- UNESCO World Heritage Committee
- South Africa
Urgent assistance required!
My name is Vanessa Pillay; my grandmother Yankama Munusamy had one of the oldest temples in South Africa. She and my grandfather built the temple in Albersville in 1915. My grandfather passed away in 1952. My grandmother was uneducated, which led to her being robbed of her land. She used to buy groceries on account and signed using her thumb print, in 1957 she was given a document that signed over her land by the shop owner and unbeknown to her she handed over the rights to her land. She took the matter as far as high court in Durban but unfortunately lost the case.
The new owner tried to demolish the temple, on the first attempt he got a call his wife had a miscarriage and he put a halt to the demolition, and he came back a few days’ later and removed the Murtis which he distributed to several temples in Durban. Amma however refused to move, the second attempt the man suffered from a stroke. My grandmother being a stubborn old woman said she would move Amma if she had some where to take her to. A man named Krish offered my grandmother a space on his land in Umbango, Port Shepstone; 63 years ago Amma was moved to this site. This space is behind his shop known as Joeys. At this point my grandmother and her kids were left homeless, all their belongings left on the street but not Amma, my grandmother made sure she had a home.
My grandmother died in 1964, this was 63 years ago. My aunt then took over the temple responsibilities, her name was Freda Nagoo after she passed on a few ladies from the community have since been running the temple and taking care of the upkeep. The land has since been sold and the new owner has begun to demolish the temple. I have attached pictured of the Ganesha tree that has been chopped down. This is a community temple; people have been praying there and looking after the temple, we are in the process of putting together affidavits. The history of this temple stems back to 105 years.
Since my dad left Port Shepstone after his mother passed on, he never had the heart to enter the temple as the memories of what his family endured was too much for him. Just before he passed on he asked to visit the temple, when we got there we were told that the temple was shut down. A few weeks ago on social media I came across an appeal for help to save the temple from Dr Mala Appalraju. I made contact with her and she informed me that Amma came to her in a dream and asked her to please save her home. Dr Appalraju is an Executive Committee member at the Umzikluluwana Mariamman Temple in Port Shepstone. She is trying her utmost best to save the temple, she needs help urgently.
If you look at the pictures attached you will see how the sand is creating Murtis on walls, the power that lives in this temple can be felt and has been felt by many, my only surviving aunt of the 25 children my grandmother had can tell you how people journeyed to visit the temple, they would sleep on the floor just to take blessings from Amma.
People have suggested we relocate Amma; she’s been there for 64 years if she wanted to leave she would have by now. This is her home and in the month of Aadi Masam if we can’t save Amma’s house how we can invite her to ours. We have a duty as her children to not stand by and watch Amma’s home be destroyed again.
Anyone that has visited the temple is encourage to come forward with an affidavit to help us get an interdict to stop demolition
This morning the temple was destroyed, help us rebuild her home.
The Muthu Mari Amman Kovil was destroyed this morning, please help us rebuild Ammas home. We were in the midst of getting an interdict to stop demolishion when the owner of the land destroyed this 105 year legacy
The Rebuild Muthu Mari Amman Kovil petition to UNESCO World Heritage Committee was written by Vanessa Pillay and is in the category Religion at GoPetition.