Declaration of the Mendi Memorial as a National Heritage Site





Gazette Date: 

Friday, December 30, 2016



Notice Date: 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Gazette Notice Status: 

  • Current


PDF icon 40526_30-12 - Sharpeville and Mendi.pdf679.88 KB


Notice confirming the declaration of the Mendi Memorial located at the UCT Soccer Field was published in the Gazette on 30 December 2016.


The Mendi Memorial, located at the southeast corner of the University of Cape Town’s soccer fields, is a symbolic reminder of the South African lives lost on the steamship Mendi in 1917 and of the long-ignored and forgotten history of the South African Native Labour Corps. It is a reminder of the role played by black South Africans in World War I and of the links these events have to the Liberation Struggle in South Africa. The University of Cape Town soccer fields were formerly the Rosebank Showgrounds which were used during World War I as the national assembly camp and depot for the South African Native Labour Corps. It was at this camp that all the men enlisted in the corps from all over South Africa and Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho assembled, were kitted out and received their basic training, and from which they departed to Cape Town harbour to take ship to France. For many of the men on the Mendi, this was where they spent their last night on South African soil.


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