It appears as if the Roodepoort Civic Fountain memorial still exists. Courtesy of Diederik Cloete the following images and information can be added to the record and the fountain may be removed from the extinct list.
The fountain is situated outside the Roodepoort Civic Centre in Christiaan de Wet Road,
(Google Co-ordinates -26.09592, 27.84427) .
The fountain is in excellent condition but was not working when the photographer was there. Possibly because it is broken, or because of the present level-2 water restrictions being in-force, The fountain is totally incorporated into the design of the actual Civic Centre building, with the same building style and materials evident. The building was opened on 4 July 1980, by the Honourable W.A. CRUYWAGEN, the (then) Administrator of Transvaal. It is possible that the fountain was dedicated on the same day.
The fountain consists of three tiers (excluding base receiving fountain- pan), with each square, stacked upon each other in ascending size, it stands about 2.5 meters tall and the dedication plaque is affixed to the second (middle) tier of the fountain (on the West face) facing the building.
The dedication plaque is of black marble, and the inscribed sandblasted thereupon, in both Afrikaans (top) and English (bottom), and reads as follows: –
“HIERDIE SPUITFONTEIN IS OPGERIG TER NAGEDAGTENIS
AAN GESNEUWELDE LEDE VAN DIE SUID AFRIKAANSE
VEILIGHEIDSMAGTE WIE SE NAME OP DIE EREROL VERSKYN
THIS FOUNTAIN WAS DEDICATED IN COMMEMORATION OF
FALLEN MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN SECURITY
FORCES WHOSE NAMES APPEAR ON THE ROLL OF HONOUR“
Overall Diederik was impressed by the condition of the building, its surroundings and appearance, and I have to admit on the few occasions that I was there I too was impressed. However, of the “Roll of Honour” mentioned on the face of the fountain, there was no indication on the fountain or in the surrounding area that there ever was a physical roll of honour. And any attempts to enquire from the security guards if they knew if such a roll was perhaps somewhere inside the building affixed to a wall, was answered in the negative. The security guards also got sticky about the image taking and insisted that it was not allowed.
The following considerations can be made: It may very well be that the reference to “the roll of honour” is referring to the National Roll of Honour (as maintained by the actual Security Forces) and since the plaque refers to more that one force, it was (is) probably referring to the Defence Force (SADF) and Police Force (SAP) as known at the time. No time period is mentioned on the plaque and whether it was referring to the Border War? or WW2, or WW1, Somewhere in Roodepoort or Florida the answer lies.
What about the fountain that I thought was the Civic Fountain in the first place? It could be that I was mistaken about it being the Civic Fountain, but without seeing the original newspaper report that I saw at the time I am unable to confirm anything.
According to the old newspaper report I found in the local library, this fountain, situated on the corner of Ontdekkers and Golf Club Terrace was originally dedicated to “The Fallen Members of the South African Security Forces”. The dedication plaque is missing so there is no real way of knowing whether this was the site of the plaque or a Roll of Honour. I did ask around at the time and somebody whispered that the plaque had been removed because it was not politically correct.
So, until we know more, I think this memorial may be removed from the extinct list. I do have hopes for the finding of that ROH in the future.
© DRW 2011-2018. Created 12/09/2011. Moved to blog 07/02/2014. Updated 31/12/2016. Images and text by Diederik Cloete, reproduced with permission.