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Johannesburg
Pretoria
Nelson Mandela

NNelson Mandela’s memory lives on in a number of places in Gauteng where he spent his formative political years, opening a legal practice and starting to play a leading role in the Struggle against apartheid.

Did You Know?
TThe Nelson Mandela Bridge was recognised as being "an outstanding civil engineering achievement" by the South African Institute of Civil Engineers.

TThere are monuments, streets, areas, stadiums and bridges named in his honour. In Gauteng, there are also many historic places where Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela lived and worked

TThe year 1952 saw Nelson Mandela open a legal practice with his comrade, Oliver Tambo, the first black legal practice in the country. Here's how Mandela described it in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom:

'"Mandela and Tambo" read the brass plate on our office door in Chancellor House, a small building just across the street from the marble statues of justice standing in front of the Magistrate's Court in central Johannesburg. Our building, owned by Indians, was one of the few places where Africans could rent offices in the city. From the beginning, Mandela and Tambo was besieged with clients. We were not the only African lawyers in South Africa, but we were the only firm of African lawyers.'

The offices are now a museum. Outside there is a large sculpture called Shadow Boxer by local artist Marco Cianfanelli. During these formative Johannesburg years in the 1950s and early 1960s, Mandela enjoyed amateur boxing, working out on weeknights at the Donaldson Orlando Community Centre in Soweto. The sculpture is also symbolic of the role he played in his political Struggle against apartheid.

Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia is where the leading figures in the anti-apartheid struggle secretly gathered right under the nose of the white regime in the early 1960s. On the run from the authorities, Mandela lived here under the assumed name of David Motsamayi in 1961, posing as a gardener. He had already been arrested near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal when the July 1963 raid took place at Liliesleaf, leading to the arrest of 19 members of the underground movement. Mandela was to become the leading figure during the subsequent Rivonia Trial. Liliesleaf Farm is now an open-air museum and is definitely worth a visit. One of the most famous places when walking in Mandela's footsteps is Vilakazi Street in Soweto, the only street in the world to have been home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners, namely Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. The Mandela House at 8115 Vilakazi Street was the family's home from the 1940s until the 1990s, and is the home to which Madiba returned after his 27 years in prison. His home is now the Mandela House museum, but Archbishop Tutu's home is still used by himself and the family. In Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela says: 'That night I returned with Winnie to No 8115 in Orlando West. It was only then that I knew in my heart I had left prison.'Then, of course, the majestic Union Buildings in Pretoria house the offices of South Africa's president and are the seat of national government. It was here that Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first democratically elected president and the place from which he gave his inauguration speech.

The Presidency's website has more information about the Union Buildings and Tuynhuys, which is the Cape Town office of the president. Mandela's private Houghton residence has become the site of many vigils and amazing tributes to this great leader since his passing. A range of items, from flowers to letters, have been placed here by those wishing to pay their respects. The Nelson Mandela Bridge that connects Newtown and Braamfontein in downtown Johannesburg is one of the city's great urban landmarks, lit up with bright colours at night as a celebration of his life. In Sandton City's Nelson Mandela Square, the larger-than-life statue of this great man is a popular tourist attraction. This giant statue represents the colossus that Mandela became, not only for South Africans but also the world. Mandela has left an indelible mark on this country and the places he lived and worked are now sites of pilgrimage for those who wish to follow in his footsteps. If you have any photographs of Nelson Mandela, monuments or of your time in South Africa, feel free to share them with our Love South Africa Flickr group.

Mandela sites in Gauteng

V&A Waterfront

Bustling city life
V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront, Cape Town - Shopping in the shadow of the mountain

Inanda Heritage Route

Vibrant culture
Inanda Heritage Route

The Inanda Heritage Route explores the often overlooked area on Inanda, north of Durban. Despite its apparent obscurity, this region has historical roots that run deep, as a place that experienced first-hand the injustices of apartheid, was the home of passive resistance and became an icon of the freedom struggle.

Mandela and the Mother City

Bustling city life
Mandela and the Mother City

‘Cape Town, more than any other city in South Africa, has been home to people from different cultures for a long, long time.’ – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela Bridge

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela Bridge

The Nelson Mandela Bridge - A fitting tribute to a great leader

In memory of those who sacrificed everything. Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

Vibrant culture
In memory of those who sacrificed everything. Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

In memory of those who sacrificed everything Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

Nobel Square - A tribute to great men

Vibrant culture
Nobel Square - A tribute to great men

Tribute to great men Nobel Square, Cape Town

Lilliesleaf Farm

Vibrant culture
Lilliesleaf Farm

Home of the Freedom Struggle Liliesleaf Farm

Kliptown Open Air Museum

Vibrant culture
Kliptown Open Air Museum

The home of the Freedom Charter Kliptown Open Air Museum, Johannesburg

Place of human rights Constitution Hill, Johannesburg

Vibrant culture
Place of human rights Constitution Hill, Johannesburg

Johannesburg’s Constitution Hill remembers the horrors of the past, and yet embraces the promises of the future, marrying them with the reality of the present.

18 July 1918 to 5 December 2013 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Vibrant culture
18 July 1918 to 5 December 2013 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

With Nelson Mandela's passing, he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and the remarkable achievement of bringing peace to a deeply divided country.

Walk through South Africa’s history in Pretoria, the capital city

Vibrant culture

Voting Line sculpture – a symbol of the1994 elections

Vibrant culture
Voting Line sculpture – a symbol of the1994 elections

Walking around the Voting Line sculpture, you get the true sense of the Rainbow Nation of South Africa.

The Apartheid Museum – a soulful reminder of the triumph of human spirit

Vibrant culture
The Apartheid Museum – a soulful reminder of the triumph of human spirit

A soulful reminder of the triumph of human spirit.

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