THERE were celebrations and happiness when the statue of Adam Kok III arrived in a small truck at the Kokstad town last Sunday afternoon. Locals with ANC regalia and Griqua traditional outfits chanted songs while others touched the statue, which was covered in a blanket.
They waited almost an hour for the statue to arrive, 5km away from Kokstad. When it arrived, local Griqua community leaders prayed to welcome the spirit of Adam Kok and the statue in Kokstad town. There was a motorcade of Griqua officials and the community of Kokstad led by Greater Kokstad Municipality (GKM) mayor Bheki Mtolo as well as councillors.
Griqua Traditional Council chairperson Gabriel Marais was riding a horse with some of the Griqua elders. The statue was erected in front of the Greater Kokstad Municipality building at 75 Hope Street and will be unveiled at the national commemoration of Heritage Day on September 24.
In outlining heritage activities this month, GKM mayor Bheki Mtolo said there would be a sport tournament for social cohesion on September 22 and cultural festival the following day.
“We feel pleased in having the Adam Kok statue and it will benefit the next generation in keeping his legacy. The statue will also promote unity amongst the people of Kokstad,” said Mtolo at a press briefing held at municipal council chambers on Tuesday.
He said the municipality building which was known as GF Hynes building will also be renamed after Adam Kok III. He added that there are many municipal halls and buildings that needed to be renamed.
“History needs to be restored and recognised,” said Mtolo. He also denied claims of renaming the Kokstad town and the municipality.
From the Griqua Traditional Council, Gabriel Marais has thanked government for recognising their former chief and called for Kokstad municipality to employ more Griqua people in the municipality in respect of Adam Kok’s legacy.