25 February 2013 | Yem Yem are proud hosts of the Silverton Siege Monument Unveiling

Silverton Siege SculptureOn the 26 January 2013, Yem Yem proudly hosted the commemorative event to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Silverton Siege. Dignitaries including Executive Mayor Parks Tau, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, and 1000 community members, viewed the unveiling of the Silverton Siege trio sculpture that stands at the corner of Eben Cuyler Drive and Jack Klipin Street in Soweto.

The Silverton Siege took place in 1980 in the Volkskas Bank in the Pretoria suburb of Silverton. The three Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) cadres, Mafoko, Makhubo and Madela, were on a mission to bomb the Waltloo petrol depots just outside Pretoria when they realised the police were following them. In an effort to shake them off, they took refuge in the bank, hustling 25 hostages into cubicles. By 7 p.m. all three men and two of the hostages were dead.

The Silverton Siege trio sculpture is the work of accomplished artist Pitika Ntuli and an important addition to the City’s public art portfolio. Created from scrap metal, the sculpture stands about five metres high and weighs approximately three tons. It depicts the figure of a man, in one hand an AK47, in the other a dustbin lid, the item used by schoolchildren in the uprisings of 1976, when they were fired on by the apartheid police.

The head has a metal war feather, in the spirit of great South African warriors like Shaka and Sekhukhune. A metal dove of peace is suspended about a metre from the apex of the head, at the end of a curved piece of metal.

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