The Piet Retief monument in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth occupies a commanding piece of prime beach front land and, at the time of photographing was surrounded with broken glass.
This monument to Piet Retief, was originally erected in Coega to the east of Port Elizabeth and unveiled in 1939 to commemorate the centenary of the Great Trek. In 1975 is was decided to move it to its current location in Summerstrand because of its link to Piet Retief. One of the many plaques can be roughly translated as: “This monument stands on Piet Retief’s orginal farm Strandfontein after it was removed from Coega by the “PE Afrikaanse Skakelkomitee” and was re-unveiled on 16 December 1975. Piet Retief was one of the Great Trek leaders who was killed by Zulu King “Dingaan”. Pieter Mauritz Retief (12 November 1780 – 6 February 1838) settled in 1814 in the frontier region of the Cape Colony and assumed command of punitive expeditions in response to raiding parties from the adjacent Xhosa territory. He became a spokesperson for the frontier farmers who voiced their discontent, and wrote the Voortrekkers’ declaration at their departure from the colony.
He was a leading figure during their Great Trek, and at one stage their elected governor. He proposed Natal as the final destination of their migration and selected a location for its future capital, later named Pietermaritzburg in his honour. The massacre of Retief and his delegation by the Zulu King Dingane and the extermination of several Voortrekker laagercamps led to the Battle of Blood River on the Ncome River. The short-lived Boer republic Natalia suffered from ineffective government and succumbed to British annexation.
#portelizabeth #monument #pietretief #summestrand #boer #voortrekker – Taken by the Editor whilst wandering aimlessly about pretending to be in the know.