Voortrekker Monument gets heritage status

Pretoria - The Voortrekker monument in Pretoria was formally declared a national heritage site on Friday.

"This symbolises a new era ... to tell the South African story and tell it in its entirety," Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said during the declaration event held at the monument.

The monument was the first Afrikaans one in the country to be declared a national heritage site.

Mashatile told reporters that the Voortrekker monument had a deep historical meaning to the Afrikaans community.

Declaring it a national heritage site was an important step towards reconciliation.

Even though South Africa had a painful past, history had to be remembered "to remind all that democracy in South Africa came at a high price and should be guarded with jealousy", Mashatile said.

The event was attended by Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder, members of the public and tourists visiting the site.

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