Arts, Culture & Heritage

Monument to Petrus Molefe

Last Updated: September 26, 2023
Artist

The artwork was created and co-ordinated by Andrew Lindsay of the Spaza Art Gallery. Execution of the mosaic work was divided between two teams: The regular Spaza Art Gallery mosaic team consisted of: Moses Ndlovu, Dereck Vincent-Georges, John Twala, Bongani Msibi. This group did two mosaic panels and the floor mosaic. A womens’ collective trained by Andrew Lindsay as part of a job creation and empowerment initiative in Bertrams. The women were facilitated and led by Jacob Ramaboya and did the other two main mosaic panels, including the portrait of Petrus Molefe, as well as the name of the park that is set at the back of one of the columns facing the street. The womens’ group comprised: Antoinette Koekermoer, Chantall Palmer; Precious Klaasen, Nomagugu Moyo, Nombuyiselo Phendo, and Victoria Numbembe.

A Brief History

The launch of uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the ANC, was announced on 16 December 1961 by a series of bomb blasts against apartheid structures in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

Petrus Molefe was the first MK operative to be killed during those first operations. He lost his life in Dube Soweto, when an explosive device which he was carrying went off. He was accompanied by Ben Ramotsi, who was seriously injured. Petrus Molefe is buried in Nancefield Cemetery, Soweto.

The Petrus Molefe Monument was commissioned by Johannesburg City Parks, with guidance from Community Development (Arts, Culture and Heritage). The monument was formally unveiled at the opening of the Petrus Molefe Eco-Park on 9 December 2011. The launch of the new park, attended by MK veterans, was held in the run-up to the 50th Anniversary of uMkhonto we Sizwe (16 December 2011).

Description

The artwork is set around four brick columns.
In the middle of the columns is a wide circle 5 metres in diameter, with a floor-mosaic of the MK emblem of a warrior with a spear and shield. The MK logo is done as a pebble mosaic, set against a white stone background.

The four equidistant columns, standing 5 metres high by 700 cm wide, with cement tops, resemble sentry-boxes, facing in different directions (north-south and east-west). Each of the pillars is decorated with mosaic bearing inscriptions from key documents in the annals of the struggle for democracy. The lettering is in black mosaic set into a white and off-white background. The main pillar carries a portrait in mosaic of Petrus Molefe.

 

Artwork Signage

The launch of uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the ANC, was announced on 16 December 1961 by a series of bomb blasts against apartheid structures in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

Petrus Molefe was the first MK operative to be killed during those first operations. He lost his life in Dube Soweto, when an explosive device which he was carrying went off. He was accompanied by Ben Ramotsi, who was seriously injured. Petrus Molefe is buried in Nancefield Cemetery, Soweto.

The Petrus Molefe Monument was commissioned by Johannesburg City Parks, with guidance from Community Development (Arts, Culture and Heritage). The monument was formally unveiled at the opening of the Petrus Molefe Eco-Park on 9 December 2011. The launch of the new park, attended by MK veterans, was held in the run-up to the 50th Anniversary of uMkhonto we Sizwe (16 December 2011).

Location & Address

Mtambo Street, Dhlamini, Soweto