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TENDERS FOR STATUE (article first published : 2005-06-13)

The KwaZulu Natal Heritage Council is calling upon the national artistic community to contribute to the visible transformation of the KwaZulu-Natal Province through the medium of sculpture.

The honourable Premier of KwaZulu Natal earlier this year announced his intensions to have two statues of the Zulu Kings erected in the two cities of KwaZulu Natal. The first statue of King Dinuzulu will be erected in the garden at the lower end of Berea Road in Durban. The second statue of King Cetshwayo will be erected in front of Parliament. The Premier has given mandate to the Amafa/Heritage KwaZulu-Natal to implement his wishes. The project is administered through public subscription, including the Premier himself is donating R10,000 to start the public donation process. Many of his colleagues have joined in to give support to this important project.

The project needs to be finalised as soon as possible and the statue must be erected by the end of the financial year. Amafa is calling upon the artistic community to submit tenders to erect the first statue in Durban, which is the statue of King Dinuzulu.

The eldest son and heir of Cetshwayo, King Dinuzulu was born in 1868, four years before the death of his grandfather Mpande. Dinuzulu kaCetwsayo succeeded Cetshwayo as king of the Zulu nation in 1884. At the time, Zululand was experience a process of national disintegration. After the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, Sir Garnet Wolseley, British administrator of Natal had imposed a different political arrangement on the Zulu people. He banished Cetshwayo and divided Zululand into 13 separate territories, each under an appointed chief.

On February 8, 1884, Cetshwayo died suddenly and there was a suspicion of poisoning. Dinuzulu was only 15 and too young to assume political responsibilities. Moreover his uncles feared for his life, so they took him to a safe place in the Transvaal. As he grew he became more involved with the political issue, until he was fully rewarded Royal leadership of the Zulus.

During 1906, Dinuzulu became implicated in the rebellion of a minor chief, Bambatha, who refused to pay the poll tax introduced by the Natal government. The Zulus, who continued to regard Dinuzulu as King, turned to him for support, as did the Natal Government, expecting him as ‘government Induna’ to deal severely with the disturbances.

When Dinuzulu did not, he was arrested in 1909, and accused of harbouring rebels. In spite of the famous defence by former Cape Premier, W. P. Shreiner, Dinuzulu was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

General Louis Botha believed that Dinuzulu did not have a fair trial. When he became Prime Minister of South Africa in 1910, one of the first things he did was to order Dinuzulu’s release. He granted him a farm near Middelburg in the Transvaal to which the King of the Zulus retired and where he eventually died in 1913.

The Amafa/Heritage KwaZulu-Natal initiative is designed to visibly demonstrate democratic transformation within the context of important historical events. The King Dinuzulu statue should be conceptualised within the parameters of events surrounding the Bhambatha uprising of 1906 on the one hand and, on the other, the King’s interaction with General Louis Botha.

Bearing the above in mind it has been decided that King Dinuzulu should be portrayed in the military uniform he favoured. The statue should be in bronze and of similar height to the Botha statue. It should stand on a plinth, which must be constructed of rock from the eMakhosini valley and the battlefield of Tshaneni.

Interpretive panels using a medium assented to by the chosen artist must be incorporated at the base of the plinth or in proximity to the statue. These should highlight aspects of relevant history and must be executed by young artists selected by Amafa staff in conjunction with the main artist.

Artists wishing to be make proposals will be required to submit the following a portfolio of work done to date and an estimated cost for the project. A sketch of the proposed statue must be submitted which may also include digital presentations. Also required is a list of all artists who will be involved in the project. Empowerment initiatives will be taken into account when adjudicating the entries.

Although Amafa staff will help identify young artists to execute the interpretive panels referred to above, artists are free to make proposals as to how this aspect of the project could be dealt with. A time-frame for execution of the work, bearing in mind that it must be completed before 15 November 2005.

Entries must be addressed to Ms Nontobeko Ntombela at 19 Timeball Boulevard, The Point Waterfront, Durban, 4001, to be received by July 11, 2005. A short-list of three artists will be selected by the adjudication panel who will then will be required to produce a model of the proposed statue in miniature. Artists may contact Ms Ntombela to discuss possible payment for the model.

The project will be managed by Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali, in association with the eThekwini municipality. Enquiries may be directed to Ms Ntombela on 031 307 4000 or 083 520 1606 or e-mail: amafadbn@webmail.co.za Adjudication will be done by a panel from the office of the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Amafa aKwaZulu-Natali and the eThekwini municipality .The winning entry will be announced on July 25, 2005.




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