Museums must be decolonised - Zuma

2012-08-12 22:48

Johannesburg - The country's museums needed to decolonise and transform urgently, President Jacob Zuma said in the Northern Cape on Sunday.

"Our museums must be transformed to become centres of heritage and expertise which respect all peoples and cultures," Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery at the reburial of Klaas and Trooi Pienaar in Kuruman.

The bodies of the couple, who were Khoisan descendants, were dug up and sent to Vienna by Austrian scientist Rudolph Pch in 1909.

They were workers on the farm Pienaarsputs, and died of malaria fever in May and June that year. Their bodies were dug up in October 1909, wrapped in linen and forced into a large barrel, which was filled with salt to preserve them.

Zuma said processes were underway to address the legacy of racial science in museums.

"No museum must have a collection or material that depicts any section of our population as colonial objects, especially indigenous people."

He said the Iziko Museum in Cape Town had already investigated the ethics of its collection.

"The museum decided that all human remains bought from grave robbers or acquired for racial research were unethically collected and needed to be returned."

The arts and culture department would work closely with the museum sector to ensure this happened in line with national policy, said Zuma.

  • Dakalo Tshisikule - 2012-08-12 23:19

    ag WTF now can someone shut dis dude up as nothing good comes out of his mouth

  • Jacques - 2012-08-12 23:49

    Meddling with museums, are we? Is it really neccessary to have the president on this?

  • BulletProof. - 2012-08-12 23:58

    They see colonization everywere this is only propaganda to deviate toughts from other real issues like corruption, etc ,etc.

      denise.ryan.5203 - 2012-08-14 09:41

      Zuma is too stupid to realize that the concept of a Museum is a Western invention in itself. So if he wants to do some serious decolonizing then he should get rid of the museums altogether...along with those stupid glasses he wears and that suit... He should break down his Western style brick house and return to the grass huts his ancestors lived in when they drifted down from central Africa into South Africa... And forget about ordering a plane or driving in a fancy car with a blue light cavalcade... All colonial inventions.

  • michael.i.wright - 2012-08-12 23:59

    Put him in a manger and display him as the cradle of human stupidity.

      pistonpete.outriders - 2012-08-14 19:35

      Thats a massive lol !

  • busani.mabunda - 2012-08-13 00:01

    go to hell "Small Spear"

  • etienne.odendaal.1 - 2012-08-13 00:05

    Maybe we can look at getting textbooks delivered closer to the start of the year before worrying about the museums?

      mihaip007 - 2012-08-13 00:09

      If he sorts out the museums good right now, maybe there won;t be a need for textbooks anymore next year LOL...

      susan.pretorius.31 - 2012-08-13 06:53

      My first thought too. Trying to keep people busy with crap to take attention of things that really matters..

      Klaus - 2012-08-13 16:38

      cANCer all talk, never delivery, stealing plenty

      johand.dutoit - 2012-08-13 21:58

      etienne.odendaal.1- You don't understand,all those books are history books!

  • cordeliah.lethabo - 2012-08-13 00:31

    Hehehe \racial science\ tatz nonsense the country got lot of problems to solve and do u really think tat wil reduce the poverty line? We are heading to some pretty bad times cant you see? This is not a kingdom

  • tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-08-13 01:05

    so just burn the bloody things down then - isn't that's how things go these days. history is there to remind and teach us of what should not be repeated and how far we have come and this case it seems we've gone backwards. what rubbish!

  • amanda.victor.92 - 2012-08-13 03:41

    Colonial objects? He certainly is learning fast from his mad friend Bob.

  • ewald.kruger.7 - 2012-08-13 03:55

    Zuma is not the sharpest tool in the archeological shed.

      shawn.jacobs.566 - 2012-08-13 06:05

      Definitely missing a sandwich or two in the hamper!

      donovan.caalse - 2012-08-13 16:46

      nothing sharp at all, just a tool

      larabiance - 2012-08-14 08:56

      not the sharpest spear in the shed...

  • Hermann - 2012-08-13 05:10

    Shame the uneducated trying to sound learned. How do you decolonise facts and history?

      aubrey.christie - 2012-08-13 16:31

      My sentiments completely.The bush joke is rather appropriate here!!!!!

  • louis.hager.12 - 2012-08-13 05:38

    And the Rand looses foot against ALL other currencies, AGAIN!

  • pisciotta - 2012-08-13 05:41

    Would someone please take this fool out of his misery?

      selma.botha.9 - 2012-08-13 09:04

      This 'fool' has an excellent chance of another term in office. Do not underestimate his ability to get the tribal leaders and petty chiefs behind him. Money talks.

      pisciotta - 2012-08-13 14:16

      selma - then SA will become the 1st in the 5th world of nations. SA has no respect now in the world. What's left when you have no respect?

  • Kamohelo Olifant - 2012-08-13 06:13

    Nd how a u going to do dat mr Zuma cos ppl a tired of being told things thy already know,thy want action, a u competent to deliver.

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2012-08-14 00:02

      why take other cultures museums, does the ANC govt not have the capacity to build and develop African cultural museums??? Or is it just another ploy to hide your incompetence and inability to govern in a way that would create well being for all??

  • Bingo - 2012-08-13 06:18


      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-08-13 13:33


  • tshivhombelaf - 2012-08-13 06:19

    Books must be delivered urgently in Limpopo.

      johand.dutoit - 2012-08-13 22:01

      By the time the books are delivered it will be history books!

  • Bingo - 2012-08-13 06:20

    Build new ones!. Or is the concept not part of ANC lexicon. Take, don't create....

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-08-13 06:25

    How does this come up on the agenda when there are so many huge issues to deal with, this cannot be more important than housing, jobs, AIDS etc. This worries me because it's a jab at a certain race once again. Get down to the issues at hand that matter, this can come much later. SO trivial so stupid.

      alex.richards.94064 - 2012-08-13 07:11

      coz the government is trivial pursuit!

  • FANNYDNA - 2012-08-13 06:37


  • Desiree.D.Rowe - 2012-08-13 06:46

    When will the people of my country simply grow up. Colonization is part of our history wether we like it or not? while we are so busy demanding the past back, are we going to return parts of the past back to other countries or people's who have contributed to our history. Should France demand the remains of the Bonapart who died here or Britain the soldiers who were killed on our soil? We would be digging up history part of our story, or is it simply a case of one group thinking they are more important than another. I love my country, but common sense is sorely lacking we ate starting to sound like those we want nothing to be like, the Europeans. Actually we are starting to sound as arrogant as the Americans, we are not more entitled.Its time to grow up and let go or we will never move forward.

      karen.t.hawkey - 2012-08-13 10:26

      Well said Desiree!

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-08-13 06:55

    Decolonised or decolonialised? Surely, one doesn't need to take out the museum's intestines?

      nompumelelo.madonda - 2012-08-13 07:33

      He!He!He!He!!!!!! LOL!!! - 2012-08-13 10:52

      maybe some colonic cleansing for our "esteemed leaders" is in order

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-08-13 14:50

      I think we should decolonise our president. Then he will not spew so much B : : : : : : : T.

  • kevin.moxham.3 - 2012-08-13 07:07

    Mr President - have you not more importnat issues to "urgently transform' like the performance of our public servants - education, skills development, health, infrastructure and our slowly dying economy...?

  • alex.richards.94064 - 2012-08-13 07:08

    continue with the genocide.

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-08-13 07:08

    We really need to get rid of this idiot before he confuses everybody.

  • sefako.mokgalaka - 2012-08-13 07:11

    You are wasting your energy comrade president Zuma. Fix the BBBEE and land reforms that have failed to address the inequalities of the past. The museuns are not priority right now. Can we start with education in Limpopo please?

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2012-08-14 00:06

      The goverment has bought more land than they are telling you. Research showed that they have adequate land to meet most of the reforms issue, but use land reform as a political tool to keep their followers in line and on their side. Good for the govt but bad for believers like you Sefako. They are greedy and just don't want to share the spoils with you.

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-08-13 07:12

    And this is important ???

  • iceman196 - 2012-08-13 07:15

    This country needs to be de anc nised

  • terrence.schwartz.1 - 2012-08-13 07:22

    Oh!! Mr Zuma, what you actually mean is that anything of the old era must be done away with!! Did you see the beautiful aerial shots of London during the Games, very old buildings being preserved and maintained (and their contents), irrespective of who built them. Get real, attend to the things that need attention, read the newspapers and you will see them,

  • johnodup - 2012-08-13 07:25

    Right on Zuma, focus on what's important: bulding Zumaville, buying jets, changing museum displays... and ignore the trivial: education in crisis, rampant corruption, your disgusting nephew, etc., etc., etc.

      john.bucknall.1 - 2012-08-13 09:40

      I'm surprised that he doesn't want a wax museum in Zumaville with his own personal tribe, 4 first ladies and 40+ kids on display, the exibit will be named the "Cradle of Zumanity"

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-08-13 15:01

      "Decolonise" is not a big word. It just means ripping the rear intestines out of the chicken. It does not bode well for the Colonel's business. Neither the seven herbs and spices, nor all the kings men, could put humpty blunder together again. The egg has fallen.

  • godesha - 2012-08-13 07:32

    Instead of wanting to change history, maybe focus on changing the future.

  • Marius Louis Becker - 2012-08-13 07:34

    PLEASE - our country is falling apart and we now have decolonise museum, for f#ck sake - get with the program and resolve text book issues, crime, health care, housing etc!!!

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-08-13 07:36

    I demand then that you break down the so-called "apartheids museum" in Soweto that you display to all visiting South Africa. This cannot be a one-sided affair!

      johand.dutoit - 2012-08-13 22:06

      Be carefull for what you ask! Now now they break down the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town!

  • cobus123456 - 2012-08-13 07:36

    The country he leads is being raped from within and he worries about museums. his man is completely f&&%*-d up

  • justin.pretorius - 2012-08-13 07:38

    Zumbo at it again

  • riette.dekock - 2012-08-13 07:40

    One LEARNS from history, mr Zuma. Rather focus on governing this country and make the future better. Get the blame chip of colonialism and apartheid of your shoulders and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for a change. Trying to wish away the past is plain pathetic.

  • gerasimos.komnenus - 2012-08-13 07:49

    The extent of Zumarites inferiority complex never ceases to amaze me-Yup lets get rid of all the evidence that the colonialists did nothing for the country! All the cities,roads, hospitals,schools, univerities, infrastructure, schools, airports, harbours, theatres, government buildings, research facilities etc etc etc were built by WHITE people. We wouldn't want the future uneducated black masses to see that the ANC has actually contributed very little to the country's growth unless you are interested in how stone age philistines destroyed , corrupted and wasted an entire nation. Come to think of it the "Cradle" museum clearly demonstrates the sum total of their "culture."

      Zahir - 2012-08-13 07:57

      the anc only there to break what was developed they good at that

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-13 11:27

      Stop lying to yourself. Black and white people built this country together. If you don't believe me, go to any newly developing area and see who puts brick to mortar while others sit under the tree or in their bakkies

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-13 12:29

      Hey donkey hole, studying technology and conceptualising architecture and all the other wonderful things does not give rise to physical buildings and infrastructure. Manual labour causes those things to be visible before the naked eye. I'm just glad that you acknowledge that blacks and white built the country together. Even Europe had to import slaves from Africa in order to translate concept into visible, tangible structures. Now rant and foam at the mouth for all I care, that is the truth.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-13 14:31

      Themba, Thala 98 yes and those sitting in their bakkies doing nothing while the workers work in the hot sun without anything to drink, pisses me off big time.

      gerasimos.komnenus - 2012-08-13 16:11

      Dear dear Themba ...."Donkey Hole"? Who is ranting and foaming at the mouth? Certainly not me ! Actually your idiotic answer proves my point and you still don't get it do you? Without a PLAN no amount of building and bricklaying will get you anywhere and that's the problem with the ANC leadership. They do not have the intellect or capacity to plan - except of course when it comes to stealing, corrupting and destroying. Apple computer products are made in China according t plans and designs that originated in the brain of American engineers. Does this then mean that the Chinese can claim the iPad or Apple Mac or iPod as their own. NO of course not! They execute a plan devised for them by the inventors of the product. They don't pretend they did it they merely manufacture it. Anyway the Chinese have a rich heritage and successful culture of their own so I suppose feelings of inferiority don't really bother them as they seem to bother you!

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-13 16:57

      Christen, if he sits in a bakkie or under the tree while everyone else works because he is the boss, how does he then claim to have built the infrastructure alone (without reference to those who worked while he sat in his bakkie)? Are and your boyfriend gerasimos brain damaged?

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-13 17:06

      Dude, you are a retarded racist. Either that or your mother dropped you on your head as a baby

      gerasimos.komnenus - 2012-08-13 17:21

      Themba whats up man,- Run out of ideas? I mean you played all the usual cliched racist cards there are (plus you threw in a few other pathetic illusions nurtured by children like you.) Go to a museum and maybe you will learn that you have a long way to go! To much trouble no doubt. I suppose its easier to CLAIM credit and respect without actually having to earn it.

      christian.denyschen - 2012-08-13 17:25

      Themba its a public forum moron, do you know who was the actual ones who put down the bricks 30 years back and before then, the white man. We can't all be bosses some of has to be laborers that's just how it works.

      christian.denyschen - 2012-08-13 18:03

      Themba my reply was because you contradicted yourself, I do agree with you when you said "black and white people built this country together" however "while others sit under the tree or in their bakkies" implies the this party isn't contributing to the project.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-13 18:27

      Christian I said blacks and white: we built the country together. You and gerasimos want to obliterate the role that black people played. That is the bone of contention here. Whether whites brought the brains, and blacks brought the muscle does not change anything: it merely underscores what I'm saying: that we needed each other to build the country. Blacks could not have done it, neither could whites ... alone

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-13 22:10

      Tieniemac, you talk about the sugar plantations, while we were arguing about the infrastructure, then you take a detour to Australia and the US. Who has been going underground in the mines to dig out the precious minerals and coal? Ever seen any Indians in hostels? Suit yourself. I stand by what I have stated.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-13 22:11

      Tieniemac, you talk about the sugar plantations, while we were arguing about the infrastructure, then you take a detour to Australia and the US. Who has been going underground in the mines to dig out the precious minerals and coal? Ever seen any Indians in hostels? Ever seen indian putting tar on the road surface? Ever seen indians carrying bricks around? Suit yourself. I stand by what I have stated.

      johand.dutoit - 2012-08-13 22:33

      themba.thwala.98- Seems that your books were also delivered late! No wisdom,no reasoning power,no convincing argument,no sense of nothing and above all,a racist trying to win a battle with name calling! That is exactly why you will be employed as a bricklayer and not a planner and supervisor!

      johand.dutoit - 2012-08-13 22:35

      themba.thwala.98- Are you perhaps yelling from Oz?

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2012-08-14 00:18

      Tit for tat is all i am reading. I am sorry, but even in study one must give credit to the works of those before us or face plagarism accusations, in this case as many an engineer has said, nothing could have been achieved without those doing the hard yards on the ground, so i have to give this one to themba. Guys, really, without labour their would be no buildings ect... Accept it. In countries like OZ miners and labourers are from all races and many white, their is no shame in an honest days work. And they earn more than the middle class South African as a labourer here, so get over it all of you.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-08-14 06:38

      Du Toit, watter soort van 'n supervisor is jy? Leer om jou kop te gebruik en nie jou sitpleKke nie. Verstaan jy? Anders kry jy nie 'n promosie nie ... Bwahahaha!

  • Christo Groenewald - 2012-08-13 08:03

    Create jobs and build and fund other museums to represent other cultures. Why break down history? Make history and do something without dragging something else down or destroying other cultures!!!!

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-08-13 08:18

    You can't change history zuma otherwise we left with a history of street demonstrations , tyre burning, brick throwing, necklacing, murder, theft, corruption etc. nice lessons to the uneducated children coming through the so called schools. I pity the children and their future which has been sacrificed for the sake of flashy cars,suits,homes, watches, sunglasses . Pure greed. Bunch of greedy stupid people trying to run a country. Voetsek

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-13 08:21

    There is no more "colonial" a museum than the The Cradle of Humankind - an insult to indigenous and European people alike

      Gemma van der Merwe - 2012-08-13 08:34

      Creationist? Go study a bit before turning your religious ignorance into a racial debate

      kent.harding.9 - 2012-08-13 09:30

      Gemma is rite.. Hell even now we hav creatures on earth that are half sumthing and half sumthing else... Aah okay no one has realy seen these weird creatures.. But aah lm sure they out there.. Birds with half wings nd fish with legs.. Would b strange if all these halfway creatures just died out neva 2 evolve again.. Mmh. :-z

      kent.harding.9 - 2012-08-13 18:40

      For those who dnt realise it, that was sarcasm, lm pointing out how wrong gemma realy is.. There are NO halfway creatures, living or dead that were eva found.

  • mmangaliso - 2012-08-13 08:25

    really museums MUSEUMS the past the past past when the future looks like death talk about a country going nowhere fast MUSEUMS! Cn the spear be in our MUSEUMS! Because i would go to c it. What MUSEUMS. For everything writen Made in China South Africans could have made it. Nw MUSEUMS MUSEUMS!

  • mmangaliso - 2012-08-13 08:25

    really museums MUSEUMS the past the past past when the future looks like death talk about a country going nowhere fast MUSEUMS! Cn the spear be in our MUSEUMS! Because i would go to c it. What MUSEUMS. For everything writen Made in China South Africans could have made it. Nw MUSEUMS MUSEUMS!

      fanie.smit.5 - 2012-08-13 08:37

      I cant read your writing properly, but I get your gist of the matter and I agree with you. Don't take notice of the ape giving comment on your writing. Go on trying.

  • fanie.smit.5 - 2012-08-13 08:33

    Is this the best that the clown can come up wuith to solve SA's problems?

      Michael - 2012-08-13 09:11

      How can you call a president of the country a clown, you are the real clown in reality and he is the president, dont live in dream state of mind. Dreams are not real boss! Please stop dishing up rubish here at news24, WE NEED TO READ CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS.

      tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-08-13 09:52

      Zuma is not my President, i'm still waiting and praying for that person to arrive. Just because he is President doesn't mean anyone is forced to respect him - respect is earned. Look around you man, people are suffering, black people mostly - but you want to put Zuma on a throne? The people of South Africa keep going everyday with hope in their hearts but for many that hope is fading - while the leaders live comfortably not working fast enough to ensure there are no children sleeping on the streets or going hungry - in fact everytime there is an opening of parliament or any political procession the street children are suddenly swooped away and the streets cleaned - but on any other day the streets are filthy and those homeless children are having to resort to scaring us and robbing us to survive. But Mr President goes to bed proud of himself every night. I have more respect for the hardworking street sweeper with a smile who is probably more capable of making decisions than the present leaders.

      rob.west.92123 - 2012-08-13 10:57

      Steven - stop it - you`re insulting the proud tradition of clowns - they`re entertaining and funny. Zombi is depressing, destructive detached, delusional, demented and just plain dom.

  • frank.teichert - 2012-08-13 08:41

    It is true that in the past human remains were sold to museums, some museums even collected freshly burried human remains for research and others were traded with museums in Europe. This is a fact. The research done on human remains was mainly carried out to show differences in the skeletal build up of different ethnic groups. This information was then used to classify racial groupings. The reasons for this type of research was wrong but one can also look at the possitive that has come out of this research. Mainly that this research is used today in forensic cases when trying to identify skeletal material. So from bad, good can prevail. One of my biggest issues with Mr Zuma's ideas is that where do we send these human remains? The reason I say this is that the record keeping of these human remains was not good or if at all. With no information on these human remains, I ask again what do we do with them? I have no problems with repatriation, as long as I know where the human remains come from, what ethnic group they belong to and what religious order they followed. Then yes, repatriation is possible, but the fact remains that many of the human remains in collections do not have that information. There is an upside to this. As science is ever changing with new technology, especially in the field of forensics, it will become possible to find out where these human remains belong. This will take time and money, but Museums are probably the most underfunded Gov. institutions.

  • George - 2012-08-13 08:46

    Yes that's right and pride of place should go to the Spear..the only cultural contribution of the cANCerous society since 1994. Viva

      joyce.kweyama - 2012-08-13 09:23

      SA was '' well. run before 1994''

  • hendrik.andries.5 - 2012-08-13 08:46

    ZUMA - Zero Understanding Museums Actions. Hehehehehehe

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-13 09:05

    OFFS, focus on the important things, Jeez!!!!

  • Rob Allen - 2012-08-13 09:08

    Yes this is far more important than education! aHol!

  • philip.allebone - 2012-08-13 09:25

    Another political deflection - Look at the money spent on this sort of sht and name changes and stuff, but the real problems are carefully covered over. This is typical political bull and if people can't see that then they deserve to be ruled by criminals. On days like this i think we should execute ALL politicians indiscriminately as a warning to any new ones to do their Fkng JOB!

  • alf.pop - 2012-08-13 09:36

    JohnB: As Zipper Zuma said in his Radio 702 interview: It is the fault of Verwoerd! So, There is your answer. He will probably take a trip to Europe and check out all the museums, to decolonise more bones! What an idiot!

      johand.dutoit - 2012-08-13 23:03

      Verwoerd could have had a hand in all of this but I still blame Oom Jan van Riebeeck! He was the guy who started all this!

  • bless.boswell - 2012-08-13 09:42

    I wonder what the definition of transformation is ... Is that what happens when a national treasure becomes a national disgrace and a national liability. Where the plumbing doesn't work, the walls are falling down, and all the valuables have been stolen? Does that constitute transformation? If that is so, then most of south africa is transformed. Wow, so much for coming generations to look forward to. Thanks ANC. You guys have really done a number here.