Freedom Day, April 27, 2018, in Kuruman and the province alike marked one of the his-toric roles played by local chiefs in defiance of the continued despotic rule against blacks in this part of the country during the apartheid era.
The Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas, her executive council mem-bers, the provincial police commis-sioner, sector departments, mayors, various stakeholders and para-mount chiefs who are the descen-dants or the progenies of the Lange-berg War heroes, ie chief Gale-shewe, chief Toto and chief Jantjie, descended on the unveiling of the historic monument of their great grandparents next to the regional traditional house or information cen-tre in Kuruman.
In her keynote address, the pre-mier was apprehensive in her speech and encouraged the mas-sive audience to guard their freedom that had not been given on a silver platter, but had been attained through multiple and painful ave-nues of sacrifices.
“Let's not allow this freedom that we enjoy today tp slip off our hands, because that will be a mockery of what our heroes and heroines died for, for us. It was there in the hills and valleys of the Langeberg, in the roll-ing hills of Phokwane, in the Mago-gang settlement, and along the Harts River that we first understood that we were not free. It is there that we were inspired and instilled with pride in our history. There, among
the humble but proud rural folk under the leadership and stewardship of Kgosi Toto, Kgosi Luka Jantjie and Kgosi Galeshewe, we learnt of the courage of our forebears in the face of a superior force.
“We gather under the theme, Celebrating our freedom and demo-cracy through radical economic transformation.
“This year's celebrations coincide with the centenary anniversary of the former President Nelson Mande-la and Mama Albertina Sisulu.
“We remember these struggle stal-warts and are also reminded of our own icons that formed part of our struggle for liberation. We are allow-ed an opportunity today to honour Kgosi Toto, Kgosi Jantjie and Kgosi Galeshewe and the brave 1500 war-riors who had died at the hands of the British Colonists, as well as the many thousands of men, women and children that were taken prison-er to Kuruman and over 2000 others that were sold to the Western Cape farmers. Similarly, we pay tribute to those who died whilst in custody between Kuruman and Cape Town during the Langeberg Rebellion.
“Wars such as these, serve to re-mind us that we were in the grip of a system that divided us one from the other; a system that set the minority above the majority by virtue of skin colour , language and origin of birth.
“Millions were deliberately redu-ced to poverty and robbed of their humanity. During these wars, thou-sands of the Batlhaping and Batlha-
ro became destitute refugees in their own country. The Northern Cape knows this fearful history because amongst those were sons and dau-ghters of this province who helped pave the way for our freedom.
“For this reason, we have identi-fied today, a very significant day in our history, to unveil a monument in honour of those who fought and sac-rificed their lives in the Langeberg Rebellion. We wish to pay tribute to their lives and bestow on them the dignity they deserve, as a way of ex-pressing our gratitude and appre-ciation,” Ms Lucas concluded.
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