Ethekwini to return mystery Egyptian mummy

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Egyptian mummy head with elaborate wrappings exhibited at Louvre. Paris - Source WikiCommons
Egyptian mummy head with elaborate wrappings exhibited at Louvre. Paris - Source WikiCommons

The repatriation of the Egyptian mummy Peten-Amun is underway, eThekwini speaker Weziwe Thusi has told Egyptian Ambassador Ahmed Taher Elfadly.

On Monday eThekwini said plans to repatriate the Egyptian mummy were at an advanced stage.

City spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela said the mummy was first discovered in the Durban Natural Science Museum’s inventory during the move from the Old Town Hall (now the Post Office) to the City Hall in 1910. It only had an undated label ‘Captain Myers’ found attached to it.

Upon investigation, it was found that Major William Joseph Myers was a British soldier who arrived in Durban to fight in the Anglo-Boer war and was killed four days after his arrival.

“In the absence of further information and the mystery surrounding it, the arrival and presence of the mummy in Durban was ruled a result of direct colonialism,” said Mayisela

According to Thusi, all vestiges of colonialism must be aggressively removed. She said South Africa could not be an accomplice to evil acts of colonialism.

“There is quite a lot that was stolen from this continent and it is incumbent on us to correct this wrong.”

She said currently in European museums there were still innumerable artifacts that were taken from Africa and have been displayed for centuries.

“As a result, Europeans have made a fortune from this criminal activity.

“We need to be part of the African crusade that seeks to return what was taken forcefully from this continent and this is exactly what we are doing in eThekwini,” Thusi said.

She said everyone knew the history of South Africa and the inhumane acts that were associated with its erstwhile minority rulers.

“Like their European counterparts, they terrorised Africans. It is not surprising that this mummy found its way to our country.

“This is the new dispensation and there must be a serious paradigm shift in the manner with which we do things with. I commend the good work that the City has done for us to be where we are today regarding this Egyptian heritage,” added Thusi.

Elfadly commended the strides eThekwini had made regarding this repatriation.

“South Africa is indispensable in the continent and should be commended for always providing leadership on many issues. This is one example and I thank the country for understanding how sacred these mummies are to our culture as Egyptians. I believe the position taken by the country on this matter is going to cement our relationship,” he said.

Mayisela said the mummy will be back on Egyptian soil before the end of first quarter of 2022.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Daily Poll
Are you heading to the shops today to get Black Friday specials?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
6% - 10 votes
86% - 139 votes
I’m shopping online
7% - 12 votes


Read the digital editions of Witness here.
Read now