Maphatsoe Outlines Plans To Attract More Visitors

8th December 2018.

 

Cape Town – Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Kebby Maphatsoe says he would like to see the Castle of Good Hope become a place of pilgramage for citizens from all political persuasions and from all parts of the country.

“We want people to say: ‘Let’s go to Cape Town not only for the beaches, but also for the Castle, so that we can see and learn about where our king or chief was jailed.”

Maphatsoe has been in the defence and military veterans portfolio since May 26, 2014. When discussing Cape Town’s most enduring landmark, he sounds like a new broom.

Central to the commemoration of the Castle’s 350th anniversary will be the unveiling, by President Jacob Zuma tomorrow, of statues of four indigenous fighters against Dutch and British colonialism: a Goringhaiqua chief named Doman, the Zulu king, Cetshwayo, the Pedi king Sekhukhune, and Langalibalele, the king of the amaHlubi people.

“We decided on honouring these four great South African leaders because we believe that not enough effort had been made to tell about how they struggled against great odds to protect the independence of their people,” Maphatsoe said.

Each of the leaders who are being commemorated demonstrated incredibly innovative leadership in their struggles against Dutch, Boer and British colonists.

Doman launched his war against the Dutch in rainy weather, having worked out that the matchlock guns of the enemy would not fire in wet weather.

Cetshwayo’s Zulu army, armed mainly with stabbing spears, shocked imperial Britain, by inflicting a stunning defeat over its Redcoats at Isandlwana.

Sekhukhune defeated the Boers and the British in a succession of battles, while Langalibalele also repulsed attacks by colonial forces in the then Natal.

“We want the history of these leaders to be told,” says Maphatsoe.

“We know that the Castle was used as a fort, as a prison for indigenous leaders, and as a place where black people were tortured and killed – from the time of the early colonists, right up to the brutal era of the apartheid regime,” he says.

“It is important for people to know what happened between its walls. We want it to become a centre of learning, healing and memory,” Maphatsoe says.

“I would like to see communities which have always seen it as a place from where their subjugation was plotted and implemented to come to it to seek healing and closure, if that is what they want. At present, only the Khoikhoi have taken up this invitation.”

Maphatsoe understands that the process he wants to champion may take time. But there have been hopeful signs, he says.

“Groups from the Northern Cape, the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga have visited.

“Moreover, when the king of the Venda people learnt that we were going to honour the kings of the past, he contacted us to say he wanted to become involved so that he could pay his respects to the Pedi king, Sekhukhune.

“These were eye-openers for the new groups of visitors to the Castle. There is so much of South African history that they did not know. The 350th anniversary commemoration of the Castle will widen their knowledge even further,” he said.

“What they are beginning to realise is that the Castle is the genesis of our freedom. It takes us on a long journey – from oppression to freedom.”

Cape Argus

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CEO’S Spring Message: Heritage & Tourism Month

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On 22/23 September, the Southern Hemisphere officially heralds Spring. In geographical terms, Spring is the time of equinox which means the day and night is of the same length!  In the Cape, it is the season of magic and wonder!

Well, as South Africans, we make the most of the most beautiful season of the year. September is Tourism and Heritage Month, and South Africans also celebrate a host of other nature- and societal days during this time of rejuvenation, revival, growth, and hope.

The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is “Tourism and jobs – a better future for all” whilst heritage month’s is: “Celebrating South Africa’s literary classics in the year of indigenous languages”.  What better place to celebrate both months at South Africa’s oldest surviving building – the 352-year old Castle of Good Hope.  Access to the Castle if free on the 24th of September 2019.  Come with your family, friends and picnic baskets – and remember the flat shoes!

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The Gardens to the left of the main entrance of the Castle.

Ode To The Most Beautiful Season

There is something so sublime about an African Spring that it is simply not possible to capture it graphically. But let me give it a try to describe what we experience at the Castle these days:

Spring seems to put a spring in every creature’s step; the Castle of Good Hope and surrounding a case in point. In the Castle moat, which is fed from the Camissa River in Table Mountain, the flock of black cormorants give the fish a hard time. Their feeding frenzy seems like a strategy to make up for the long, hard winter behind them. The wily old Night Heron with his long neck is trying hard to out-fish them but fails to match their angling skills. The coots glide over the fallen leaves from the papyrus plants on the dam; scooping up the abundant insects and other tiny morsels and preparing for the new chicklets’ arrival.

The happy chirps of the mating weavers, sparrows and starling are only drowned out by the shrill screams of the assertive hadedas and peckish gulls.  The awakening of every bloom and leaf the perfect canvas for these unfolding theatrics.

But it is the majestic Egyptian goose that rules the Castle. We are eagerly anticipating their colonisation of our lawns with their large batches of tweeting goslings! And not even the lone Castle barn-owl or stray cat would dare to come close to their brood.

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Bees in the Aloe flowers,
Restitution Garden,
top of Leerdam.
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Night Heron relaxing on one
of the steel cages protecting
young fish in the Moat.

Season Highlights: Major Events

Now back to Heritage and Tourism Months.  Besides the complimentary tours, firing of a real cannon, four museums, exhibitions, expect a bevy of events, festivities, gathering and celebrations for the rest of Spring.  For our tourists, we have just re-instituted the Ghost Tours, sleep-outs and much more.

These are some of the cultural, lifestyle and heritage events we are proudly hosting over the next couple of weeks:

  • Integrated Conservation Management Plan Stakeholder Meeting, 1 October 2019
  • Justice for Imam Haron outdoor exhibition, October/November 2019
  • Big League 3rd Anniversary Concert, 5 October 2019
  • Ceramics SA Exhibition, 7 – 10 October 2019
  • Open Design Africa, 18 – 22 October 2019
  • Unathi Msengana’s Picnic Concert, 19 October 2019
  • Kings of the Castle Boxing Tournament, 26 October 2019
  • Secret Sunset Event, 31 October 2019
  • Doek on Fleek Outdoor Picnic, 2 November 2019
  • Infecting the City, 23-24 November 2019
  • Harley Davidson Lifestyle Centre, 30 November to 1 December 2019

Disclaimer: Information is correct as on 23 September 2019. Patrons are kindly requested to verify events details and changes on our website or from the organisers.

Best Regards


There is currently an open RFQ for the Castle Control Board.

Click HERE to view the SCM page.


 

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Latest Events

To see the latest upcoming events at the Castle of Good Hope, click on a day or the month title to display the event(s).

November 2019
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Key Ceremony

TIMES
10:00|12:00 

This showcases the unlocking of the Van der Stel entrance of the Castle of Good Hope by the ceremonial guards of the castle. It is a past practice that is still practised today.

Canon Firing

TIMES
10:00|11:00|12:00 

The firing of the signal cannon was used to indicate that a ship had been sighted at sea and to relay the message to people inside the fort. You can view the firing of an old cannon, performed by the Cannon Association of South Africa.

Guided Tours

TIMES
11:00|12:00|14:00|15:00|16:00 

Unearth the hidden history of the Castle with a guided tour led by an experienced guide. Tours operate seven days a week.

 

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