Western Cape Tourist AttractionsDirkie Uys Monument
Where? Church Street, Somerset West, 7130, Cape Helderberg
South Africa has a deep and significant history, one that is complex and integral to the identity of the modern Rainbow Nation. The Dirkie Uys Monument is one small part of the South African mosaic, a beautiful chapter in the long tale that has brought this country to the democratic, united point that we now enjoy.
Dirk Uys and his father, Piet, served together in the Boer War, when the Voortrekkers fought against the Zulu warriors in bloody battles that led to the devastating loss of tens of thousands of British, Boer and African lives. Dirkie was only 15 years old, fighting under the command of his father, when the Zulu impis lured their commando into an attack. Piet was fatally wounded and, as he lay dying, commanded that his men, including Dirkie, flee and save themselves. But his son loyally stayed behind. Unable to leave his dying father at the mercy of the warring Zulu fighters, Dirkie stuck by his side, fighting off as many of the warriors as he could before he was finally killed, laid to a bloody rest next to his father.
The Dirkie Uys Monument is situated in Somerset West, less than an hourís drive outside Cape Town. It commemorates the loss of these two war heroes, but also the loss of the lives of all of the many other men, women and children that succumbed during this turbulent time in South Africaís history. The monument comprises a stone bench, fashioned after an ox wagon wheel, as well as an ox wagon atop a stone structure bearing the date 1938 to celebrate the centenary of the Great Trek. The monument faces true north and is situated on the large piece of land between two churches (the NG Moedergemeente and the Ou Pastorie Church and Rectory). This is open to the public and there are no charges involved in seeing the monument.