Mahumapelo stresses unity at JB Marks statue unveiling...

Ventersdorp: Premier Supra Mahumapelo has reiterated the need for the people of Bokone-Bophirima province to strive for unity, saying a united, democratic, non-sexist, non-racial and a prosperous society is what the late John Beaver Marks pursued and fought for.

Addressing thousands of local residents who yesterday, Saturday 25 March 2017, attended the unveiling ceremony of a six metre bronze statue of John Beaver Marks at Ventersdorp, NW 405 Local Municipality, Premier Mahumapelo said it is important for residents of this province to come together and pursue unity that will always be there from one generation to another.

“We must in honour of the selfless liberation fighters like JB Marks, always make sure that we put first the unity of South Africans in whatever we do”.

“The history that JB Marks and other forefathers have left is something that we must talk about and always remember”, remarked Premier Mahumapelo adding that keeping memories of such great legacies alive was critical for the future generation.  

Premier Mahumapelo who was joined by the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Speaker of the Provincial Legislature Susanna Dantjie and Members of the Executive Council, had earlier in the day visited the two Marks families in Tshing township, Ventersdorp, where he also emphasised the significance of unity within the family.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Roswyn Marks, one of JB Marks’ great grandchildren, expressed the family’s gratitude towards efforts by government in honouring the life of JB Marks, saying the repatriation and reburial of his remains as well as the erection of this statue, all demonstrate the indispensable leadership role their great grandfather played in the fight against colonialism and apartheid.

“We thank the government of South Africa and North West Province for this honour, which with no doubt, befits our great grandfather’s legacy”, said Roswyn Marks.

JB Marks, whose remains were reburied on 22nd March 2015 at his hometown in Ventersdorp after being repatriated from Moscow in Russia, is a renowned hero who contributed immensely to the liberation struggle. He was born on 21 March 1903 and died on 1st August 1972 in Moscow after suffering a heart attack. 

The provincial department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs which is the custodian of the province’s cultural, artistic and heritage programme, led the process of erecting this statue, this in working in collaboration with the Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal unit in the Office of the Premier. The site on which Marks’ remains were reburied and statue erected has been declared a heritage site.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by amongst others, the JB Marks family and Ventersdorp community.

Issued by the Office of the Premier – Bokone Bophirima Province
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Mr Brian Setswambung
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North West Provincial Government
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