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Trojan Horse Massacre granted provincial heritage status

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By: Aneeqa du Plessis

After nearly 37 years since the Trojan Horse Massacre rocked the shores of Cape Town and beyond, the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Anroux Marais, unveiled that the site has now been granted Provincial Heritage status. The location in Thornton Road, Athlone will now be protected under the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999.

On 15 October 1985, members of the security forces shot and killed three young people in an ambush, (Jonathan Claasen, 21, Shaun Magmoed, 15 and Michael Miranda, 11) who were part of heroic anti-apartheid protests across the country.

In attendance at the plaque unveiling at the Dulcie September Civic Centre on Friday afternoon, Chairperson of Inventory, Grading and Interpretation Committee, Ron Martin explained the significance of the announcement.

“Today is momentous as sites like the Trojan Horse Massacre were previously on the fringes of our heritage landscape and finally these sites are contributing to the redress of this landscape and its inclusion serves to complete the story of history and we are extremely happy about it,” said Martin.

Speaking on VOC’s Drive Time show on Monday evening, Trustee of PPA former founding president and ex principal of Spine Road High, Riyaadh Najaar explained how the history of the riots cannot die with its comrades but rather needs to be highlighted to SA’s youth.

“It was complete mayhem and a terrible period of our history. A lot must be done to get our youth to understand the grim history that has led to our liberation, but I am glad that this site has now been duely recognized,” described Najaar.

“There are so many freedoms that we enjoy in the current day because of the heroes that sacrificed their lives for it and the least we can do is give them the acknowledgement they deserve,” added Najaar.

“However, the sad part is that none of these perpetrators have been brought to book for the atrocities they caused,” added Najaar.

For current matriculant at Athlone High school, Saajidah Samodien the history of the land is one that should be revered.

The youth born into democracy need to take this opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices that are forefathers made so we can be free, and I know that I wasn’t a part of the struggle, but I want to ensure that this history lives on through me and that those around me memorialize these martyrs of justice,” explained Samodien.


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