During the restoration of the Pretoria Railway Station in the early 2000s, a swastika was found in the plasterwork above the clocktower. In the article below, originally published on the Brand South Africa website on 19 March 2002, Lucille Davie unpacks some of the theories behind the Swastika. She also takes an in depth look at the restoration process. Click here to view more of Davie's work.
Historians, researchers and collectors often come across situations of surviving family members having thrown away or having destroyed historical family documents and photographs as they may either have no sentimental interest or simply cannot relate to their relative’s historical past. Sadly, in these instances, no thought is given to donating such documentation / items to charity organisations where researchers and collectors in turn can “scratch” out relevant material to record potential significant historical information that may be contained therein.
In the wonderful article below, Raymond Smith takes the reader on a journey to six iconic sites in Pretoria: the Union Buildings, Church Square, Unisa, Freedom Park, //hapo Museum and Marabastad.
In 2014 The Heritage Portal Team visited Irene and were taken on an emotional tour of the Concentration Camp Cemetery. Below are a few historical details of the camp courtesy of the Centurion Heritage Society.
The Irene concentration camp was opened on 2 November 1900. The population of the camp increased rapidly and refugees were housed in tents under extremely poor conditions.
A coalition of Tshwane organisations* has written to the Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng (PHRAG) objecting to the current reconstruction of the perimeter wall at the Pretoria Indian High Commission (Arkleton). The coalition argues that all work should be halted immediately until ‘historically accurate design documentation and specifications are provided, scrutinised and approved’.
In the article below, Graham Dominy highlights a number of heritage battles currently raging across Tshwane. The battles reveal many of the issues that continue to plague the heritage sector. Thank you to the editors of the Arcadian for giving us permission to republish.
The Anglo-Boer (1900-1902) Vereeniging Peace Agreement document ending the war between the Boers and the British was signed at Pretoria’s gracious Melrose House on 31 May 1902 and formally announced on 2 June 1902 in front of the Raadzaal, Pretoria. This again put the whole country under the British rule. Alfred Milner, the High Commissioner for South Africa and Governor of Transvaal and Orange River Colony was responsible for the design and execution of the policy of South Africa until 1905.
In the early 2000s Intersite Property Management Services published the newspaper 'Pretoria Station Update'. The purpose of the paper was to publicise plans for the precinct and to track the restoration project which followed the tragic 2001 fire. The December 2001 issue carried a fascinating story unpacking the mystery and debate of a swastika found on the famous clock tower.