Neglected memorial to Cradock Four to recieve a massive facelift

A Garden of remembrance in honour of the famous Cradock Four will receive a major facelift, the national department of tourism announced yesterday. 

The garden, which overlooks the burial sites of Sicelo Mhlauli, Mathew Goniwe, Fort Cala and Sparrow Mkhonto, is in honour of the four who had been returning to Cradock from a United Democratic Front meeting in Port Elizabeth when abducted by apartheid security police.

They were tortured, stabbed and shot to death. Their lifeless bodies were burnt in their car.

The tourism department yesterday confirmed it had allocated R13.8-million for phase two of the construction of the Cradock Four Remembrance Garden in Cradock.

Tourism spokesman Trevor Bloem said phase two would include repairs to the damaged buildings, completion of the amphitheatre and the addition of the shading furnishing in the exhibition centre.

“The project is to be completed in November,” Bloem said.

The then Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Rejoice Mabudafhasi first launched the Cradock Four Garden of Remembrance and Vusubuntu Cultural village in 2007.

The department had set aside R15-million for the construction of the garden.

The Cradock Four Memorial Garden has been built on a hill overlooking Lingelihle cemetery where the Cradock Four are now buried.

Media reports have described the first phase of the remembrance garden as a “neglected monument” with unfinished buildings, missing doors, smashed windows and missing roofs.

Bloem added that the Cradock Four Garden of Remembrance will act as a catalyst for the further development of heritage-related products and activities in the area.