The FAK has put its foot down about the dire condition of the Heldeakker in Pretoria.
The cemetery is the final resting place of Afrikaner heroes such as Pres. Paul Kruger, Jopie Fourie and Andries Pretorius.
The FAK says it is now going to intervene again to restore the cemetery to its former glory. In the past two years, the FAK has already put its shoulder to the wheel five times to renovate the Heldeakker.
Earlier this year, one of the walls in Church Street was knocked over and even after the FAK entered into discussions with the Tshwane Metro Council about this, the wall has still not been repaired.
This hole in the wall can even be seen on Google Street View. Google itself admits that it takes months to update the street view and this is once again a clear proof of how long the metro council is delaying to fulfill their obligations.
“Since the wall was knocked over, there has been so much new damage and vandalism that has taken place in the cemetery,” says Barry Müller, cultural organizer of the FAK.
The FAK has already replaced Paul Kruger’s bust in the past due to severe vandalism of this statue.
The organization says not only is the grass in the Heldeakker hip-high; there is also damage to graves that were not there just a month ago.
“For too long our Afrikaner heritage has been lost with the Tshwane Metro Council making excuses instead of fulfilling their obligations.”
According to Tshwane Metro Council spokesperson Lindela Mashigo, ten Extended Public Works Program (EPWP) workers were assigned to clean this facility daily, but their contracts were terminated in January. According to a letter to the FAK, new workers will be appointed and the FAK has been assured that a team will meanwhile pay weekly attention to the maintenance of the cemetery.
“It is impossible that grass can grow waist-high in a week’s time and unacceptable that the blatant devastation and destruction of heritage is allowed. We can’t just sit and watch our heritage perish,” says Müller.
The cleaning of the Heldeakker will be started on Saturday 15 April and the FAK appealed to the public to help with this.
Leave a Reply