciliation as an ongoing process and to provide a safe platform for “courageous conversations” to take place and “talk this country into its future together”.

The “platform” will be the newly constructed Ncome Museum near Dundee on the eastern side of the Ncome River, which looks onto the replica laager of 64 bronze Voortrekker ox wagons on the opposite bank. The Ncome Museum includes a reconciliation bridge that links Ncome Museum and the Blood River Heritage site.

Msunduzi Museum director Mlungisi Ngubane says the conference will provide a “safe environment for open, honest and courageous discussion, which will hopefully bring about cultural renewal and constructive change in heritage institutions”.

The Battle of Blood River/Ncome on December 16, 1838, that pitted migrating Dutch-speaking farmers from the Cape Colony against the army of Zulu King Dingane kaSenzangakhona, has become a defining moment in South African history, fuelling policies of racial supremacy and also a symbol of black resistance.

Its anniversary in 1961 was chosen by the ANC to launch its military wing Mkhonto weSizwe to take up arms against the white regime.

Speakers at the conference include Bheki Mngo­me­zulu (UKZN), Pieter Labuschagne (Unisa), Frans-Johan Pretorius (University of Pretoria), Ben Khumalo-Seegelken (Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg), Raymon van Diemel (South African Military Academy), Jabulani Maphalala (KZN Commissioner for Traditional Leadership Disputes and Claims), Phillipe Denis (UKZN) and political analyst Somadoda Fikeni.

The conference, “Courageous Conversations”, will be held at the Ncome museum — 43 km from Dundee and 24 km from Nquthu — from November 6 to November 8.

For more information contact Elrica Henning at eolivier@msunduzimuseum.org.za or Phumelele Ngubane at pngubane@msunduzimuseum.org.za or contact the museum on 033 394 6834/5.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.