Ramaphosa set to grace Bulhoek centenary

COMMEMORATION: Chris Hani District Municipality mayor Wongama Gela, front, held a media briefing ahead of the centenary commemoration of the Bulhoek Massacre. From the Church of God and Saints of Christ were, back from left, evangelist Thandisizwe Shenxane, Timothy Mgqamgqo, Mvuyo Xintolo, Thulani Sagela and Chuma Dayi  Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

President Cyril Ramophosa is expected to attend the centenary commemoration of the Bulhoek Massacre in Ntabelanga on May 24.

The Bulhoek Massacre occurred on May 24, 1924, where more than 200 members of the Church Of God and Saints of Christ were killed with their leader Enoch Mgijima by open fire in the apartheid era.

Former president Thabo Mbeki is also expected to address one of the build-up events.

Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) mayor Wongama Gela announced the news at a media briefing on Wednesday, when he outlined plans for the commemoration.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane is set to to launch the programme on Tuesday.

The main event is intended to remind South Africans about the sacrifices made by people during the struggle to give birth to a democratic country.

CHDM is collaborating with the Church of God and Saints of Christ, Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality and the department of sport, art, recreation and culture (DSRAC) to make the memorial a success.

The anniversary will be commemorated under the theme “The faith and resilience of our
forebears still living on in the year of Charlotte Maxeke.”

Gela said: ”May 24 will mark 100 years since the senseless and brutal murder of Israelites who were gunned down at Bulhoek by the South African police of the oppressive regime.

”The massacre claimed the lives of many people after they refused to disperse from Ntabelanga where they had squatted for some time, fighting against land dispossession. ”Live ammunition was used, killing more than 200 people, 100 were wounded, while 141 were arrested, including Enoch Mgijima and his sons.”

Gela said CHDM had identified innovative legacy projects in different parts of the district, including EMLM, for this financial year. Several of these were underway, including the paving and upgrading of streets, as part of the N6 project.

”The N6 project will focus on repairing and replacement of traffic lights, the installation of solar street lights, and concrete containers with indigenous shrubs,” he said.

The refuse bins were installed earlier this month. Other features included the signage, concrete benches and fencing of public gardens, and the resuscitation of the Chris Hani Hexagon and water fountain, which will also have a big screen installed.

Church of God and Saints of Christ elder Thulani Sagela, said the church was working to make the event monumental.

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