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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 Street. Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela defended many cases there.

On May 20th, 1987, 3 policemen were killed and 15 injured when two bombs planted by 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.

Did You Know?
OOn 8 August 1962 Nelson Mandela makes a brief appointment in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on charges of leaving the country without a passport and inciting workers to strike.

BBetween Chancellor house, where Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo housed 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 has 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

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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 Bailye’s African Archive assisted the Johannesburg Development Agency to commission the statue on behalf of the City of Johannesburg. It was unveiled on May 25th, 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.

TThe 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.

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