Calls for Gugs memorial site to be fenced

The memorial site for the Gugulethu Seven is in a bad state because vandals are destroying it and the community is calling for the area to be fenced and protected.

There has been outcry about the state of the Gugulethu Seven Memorial in Steve Biko Drive.

The site, which was built in memory of seven ANC members who were mowed down by apartheid police 34 years ago, is now damaged and members of the public want it to be fenced in to protect it from further vandalism.

“Our heritage and history is once more like this,” said Patricia Gqomfa.

“This is one thing which pains me when I see that others don’t value this history.

“This place must be fenced and be kept clean because it’s a tourist destination.”

Pumla Jeremiah Ndabezitha agreed that the memorial needed fencing.

“Mostly it’s young addicts who vandalise this place so if it can fenced, there will be less trouble,” said Ms Ndabezitha.

Unam Sigwabe said children must be educated on the importance of this site because they “play around the place as if it is a normal park”.

Nokuzola Lumatha said it was painful to see a memorial to people who sacrificed their lives for freedom being disrespected in this manner.

Luyanda Moss said the community must take steps to “protect this memorial” because it is an important piece of history.

Mthuthuzeli Magobiyane said the state of the memorial pained him. “Every time I see people sitting and some drinking there.

“Is it because they don’t know the history of Gugulethu Seven and the monument, I ask?

“Their conduct towards the place needs to be addressed urgently. People of Gugs need to protect the place.

“We can’t always blame our community leaders for everything that goes wrong.”

Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC Anroux Marais urged residents to protect heritage sites in their communities.

“Vandalising memorials such as the Gugulethu seven cannot and should not be accepted and more should be done to raise awareness on the value of this important historical site.

“Together with the City of Cape Town, we will continue to make provision for awareness drives to educate our communities on the importance of these monuments and why it should be protected for future generations to come”.