Lingelihle Township, Cradock
Did you know?
A memorial to the Cradock Four has been built on a hilltop overlooking Lingelihle township.
Amos Nteta is the hospitality man at the Victoria Manor in the Karoo town of Cradock - but his home lies in the nearby Lingelihle township.
To look at this calm, urbane man going about his business of seeing to guests' needs, you'd never think Nteta was once in the cauldron of the anti-apartheid struggle. In fact, he was detained in 1977 for 'public violence' and spent 3 months in prison as a guest of the state.
But then, as you walk through Lingelihle on the eastern flank of Cradock in the Eastern Cape, you'd never think that this peaceful township was once a flashpoint of the anti-apartheid revolution.
Lingelihle's contribution to the Struggle, headed by slain activist Matthew Goniwe, one of the 'Cradock Four', is hard to overstate. The community pioneered many of the ways peaceful resistance would be used in the rest of South Africa's townships.
These days, all are welcomed to Lingelihle. At Pat's Tavern, for instance, the talk often revolves around rugby rather than politics, in particular the local team called The Cradock Lions.
There are no large camps of 'informal dwellings' or shacks - just rows and rows of small newly built houses with expansion potential on abnormally large plots - and there are gardens everywhere.
At the cemetery you will find the graves of the four pivotal local activists: Goniwe, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mhlawuli. You'll also be able to see the resting place of Reverend JA Calata, who was African National Congress' general secretary between 1936 and 1949. On a nearby hill stands the Cradock 4 Memorial Garden, with its four concrete towers dedicated to the activists.
Amos remembers Rev Calata well: 'In the 1980s, he was very old already. But whenever he heard someone in the streets singing a freedom song, he would stagger out of his house into the sun and wave his walking stick with glee.'
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Lingelihle guide: Mvuyisi Nkamba
Mobile: +27 (0) 78 1621 686
Victoria Manor & Die Tuishuise
Tel: +27 (0) 48 881 1322