Retrospective: The Miner’s Monument, Johannesburg

While looking for pics of Settler’s Park I discovered pics of the Miner’s Monument in Johannesburg, and seeing that it does tie into the mining heritage of the city I decided to add them in here. Unfortunately the images I do have are quite old (possibly before 2008). The work was sculpted by David F. MacGregor and was presented to the city in 1964. It was originally to be paired with the statue of Captain Carl von Brandis that is situated on the corner of Pritchard and Von Brandis Street by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, vandals have previously attacked this monument, hacking off one of the legs below the knee

The Monument may be found on the traffic island at the top of Rissik Street just below the Civic Centre (Google Earth: 26°11’34.81″S,  28° 2’25.86″E). When I was still very young I recall walking past this statue with my mother on the way to the Children’s Hospital. It seemed much bigger back then.

Google Street View of the monument. Dated March 2017

 

Carl Von Brandis. 

This statue of Captain Carl von Brandis is situated on the corner of Pritchard and Von Brandis Street by the Supreme Court. The area is undergoing a revamp at the moment so I was not really able to get closer than the corner. Originally on the blocks bounded by Jeppe, Small, Kerk and Von Wielligh Streets, the almost 5 metre statue was sculpted by David F. MacGregor (who also sculpted The Miners’ Monument) and donated to Johannesburg by The Chamber of Mines in 1965 and unveiled by his worship the mayor, Councillor Aleck Jaffe on 6 August 1965. Carl von Brandis was the first Mining Commissioner of Johannesburg. The inscription reads:

“Carl von Brandis 1827-1903.
Born in Germany, Captain Carl von Brandis was the first mining commissioner for Johannesburg. On the 4th of October 1886, while standing on a whisky box outside a tent that served as his office, he proclaimed the triangular area of Randjieslaagte where Johannesburg was founded. Von Brandis was soon promoted to Magistrate (“Special Landrost”), becoming the most senior government official on the Witwatersrand from 1886-1900. He had the difficult task of upholding law and order in the fast growing mining town of Johannesburg.

 

Captain von Brandis is buried in Braamfontein Cemetery. A similar statue on his grave was stolen some years ago.

The grave of Carl Von Brandis

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