Cape Town - The District Six Museum has again hit out at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology after the campus said the two had come to an amicable agreement on the historic Hanover Street.
While CPUT spokesman Thami Nkwanyane had said they had reached “an amicable solution”, District Six museum director Bonita Bennett said the meeting was by no means satisfactory.
“I felt like the entire meeting was a battle for CPUT to acknowledge that we had a right to comment,” said Bennett.
On Thursday, the parties had met to discuss CPUT starting construction on the site of a memorial cairn where the museum held annual “walks of remembrance”.
Bennett said she had wanted answers as to how the institution was able to begin construction of new campus residences on a site of historic relevance. She felt the right thing to do would be to take the construction down, but said feared it was too late as the building was already two floors high.
She said the museum should have been consulted before construction started earlier this year.
After the meeting Nkwanyane said everyone involved had “committed to go into the future together, after acknowledging the mistakes of the past”.
According to Bennett, however, there was no admission of guilt and no alternative was offered in terms
of the memorial.
“I don’t think CPUT heard and understood the gravity of the violation of memory…
“Their suggestion was to forget about that and look forward to new memorialisation,” Bennett said.
They had agreed to form a committee comprising members from both sides who would work together.
But Bennett said the museum had never been averse to working with CPUT, so “that’s nothing”.
She said CPUT had not addressed the violation and was non-committal about memorialisation, but wanted the museum to help it integrate with the District Six community. She had no problem with a future partnership “but we need assurance that we will be considered as equal partners and equal voices.”
Nkwanyane on Sunday said he could not elaborate on Thursday’s meeting, except to say that CPUT had undertaken to work with the District Six Museum.