Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Gauteng

You are only moments away

IIn the 1950s, Mandela & Tambo Attorneys operated out of the humble three-storey Chancellor House building in Johannesburg. Recently restored and refurbished, the once derelict offices at the corner of Fox and Gerard Sekoto streets once again convey the spirit of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and the freedom struggle.

The time is the oppressive 1950s during apartheid. The place is Chancellor House, in the heart of Johannesburg’s CBD. The residents are Mandela & Tambo Attorneys who run their legal firm from these premises.

Did You Know?
DDocuments, letters and previously unseen photographs are on display in the ground floor windows.

IIt was a brave decision by owners, the Essa family from Polokwane in Limpopo, to lease their building in a so-called 'Indian area' to two black African men.

Chancellor House

Food
When to visit
How to get here

BBetween 1952 and 1956, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo had a thriving law practice, trying to help others who were accused of crimes against the state and disobeying the draconian laws of the time. Many of their clients needed help in securing passes, obligatory for black citizens to carry at all times.

Ironically, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo were arrested for a crime for which many of their desperate clients had been accused, an event that ended up as the infamous Treason Trial.

When Chancellor House opened its doors once again to the public in 2010, Amos Masondo, the former Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, said that 'if bricks could talk this building would have been replete with colourful stories about the struggles for national liberation'.

FFor years, the former law offices had been derelict and crumbling, inhabited by squatters, but today the building has been faithfully restored with the help of old photographs.

A new roof has replaced the dilapidated one, new ground floor windows have been installed, and the three small rooms of the second-floor offices, where Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo once practiced as South Africa's first ever black law firm, have been re-laid with parquet flooring.

Chancellor House is now a dignified freedom struggle museum that resonates with the spirit of the two remarkable men who changed South African history.

TThe Shadow Boxer statue at Chancellor House

Opposite Chancellor House – the original offices of Mandela & Tambo attorneys in Fox Street – is another interpretation of Gosani’s famous Shadow Boxer picture, this time by artist Marco Cianfanelli.

The impressive 6m-tall painted steel statue was commissioned by the Joburg Development Agency. 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 iconic Shadow Boxer statue is located at 25 Fox Street standing guard over the Chancellor House Museum and the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court – symbolising Mandela fighting for our human rights as South Africans. Chancellor House – once a derelict building – has been renovated and is a now a National Heritage Site where visitors can experience an outdoor museum with historical information displayed on public-facing windows.

It’s well worth a visit.

Who to contact
How to get here
Tours to do
Get around

Related Articles

Vibrant culture

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Vibrant culture
Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Vibrant culture

African ancestors

Vibrant culture
African ancestors

African ancestors continue to give Africans a shared and personal sense of self-affirmation, identity and unfettered belonging.

Vibrant culture

Zulu cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Vibrant culture
Zulu cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Zulu cuisine is still very much influenced by tradition and its celebration of history and a commitment to culture.

Vibrant culture

The vibrant history of Soweto

Vibrant culture
The vibrant history of Soweto

It was an act that had played out many times in South Africa: a forced removal. In 1904 bubonic plague broke out in the town centre, in an area known as Brickfields. Once the brick makers had been removed 25km south, to Klipspruit, the area was fenced and razed to the ground. And so Soweto was born.

Vibrant culture

Joburg’s most iconic buildings

Vibrant culture
Joburg’s most iconic buildings

The buildings in this ever-evolving city certainly reflect its rich heritage.

Vibrant culture

Traditional African food in South Africa

Vibrant culture
Traditional African food in South Africa

The food story of South Africa.

Bustling city life

The history of Joburg, City of Gold

Bustling city life
The history of Joburg, City of Gold

Johannesburg, the metropolis with the country’s tallest skyscrapers, was once just veld (bush), dotted with rocky outcrops, scrubby bush and a network of streams.

Vibrant culture

The culture of Basotho: history, people, clothing and food

Vibrant culture
The culture of Basotho: history, people, clothing and food

As a nation that boasts about its rich culture, the Basotho can trace their origins to the pre-historic age.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy