HISTORICAL WALK: District Six resident Isabel Hutton holds her 1978 eviction order from the then department of community development. This year's walk is about restitution and the call to declare the area a heritage site.
HISTORICAL WALK: District Six resident Isabel Hutton holds her 1978 eviction order from the then department of community development. This year's walk is about restitution and the call to declare the area a heritage site.

District Six cairn custom is set to resume with walk

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Feb 5, 2018

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Cape Town - After two years of being denied the opportunity to practise their tradition, District Six annual walk organisers announced that the custom of placing stones at the cairn would continue this year.

Bonita Bennett, director of the District Six Museum, said this year’s memorial was about recommitting to campaigns of restitution and the call to declare District Six a heritage site.

“This year, we are celebrating 52 years of apartheid displacement,” she said.

As part of the annual celebrations on Sunday, people will be walking from District Six Museum up to Keizersgracht Street, turning off to the CPUT residence building in Hanover Street, where they will be placing stones at the cairn.

The event will start at 2pm. For those who are unfit to walk, Bennett said the museum would be open.

In 2015, CPUT began building student residences on the site where the cairn was situated, causing a dispute between the District Six community and the university.

“It felt like a re-enactment of the Group Areas Act and how people from District Six suffered, as yet again they were prevented from going to the memorial.

"But, this year we are asking people to bring a stone from wherever they live, tie a message on it and drop it at the cairn,” said Bennett.

She said CPUT gave them the go-ahead and security would be opening their gates to those who wished to visit the memorial on this specific day.

However, she asked how security would react in the future if people wanted to visit the site on their own.

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Cape Argus

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