CEO’s 2021 Easter Message
Good Day Castle Friends
I bring you this update with a healthy mixture of emotions: On the one hand, there is optimism that the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines will steer us towards some form of normality, especially in our tourism and hospitality sector, which is showing moderate signs of recovery. On the other hand, the structural, political, and other weaknesses in the global vaccination roll-out regimes coupled with talks of a third wave are dampening our spirits. But let us never despair: humanity faced and overcame even the worst trials and tribulations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Defence
& Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's,
visit to the Castle of Good Hope on 21 February 2021.
Human Rights Month 2021
As we approach Human Rights Day in South Africa (21 March), we are reminded of the sacrifices of millions of women, men, and children to improve others' rights. Our Constitution has a special section, the Bill of Rights, focusing on our inalienable rights like freedom of expression, movement, religion, association and many others. But we need to be brutally frank with ourselves: how much did we (you and I) do to ensure that these rights are equitably and fairly applied to all 58 million inhabitants of our beautiful land?
Here at South Africa's Castle of Good Hope, I must remind you of the human rights atrocities committed in the name of past oppressive systems like colonialism, slavery, and apartheid; the legacies still clearly visible in towns and townships surrounding us.
Easter Season 2021: Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Stay alive.
The Easter holiday season, traditionally a family affair was severely disrupted by the pandemic last year. It is up to every responsible citizen to avoid the calamity this year. Third-wave or not, let us practice the health and safety protocols as a matter of principle and save lives. We owe it to humanity in this month of human rights.
When you visit the Castle, the permanent and temporary exhibitions and collections that carry the coming season's messages are at your disposal. The William Fehr, Secunde House, Military Museum, Cape Muslim Heritage Art, Ceramic, Posterity, and Rhino poaching exhibitions echo the greed, selfishness, and general disrespect for the other. But these exhibitions also carry stories of resilience, heroism, and hope – vital ingredients required during today's trying times. Please engage with the collections and feedback your invaluable comments. They mean a lot to us.
Opening Soon: The Camissa Museum at the Castle
We are currently putting the final touches on arguably one of the most significant permanent exhibitions in decades, the Camissa Museum. The following excerpt from the Camissa Prospectus (2020) sums up the project:
"The Camissa Project's objectives are to inform all South African communities about history and heritage they know little about because unhealthy friction and even violence have come to dominate relations between Camissa Africans and other African communities. In some ways, this is a peace-building project as much as it is about the restoration of memory, leading to restorative justice. Teachers and school pupils, students, and the general public will find the museum exhibition and challenges exposed to be fascinating and enhance inter-community discourse in South Africa. It will also contribute to healing and finding African unity. It will also expose white South Africans to many contradictions within their history of the Cape and South Africa and contribute to understanding and healing. For the tourist community, for the first time, they may better understand the history and peopling of the Cape."
I am indeed looking forward to the opening of this virtual museum in the next month or so. Watch this space.
Stay safe, healthy, and hopeful.
Chief Executive - Castle Control Board