With its primary purpose rooted in paying homage to the heroic men and women that played a historic role in accomplishing freedom and equality for all South Africans, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) are thrilled to have launched the Nkangala District Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route, a route that intends to enhance and diversify tourism the province.
With the aim of attracting local and international visitors to the various destinations along the Nkangala District Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route, each landmark is mindfully linked to South Africa's rich history, culture and unique heritage.
Not only is this a new chapter on the National Liberation Heritage Route, but it also highlights some of the country's freedom fighters who have been relentless and fearless in the fight against apartheid and in other important areas that stood out during the liberation struggle.
In identifying the cities to be prioritised on the route, the route is carefully mapped with visible signage and easy access to the entry points, making it as easy as possible for tourists and visitors to travel and navigate with ease. Key areas in the new Nkangala Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route include Delmas, Emalahleni, Botshabelo and the Mapoch’s Caves.
The Delmas Treason Trial Court
A notable place to start the recently launched Nkangala District Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route is the Delmas Treason Trial Court that pays tribute to the twenty-two anti-apartheid activist defendants and their unwavering commitment to tackling the oppressive state of apartheid. Designed to educate tourists in the area about the country's history, the content presented to visitors highlights the significant contribution made by the brave activists towards achieving freedom and democracy in the country.
In honor of the heroes and heroines of Mpumalanga who sacrificed their lives for freedom and democracy, the Lynnville Cenotaph can be found in a park in Lynnville township across the road from the police station and library.
It has been translated to “Refuge” as Alexander Merensky of the Berlin Missionary Society (BMS) was forced to flee with a small number of believers, following attacks by Sekhukhune soldiers, in self-defence, missionaries and their followers built a fort, which was named Fort Wilhelm after Prussian King Wilhelm, now known as Fort Merensky and the tower with its "medieval" walls built above Botshabelo. It is a unique and fascinating combination of Western and Sotho architecture.
It was ruled by Chief Mapoch and known as the Mapoch tribe, in the middle of the nineteenth century he saw the Ndebele occupying the area around Roossenekal. Taking refuge in Mapoch’s Caves the Chief's son, Nyabela, established his headquarters on an impassable road and maze of stones, rocks and kloofs and continued to succeed the chief. The common kraals lay to the left of the fortress and a pointed koppie called Spitskoppie in the south served as a kind of high fortress. A powerful statue of King Nyabela announces your entry into the caves, reflecting the importance of this cultural site, especially for the local Ndebele people.
In addition to preserving local history, the Nkangala District Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route also hopes to find details that highlight each city and its unique offerings while being incorporated as a tourist route that will help local tourism owners manage visitors to their cultural heritage-based experiences and local heritage, this route aims to preserve the history of South Africa's struggle against apartheid for generations to come.