Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation
Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom Tour
To honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela, we are proud to bring you our Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom Tour. This exclusive tour includes visit to landmarks that played a role in the History of the liberation of South Africa from Apartheid.
Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation
Robben Island is an island in Table Bay and it was "home" to Nelson Mandela when the Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. The intention to silence anti-apartheid leaders by imprisoning them on Robben Island had the opposite effect and the island became a focal point for international resistance to the apartheid regime. Today it has become a symbol of freedom, the transformative power of forgiveness and a place of political pilgrimage.
Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum
The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, dedicated to preserving the memory of the 1976 uprising. They commemorate those who died in the uprisings, and celebrate the students’ role in the struggle for freedom. Hector Pieterson became the subject of an iconic image of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa when a news photograph by Sam Nzima of the dying Hector being carried by another student while his sister ran next to them, was published around the world. He was killed when the police opened fire on protesting students. For years, 16 June stood as a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government. Today, it is designated National Youth Day — when South Africans honour young people and bring attention to their needs.
The Apartheid Museum
Apartheid was enforced by the South African government from 1948 to 1990 and the displays in this museum will leave you shocked at how this racially-discriminatory regime destroyed the lives of many South Africans. Fortunately the museum also offers inspiration in that the anti-apartheid struggle, led by the ANC in exile, eventually overcame and today South Africa is a multiracial rainbow nation with one of the world’s most progressive constitutions. Look out for the historic photos about South Africa’s miracle years in the early 1990s when negotiations led to the first democratic elections on 27 April 1994. The museum is a celebration of the human spirit for overcoming adversary.
Nelson Mandela National Museum and Family Restaurant
The Nelson Mandela National Museum, commonly referred to as Mandela House, is the house on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962. It is located a short distance up the road from Tutu House, the home of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. It has bullet holes in the walls and the facade has scorch marks from attacks with Molotov cocktails. The property includes a visitors' centre and a small museum. Mandela returned to the house after his release from prison in 1990, despite suggestions from government officials that he find a safer home.
The Mandela Family Restaurant is owned by Nelson Mandela's first wife Winnie and serves up a classic Soweto bunny chow with chips, processed meat, garlic and cheese, as well as breakfast sandwiches, burgers and fish & chips. You'll get basic standard fare here.
Liliesleaf Farm was the farm used secretly by African National Congress activists in the 1960s and was the location where many prominent African National Congress leaders were arrested, leading to the Rivonia Trial. Nowadays Liliesleaf Farm is a Museum and world famous Heritage Site. The buildings have been restored to their earlier condition, and visual and audio-visual displays recreate the dramatic events leading up to the police raid, and the raid itself. In 1961, Lilliesleaf Farm was purchased as headquarters for the underground Communist Party and a safe house for political fugitives. Nelson Mandela lived there under the assumed name of David Motsamayi.
Constitution Hill is the seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.The Old Fort Prison complex is known as Number Four. Both political activists opposed to apartheid and common criminals were held at the prison. Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here in 1906, and striking white mineworkers in 1907, 1913 and 1922. Under the apartheid government, only whites were held in the Old Fort itself, except for Nelson Mandela, who was given a bed in the hospital section when he was an awaiting-trial prisoner in 1962 prior to the Rivonia Trial. The court building is open to the public who want to attend hearings or view the art gallery in the court atrium.
The Women's Gaol
The grace of this Victorian-style building belies the pain and suffering that occurred within. This is the place where the likes of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Fatima Meer and many other political activists were held. In September 2013, Constitution Hill and South African History Archives hosted a group of women former-prisoners at the Women’s Gaol Lekgotta. Fifteen women and one ex-warden attended to try and outline ways to further document their stories to assist future generations in understanding more about who was incarcerated and their horrifying experiences behind the walls of the Women’s Gaol.
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