After the Jameson Raid in 1896, Pres Paul Kruger of the “Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek” decided to protect Pretoria by constructing forts in strategic places. Eight forts were to be built initially, but due to a shortage of funds, only four were completed. Germans designed three of the four forts, Schanskop being one.
Fort Schanskop was completed in 1897 and was built in such a way to avert possible attacks on Pretoria from the Johannesburg and Lourenco Marques railway line, as well as from the Johannesburg road. By mounting revolving artillery on the embankment of the fort, attacks from all directions could be warded off. Schanskop was armed with one 155 mm Creusot gun (Long Tom) and two Maxims(Pom-poms) by 1899. The soldiers included one officer and 30 privates from the Transvaal State Artillery.
At the outbreak of the war the soldiers and armament were transferred to the Natal front, leaving the fort undefended.
After the invasion of Pretoria by Gen Roberts, the British occupied the forts on 7 June 1900. The 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers occupied Schanskop.
The fort was returned to the Union Government in 1922 and was used by the Defence Force for signalling and reconnaissance purposes only.
The Historical Monument Commission declared Schanskop a historical monument in 1938. It was decided to establish a military museum in Pretoria in 1962. Fort Klapperkop was selected for this purpose, but this museum was later expanded to include Schanskop.
Due to budget cuts the SA Defence Force was forced to hand both museums back to the State by 1994. The Voortrekker Monument and Nature Reserve successfully tendered to purchase Fort Schanskop (without contents) from the City Council of Pretoria for an amount of R400,000. The Fort was transferred to said Section 21 Company during June 2000, where which an extensive programme was launched to renovate and extend the Fort.
Anglo-Boere War Musuem
After the Voortrekker Monument and Nature Reserve Sec-21 Company took over the Fort in 2000, it was decided to limit the theme period of the museum to the period 1899-1914. A photographic display on various aspects of the Anglo-Boer War was compiled. Photographs on the role of the horse in the war can be viewed in Stal whilst the history of the State Artillery is portrayed in Officieren.
An overview of the course of the war is on display in Proviand. Portraits of Boer generals, which are on loan from the SA Army College, as well as short biographical sketches, decorate the walls of the conference venue, Manschappen. Displays on the arms and ammunition of Boer and Brit, the history of the Fort, as well as medical conditions during the war are housed in the rest of the rooms. An archaeological display provides insight into life at the fort 100 years ago.
The original sculpture of top scout, Danie Theron, made of fibreglass, was unveiled by the then Minister of Defence, Mr. P.W. Botha, at the Danie Theron Combat School in Kimberley on 1 November 1969. When the Combat School moved to Potchefstroom in 1989, the statue was in such a state of disrepair that it was decided not to move it.
After its subsequent restoration by WO Koos Eksteen, the Chief of the SA National Defence Force, Gen. G. Meiring, unveiled the statue on 4 November 1995. Read more
Genl. Piet Joubert
Commandant-General Piet Joubert was in charge of the defence of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republic (ZAR) from 13 December 1880. He established the Artilleriekorps van de Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek and the Transvaalsche Rijdende Politie in 1881. He will be remembered for his participation in the Battle of Majuba on 27 February 1881 during the First War of Independence (1880-1881). He will also be remembered for his role as the Chairman of the ZAR Fort Construction Commission that was appointed to oversee the building of four forts around Pretoria i.e. Fort Schanskop, Fort Klapperkop, Fort Wonderboompoort and Fort Daspoortrand. Read more
Replica Tanganyika Monument
This is a scale model replica of the Trek Monument that was inaugurated on 16 December 1954 in Tanzania (formerly known as Tanganyika). The Trek Monument (1904-1954) was erected to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Afrikaners who settled in the then Tanganyika after the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902). The first group of 41 pioneers left Delagoa Bay in 1904 and reached their destination on 4 December 1904; an area between the Ngorongoro crater and Kilimanjaro. Read more
Since then the statue has lost the purpose of its erection in Kimberley as the Combat School has since been disbanded.
The SA National Defence Force donated this sculpture to the Voortrekker Monument. It was placed at Fort Schanskop on Thursday, 29 November 2001. The direct descendants of Danie Theron, unveiled the statue during a ceremony where the previous President, Mr. Nelson Mandela, paid tribute to him on 6 March 2002. The statue faces in the direction of Gatsrand, between Potchefstroom and Johannesburg, where Danie Theron was killed in action on 5 September 1900.
|Sculptor:||Charl Engela, 1969|
|Material:||Mixture of aluminium and clay|
|Weight:||Approximately 3 ton|
|Restored by:||Alusaf Bayview, Richards Bay,1995|
As a result of the long restoration process at Fort Schanskop, the bust was never officially unveiled, but was placed outside the Fort on the eastern side with the official opening of the Fort in 1978. The statue was later moved to its present position inside the Fort.
|Cast by:||Renzo Vignali Gietery|
|Pedastal:||2 tons of dressed granite|
A delegation of the Tanganjika Saamtrek Society approached the management of the Voortrekker Monument with the request that a replica of the monument be erected on the site to commemorate the centenary of the trek to German East Africa.
The Society collected all the funds and the Projects team at the Voortrekker Monument was responsible for the design and construction of the monument. The engraved stones, which form part of the seating, represent some of the different families who lived in Tanganyika.