MATOLA RAID MONUMENT AND INTERPRETIVE CENTRE - MOZAMBIQUE
Department of Public Works
WINNER OF THE 2016 SAPOA INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AWARD
This project commemorates the raid into Mozambique on 31 January 1981 by the then South African Government’s forces, who attacked 3 strategically targeted houses used by Umkhonto we Sizwe, resulting in 13 casualties.
Three Red Obelisks symbolic of the 3 houses raided are orientated in the direction of the houses and placed on radiating lines towards the location of the houses. A stainless steel Wreath Wall has a reverse cut of the outline of the maps of South Africa and Mozambique. This will allow a shadow to be cast over the concrete cenotaph below in perfect outline at 12:00 on 31 January each year. The pathway over the Monument is used daily by the community and respectfully deviates around the Obelisks.
The edge of the pathway is defined by the “frontline wall” honouring the states which opposed the South African Government during the struggle.
The Interpretive Centre is orientated East\ West. The raid is associated with the sunset to the west and the later emergence of a free South Africa symbolically represented by the sunrise to the east. Internally, a ramp slopes down into the darkened exhibition hall remembering the descent of the freedom fighters underground while the exit ramp emerges upward into the light and the new South Africa. The sun screen is “slashed” representing the effect of explosions on the houses under attack during the raid and allowing flashes of light into the building in deliberately unstructured patterns. The first floor is intended to serve the community which was affected by the raid and provides a place for internet workstations for use by learners.