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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

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

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.

Active adventure

2010 FIFA World Cup™: Not a bird, not a plane, it’s SA’s flag flying high

Active adventure
2010 FIFA World Cup™: Not a bird, not a plane, it’s SA’s flag flying high

After 6 years sustained hard work under the watchful eye of global critics, South Africa proved that it could successfully host the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Breathtaking scenery

Freedom Park – a celebration of humanity and freedom

Breathtaking scenery
Freedom Park – a celebration of humanity and freedom

Freedom Park in Pretoria is a celebration of humanity and freedom.

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

The Nelson Mandela Museum

Vibrant culture
The Nelson Mandela Museum

Walking in the footsteps of a great man - a remarkable museum dedicated to Madiba

Vibrant culture

Mandela Day Marathon - Run for Unity

Vibrant culture
Mandela Day Marathon - Run for Unity

Run for unity at the Mandela Day Marathon and enjoy the beautiful KZN Midlands scenery.

Vibrant culture

Footsteps to Freedom

Vibrant culture
Footsteps to Freedom

Footsteps to Freedom will take you on a walking tour of all the great struggle sites in Cape Town.

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.

Vibrant culture

St Mary’s Cathedral - St Mary’s Cathedral: Once a faithful bulwark against the forces of apartheid

Vibrant culture
St Mary’s Cathedral - St Mary’s Cathedral: Once a faithful bulwark against the forces of apartheid

St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg is significant in taking a firm stand against apartheid.

Vibrant culture

Groote Schuur Building - Explore the house where South Africa’s freedom was born

Vibrant culture
Groote Schuur Building - Explore the house where South Africa’s freedom was born

The old official residence of the president of South Africa, Groote Schuur, is the very place where the country’s bright, new future first came into being.

Vibrant culture

House of Dr. A.B. Xuma in Sophiatown - If walls could speak: The fascinating stories inside Dr. A.B. Xuma’s home

Vibrant culture
House of Dr. A.B. Xuma in Sophiatown - If walls could speak: The fascinating stories inside Dr. A.B. Xuma’s home

Dr. A.B. Xuma’s house in Sophiatown tells the story of a way of life during apartheid.

Bustling city life

Jozi’s historical transport hub - Park Station

Bustling city life
Jozi’s historical transport hub - Park Station

The Johannesburg Park Station is located between the Central Business District and Braamfontein and is the largest railway station in Africa.

Vibrant culture

Bishopscourt - Bishopscourt is a slice of heaven

Vibrant culture
Bishopscourt - Bishopscourt is a slice of heaven

Bishopscourt is a spellbinding residential suburb that boasts a rich history, lush valleys, oak-lined trees and pristine homes.

Vibrant culture

The Market Theatre in Newtown - Rhythm and blues at The Market Theatre

Vibrant culture
The Market Theatre in Newtown - Rhythm and blues at The Market Theatre

The Market Theatre has played and continues to play a pivotal role in South Africa’s story. .

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

UNISA, a university with a storied past

Vibrant culture
UNISA, a university with a storied past

UNISA is one of the biggest and oldest universities in South Africa with over 300,000 students and 4,000 teaching staff.

Vibrant culture

Ohlange Institute - Walk a heritage trail like no other to Ohlange Institute

Vibrant culture
Ohlange Institute - Walk a heritage trail like no other to Ohlange Institute

Visit Ohlange Institute in the Inanda region of KwaZulu-Natal and tap into critical South African history where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote.

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.

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