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Gauteng

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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

Vibrant culture

The Old Synagogue - from Jewish place of worship to historic courtroom

Vibrant culture
The Old Synagogue - from Jewish place of worship to historic courtroom

Paul Kruger Street Synagogue, the first synagogue to be constructed in Pretoria, was expropriated by the government in 1952 and converted into a special Supreme Court.

Vibrant culture

Emirates Airline Park - How Emirates Airline Park played host to SA’s post-apartheid reconciliation

Vibrant culture
Emirates Airline Park - How Emirates Airline Park played host to SA’s post-apartheid reconciliation

Emirates Airline Park played a significant role in South African sporting history, after hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

Vibrant culture

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Vibrant culture
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is committed to preserving the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Bustling city life

Johannesburg City Hall Steps - Stand with activists and resistance fighters.

Bustling city life
Johannesburg City Hall Steps - Stand with activists and resistance fighters.

The City Hall steps in Johannesburg have seen many protest meetings and people including Nelson Mandela speaking from them.

Vibrant culture

Pretoria Central Prison - Pretoria Central Prison bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past

Vibrant culture
Pretoria Central Prison - Pretoria Central Prison bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past

Pretoria Central Prison is arguably the most infamous prison where Mandela was held before he was transferred to Robben Island.

Vibrant culture

Steve Biko Museum, a journey of remembrance and discovery through our struggle history.

Vibrant culture
Steve Biko Museum, a journey of remembrance and discovery through our struggle history.

The Steve Biko Centre is located in Ginsberg, King William's Town, Eastern Cape and entrance to the centre is free.

Active adventure

Challenge yourself with the Midlands Ultra Marathon

Active adventure
Challenge yourself with the Midlands Ultra Marathon

Challenge yourself with the Midlands Ultra Marathon

Vibrant culture

FNB stadium - Step into the “calabash” one of Africa’s biggest stadiums.

Vibrant culture
FNB stadium - Step into the “calabash” one of Africa’s biggest stadiums.

The FNB stadium continues to be the preferred platform of choice for the Soweto derby involving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Vibrant culture

Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation - Retreat into Madiba’s home and experience his legacy.

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation - Retreat into Madiba’s home and experience his legacy.

Retreat into Madiba’s home at the Nelson Mandela Centre for Reconciliation and walk in the footsteps of greatness.

Vibrant culture

Kholvad House, landmark of the South African liberation struggle

Vibrant culture
Kholvad House, landmark of the South African liberation struggle

Flat 13 Kholvad House remains one of Johannesburg’s most treasured heritage gems.

Vibrant culture

Take a journey into the centre of Africa’s rich heritage at the Regina Mundi Church

Vibrant culture
Take a journey into the centre of Africa’s rich heritage at the Regina Mundi Church

Regina Mundi Church a struggle landmark and a tourist attraction that continues to serve the community.

Vibrant culture

Palace of Justice - Beyond a reasonable doubt: Five reasons why Palace of Justice warrants a visit

Vibrant culture
Palace of Justice - Beyond a reasonable doubt: Five reasons why Palace of Justice warrants a visit

Nelson Mandela and other political leaders stood trial in the Rivonia treason trial at the Palace of Justice in 1964.

Vibrant culture

Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Vibrant culture
Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Cape Town City Hall – A grand old building.

Vibrant culture

Explore St George's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in southern Africa

Vibrant culture
Explore St George's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in southern Africa

At St George's Cathedral, the church kept its doors open to people of all races throughout the apartheid era.

Bustling city life

Alexandra heritage precinct - Historic and iconic

Bustling city life
Alexandra heritage precinct - Historic and iconic

Explore the Alexandra Heritage Precinct, a moving testament to Mandela’s strength.

Vibrant culture

Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Vibrant culture
Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Houses of Parliament –The heart of Cape Town

Bustling city life

Feed your appetite for Joburg’s culture and history with Past Experiences tours.

Bustling city life
Feed your appetite for Joburg’s culture and history with Past Experiences tours.

Feed your appetite for Joburg’s culture and history with Past Experiences tours.

Vibrant culture

Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Vibrant culture
Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Vibrant culture

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Vibrant culture
Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Bustling city life

Nelson Mandela Square – An urban tribute to a universal icon

Bustling city life
Nelson Mandela Square – An urban tribute to a universal icon

Nelson Mandela Square – An urban tribute to a universal icon in the heart of Sandton, Johannesburg.

Bustling city life

The Saxon Hotel - Snuggle into all that the Saxon has to offer.

Bustling city life
The Saxon Hotel - Snuggle into all that the Saxon has to offer.

Beneath the warm and tree-lined Johannesburg skies you’ll find the City of Gold’s luxurious Saxon Hotel.

Vibrant culture

Nobel Square - A tribute to great men

Vibrant culture
Nobel Square - A tribute to great men

Tribute to great men Nobel Square, Cape Town

Vibrant culture

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

Vibrant culture

Nelson Mandela Bridge

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela Bridge

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

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