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Soweto: victory against apartheid


The township that is a historical symbol of the fall of apartheid has now become a truly modern city with trendy restaurants and a huge shopping centre.

Designated by its geographical position in the south-west of the city, South West Township (So-we-to) remains the historic district that saw the rise of the ANC, Mandela, and Desmond Tutu, and the fall of apartheid. This renowned township is a place of memory today and you can visit with different tour operators who will show you the sites on a bicycle or in a bus. The house where Nelson Mandela lived in 1962, before his decades-long imprisonment, has now become a museum.

Strolling before the pictures, and among the Spartan furniture and everyday objects, you take in the fragments of a poignant saga and can perhaps imagine the family taking refuge under a table while police launch tear gas outside. Just a few metres away, the villa of Desmond Tutu neighbours that of Winnie Mandela.

To add to this concentration of history, visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, named after the 12-year-old schoolboy who was shot in the back during the events of 1976 known as the ‘Soweto Uprising' or ‘16 June'. That day, the police fired on the crowd, killing 23 people. This tragedy marked the beginning of the end of apartheid.

Mandela House
8115 Vilakazi Street & NgakaneStreet
Johannesburg 1804

+27 (0)11 936 7754

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