Municipal worker ‘rescued’ cannon barrel

2016-07-21 06:00
;This photograph of the cannon’s barrel on an abandoned wheelbarrow was posted on Facebook. It is not clear who took the photo.         Photo: FACEBOOK

;This photograph of the cannon’s barrel on an abandoned wheelbarrow was posted on Facebook. It is not clear who took the photo. Photo: FACEBOOK

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The mysterious disappearance of the cannon barrel at Uitenhage’s well-known Cannon Hill has finally been explained.

The UD News last week reported that the cannon barrel, at this historic landmark of the past 200 years, had disappeared from its base without a trace.

Concerned residents raised the alarm after they had spotted the missing cannon barrel. Initially, in reaction to their concerns, the municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said they were not aware that the cannon had been stolen.

He later confirmed that the cannon barrel was indeed not stolen, but being stored in a safe place The address of which he could not provide.

The cannon is not lost to history thanks to an “off-duty” municipal worker from Uitenhage who spotted the barrel on an abandoned wheelbarrow at the entrance to Cannon Hill. He alerted a police vehicle in the vicinity.

Residents contacted the UD News and were concerned that the cannon barrel, one of about 90 on the Amsterdam, a Dutch troop ship which ran aground near the Swartkops River mouth in 1817, had been stolen to be sold as scrap metal.

Elva Mbejeni of the municipality’s parks department told Dave McCleland of Uitenhage’s Garden Town Initiative in an e-mail, that “the incident had already taken place a month before.”

Cannon Hill constantly is being vandalised with indigenous plants being removed and graffiti on the walls of the lookout-post. The four huge historic cast-iron main gates at Cannon Hill “disappeared” two years ago.

Asked whether there were any plans to secure Cannon Hill from further vandalism, Mniki could not say if the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality had a plan to better protect it against vandals.

The Uitenhage Lions Club, which is known for its involvement in serving the community, has indicated that they would like to get involved in safeguarding Cannon Hill from further vandalism.

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