Friday is military fair day at the Voortrekker Monument


That there are a growing number of South Africans with more than a passing interest in matters military comes with the announcement that this year’s Voortrekker Monument Military Fair will have more exhibitors than any of its predecessors.

“We can say we are well on the way to becoming the biggest military fair in the country,” Geraldine Paulsen, the monument’s media and communication officer said ahead of Friday’s event.

Both the air defence artillery and armour formations of the SA Army will be present in the Voortrekker Monument’s spacious grounds on May 1 exhibiting some of the equipment and materiel that enables them to fulfil specialist taskings.

Paulsen was today “fairly confident” a French Gazelle helicopter would make an appearance on the southern side of the Pretoria CBD. This helicopter type has been deployed operationally in Afghanistan and one has also done rhino anti-poaching duty in the Kruger National Park.

Scheduled events for Friday start at 11am with a demonstration of the capoeira fighting art. This is a martial art with its origins among warring slave groups in Brazil.

One of the day’s highlights will be the firing of the Monument’s own cannon – Susanna – at 12 noon. The six pound British gunade ship’s cannon was obtained by the Monument from the Cape Town High School 12 years ago and has proven a big attraction with visitors, especially when it is fired. Following Susanna members of the Cannon Society of South Africa will fire a number of their miniature cannons.

The Zwartkop Scale Modellers Club will also have a number of models on display and a knife maker will show his particular skills.

Dealers in militaria, books (including authors), medals, uniforms and military art have taken stalls at this year’s Voortrekker Monument military fair.

The fair opens its doors at 9am and is scheduled to close at 4pm with an entry fee of R20 per vehicle, regardless of the number of occupants.