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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A Voortrekker memorial in revolutionary Maputo
Author:Morton, David
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic terms:Mozambique
South Africa
Great Trek
international relations
Abstract:On a side street of downtown Maputo, two blocks from a statue of Samora Machel, is a half-acre memorial to the ill-fated Trichardt party, which in the 1830s arrived at the Bay of Lourenšo Marques after a years-long trek, only to be decimated by malaria. The memorial was inaugurated in 1968, one of countless memorials to Voortrekkers to be constructed since the 1930s, in parallel with the rise of Afrikaner nationalism, and the only one to be built outside the borders of South Africa. That the memorial kept its gates open after Mozambique's independence, and continued to be maintained at a time when apartheid South Africa sponsored Renamo and on several occasions attacked Mozambique directly, a time when Maputo was a city virtually under siege and falling into physical ruin, makes the memorial something more than a mere curiosity. This article tells the history of the memorial from its beginnings until today, with a focus on Mozambique's revolutionary era, and is based primarily on the archives of the Pretoria-based Louis Trichardt Association, which built and operated the memorial, and on interviews with members of the association and a former Frelimo minister. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]