Ratelgat Declared a Provincial Heritage Site during Annual Griqua Pilgrimage
The farm Ratelgat, on which Griqua prophet Andrew Abraham Stockenström le Fleur I ("Die Kneg") is buried, has been declared a provincial heritage site. Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, joined the Griqua National Council's annual Ratelgat Day celebrations outside Vanrhynsdorp on Saturday, 12 May 2012.
The plaque unveiled by Dr Meyer at Monument Grave on Ratelgat (previously known as Luiperdskop) replaces the one issued by the National Monuments Council. This site is one of 3 028 provincial heritage sites (former national monuments) in the Western Cape.
Ratelgat Day is organised every year in May by the Griqua National Council to give thanks for the long life of the late Paramount Chief AAS le Fleur II and to remember the sacrifices he made for his people. Mr Zwelibanzi Shiceka, Senior Heritage Officer at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), said that the site had been given special recognition because of the inspiring role that Die Kneg had played to bring the Griqua community together. This is part of Heritage Western Cape's ongoing drive to highlight important heritage sites of significance to the province's Griqua and Khoisan inhabitants.
Griquas from across the country came together at this festival to pay tribute and to celebrate their traditions. A variety of Khoisan dances added warmth to the occasion. This festival can be turned into an income-generating tourist attraction offering insight into Griqua and Khoisan culture.
Ratelgat is the first heritage site on the West Coast to bear the new Heritage Western Cape livery. This tribute to the Griqua people is another way in which DCAS celebrates heritage together with the people of the Western Cape.