Behind the Iron Curtain

2015-07-29 06:00
Neglect of the site can be seen - Chief Bhambathaand#039;s statue, wrapped in plastic, is in the background.

Neglect of the site can be seen - Chief Bhambathaand#039;s statue, wrapped in plastic, is in the background.

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JUST about a year ago the Greytown Gazette published a photograph of the and#039;and#039;best kept secret­ in townand#034; - what is behind the Iron Curtain which has encased the previous Umvoti Town office gardens for the past three to four years.

In a similar situation to that photograph, 10 days ago the Editor­ noticed that a canvas screen, replacing a section of the fallen Iron Curtain, had fallen. In actual fact last yearand#039;s photo could have been used - the only difference in the past 11 months is that the instant grass planted in July last year has grown - in patches.

The very expensive ceramic pots - about 10 - now display the withered and dried stalks of aloes­ planted, and obviously not cared for, also last July.

However, the famous statue of King Dinizulu is still enthroned in historical glory while the statue­ of Inkosi Bhambatha is still heavily swathed and covered in thick plastic. Although there is not much information about this project, sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture, and to a much lesser extent by Umvoti Municipality, it is linked to the centenary of the Bambatha Rebellion in 2006.

Bambatha is regarded as one of the country’s first freedom fighters, who in 1906, blazed a trail for the liberation struggle.

In 1906 Chief Bhambatha kaMancinza, head of the Zondi clan, refused to implement the new poll tax introduced by the colonial government.

With a small group of supporters, he launched a series of attacks against the colonial forces, using Nkandla forest as the base.

Several months later the Bambatha Rebellion ended in a pitched battle against the colonial­ troops in Mome Gorge where Bhambatha and his followers were finally defeated.

Stop press: Greytown Gazette emailed the above report and photo to Bhambatha committee member, Oscar Zondi, on Friday and on Monday received following: “Bhambatha committee members meeting today with government departments to schedule arrangements for unveiling in September

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