We have just received the shocking news that Johannesburg's Cenotaph has been vandalised. This is the ultimate sign of disrepect to all South Africans who gave their lives for freedom in all wars and conflicts. Hopefully there is some CCTV footage to identify the perpetrators and hold them to account.
The largest commemoration of Remembrance Sunday in South Africa happens at the Johannesburg Cenotaph every year. 2018 will be especially important as it is the centenary of the end of the First World War. Let's hope the authorities are able to act swiftly and sensitively to remove the graffiti.
The City of Joburg's statement of significance compiled in 2007 reads as follows:
The Cenotaph is an inclusive war memorial, having been rededicated to all South Africans who died for freedom in all wars and conflicts. For over eighty years, the Cenotaph has been the venue for military parades and commemorations. Since the monument’s inception in 1926, it has been the focal point for the annual National Remembrance Sunday Service, the main memorial service of its kind in South Africa. The Cenotaph is a prime commemorative site by virtue of its prominent location in the city’s civic and historical heartland; its long historical associations; and the acceptance it has gained in the post-apartheid period among war veterans from all sections of the population.
The Vandalised Cenotaph (Brian McKechnie)
Shocking disrepect to those who have given their lives for this country (Brian McKechnie)
All sides of the Cenotaph have been vandalised (Brian McKechnie)