Having closed off the month of March with yet another launch to line the history books with, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) are thrilled to have launched the Nkangala District Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route, 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 new route intends to enhance and diversify tourism the province.
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 history, culture and heritage.
Not only a new chapter in the National Liberation Heritage Route, it also highlights some of the country’s most iconic freedom fighters that ceaselessly pushed back against racial segregation as well as some key locations that featured prominently during the liberation struggle.
In identifying towns to be prioritised along the route, the route has been carefully mapped with visible signage and easy to access entry points, making it as simple as possible for visitors to effortlessly navigate. Key locations along the new Nkangala District Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route include Delmas, Emalahleni, Botshabelo and the Mapoch caves.
The Delmas Treason Trial Court
A noteworthy starting point to the recently launched Nkangala District Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route is the Delmas Treason Trial Court. Paying tribute to the twenty two (22) treason trialists and their unending dedication to disrupting the oppressive temperament of apartheid. Expertly curated to educate visitors to the site about the history of the country, content presented to guests expresses the significant contribution that the Delmas trialists made towards achieving freedom and democracy in the country.
Honouring the Mpumalanga heroes and heroines that fatefully sacrificed their lives for freedom and democracy, the Cenotaph can be located in a park in the Lynnville Township across the road from the police station and library.
Translated into “The place of refuge" when Alexander Merensky of the Berlin Missionary Society (BMS) was forced to flee with a small number of parishioners, following the attacks by the soldiers of Sekhukhune, to protect themselves against attack, the missionaries and their followers built a fort, which was named Fort Wilhelm after the Prussian King Wilhelm. Now known as Fort Merensky and with its "Medieval" tower and walls that project above Botshabelo. It is a unique blend of Western and Sotho architecture.
Ruled by Chief Mapoch and known as the Mapoch tribe, the middle of the nineteenth century saw the AmaNdebele take occupancy of the area around Rosseenekal. Taking refuge in the Mapoch Caves the Chief’s son, Nyabela, established his headquarters in the inaccessible maze of rocks and kloofs and went on to succeed the chief. The ordinary kraals lay to the left of this stronghold and a pointed koppie called Spitskoppie to the south served as a kind of advanced fortification. This is an immensely important cultural site, especially to the Ndebele people of the area. A mighty statue of Chief Nyabela heralds your entrance to the caves.
Packaged as a tourist route that will assist local tour operators to treat visitors to a cultural experience steeped in local history and heritage, the route aims to preserve South Africa’s struggle against apartheid for future generations. Over and above conserving local history, the Nkangala District Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route also hopes to detail content that highlights each town and the various offerings unique to each.