Rarely seen memorial cross to be open for viewing in Pietermaritzburg this week

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Ursuhla Govender (left) and Carl Brook are pictured with the Essa Cross, in the old Lutheran Chapel in Pietermaritzburg, which will be open for public viewing on Friday.
Ursuhla Govender (left) and Carl Brook are pictured with the Essa Cross, in the old Lutheran Chapel in Pietermaritzburg, which will be open for public viewing on Friday.
Moeketsi Mamane

Residents are being give rare access to the magnificent Evangelical Seminary of Southern Africa (Essa) cross at the old Lutheran Chapel in Pietermaritzburg.

Sculpted by Gert Swart, the three metre Yellowwood cross was created to honour all those who lost their lives as a result of political violence in South Africa, including during the seven days war in Msunduzi in March 1990.

The beautiful cross took two years to make and includes symbols related to the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer wars and the violence in the eighties and early nineties that led to 20 000 deaths.

ALSO READ | Battle of Delville Wood Cross weeps for fallen soldiers.

The wood for the Essa cross came from Amafa, KwaZulu-Natal’s heritage body.

According to Swart the huge piece of Yellowwood was probably about 100 years old and may well have been used as a beam in a church somewhere in the province. Unveiled on September 9, 2001, the cross can be viewed from 10 am to 12 noon and from 2 pm to 4 pm on Friday, March 19.

Visitors to the chapel, on the corner of Pine and Langalibalele Streets, can also use the time for silent prayer and meditation.

Hosted by Project Gateway and The Old Prison, Friday’s event aims to celebrate Human Rights Day. Before or after visiting the chapel, residents are encouraged to view more of the city’s history at The Old Prison Museum.

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
What are your thoughts on youngsters taking a gap year after completing matric?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Great idea, especially if they’re not sure what to study
26% - 5 votes
I’m against this. It’s a waste of a year
32% - 6 votes
Few people can afford this luxury
42% - 8 votes
Vote

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of Witness here.
Read now