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TThe Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court has played a pivotal part in South Africa’s history. It was built in 1941 and is found on the corner of Ntemi Piliso and Marshall streets. Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela defended many cases in this court.
On 20 May 1987, three policemen were killed and 15 injured when two bombs planted by the African National Congress’s (ANC) armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of The Nation) went off outside the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. Two ANC members and a supporter were give amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1998 for the attack.
BBetween Chancellor House, where Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo set up their law firm, and the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court stands Marco Cianfanelli’s "Shadow Boxer" statue. The statue is inspired by Bob Gosani’s 1953 iconic photo of Madiba sparring with Jerry Moloi on a rooftop in his younger boxing days. Nelson Mandela once said that he loved the art of boxing but did not like the violence associated with it. This has been demonstrated several times in Mandela’s quest for peace and justice in South Africa and the world.
Johannesburg Magistrates Court
TThe impressive 6m-tall painted statue is the second largest statue of Nelson Mandela in the city. The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and the Bailey's African Archive assisted the Johannesburg Development Agency to commission the statue on behalf of the City of Johannesburg. It was unveiled on 25 May 2013 with Bob Gosani’s wife in attendance. An awesome feature of the sculpture is that its unique lighting allows the sculpture to cast a shadow onto the court building behind it.
The statue defies description and should be seen in person to be appreciated. Definitely one of the sites that has to be on your must-see list for Johannesburg sightseeing.
Take a tour of Soweto, Johannesburg’s vibrant city-within-a-city – apart from learning the history of the struggle against apartheid, you can immerse yourself in a modern urban vibe with lots to do.
Soweto Bicycle Tours let you explore South Africa’s most famous township’s streets with a qualified guide, taking in historical sites like the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu.
South African urban architectural design tours introduce visitors to the eclectic array of styles and influences behind the country’s most iconic buildings.
South Africans are a diverse mix of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and the many museums scattered around the country preserve rich histories, heritages and cultural traditions.
South Africa is a country of rich religious diversity, protected by the Constitution, so explore sacred architecture and spiritual traditions at our many historic places of worship.
Wits Art Museum – part of the University of the Witwatersrand – houses an African art collection that was started in the 1920s and includes masks, photographs, paintings and more.
There are many well-known historic and contemporary art works on display in art museums and galleries in each of South Africa's 9 provinces, with many important permanent art collections centred in the country's major cities.