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Walk where Mandela walked !, This holiday season suddenly came to a halt with the sad news that former president Nelson Mandela passed away on 5 December 2013. Madiba touched the hearts of so many people around the world including world leaders, celebrities, but mostly the man in the street.
With Mandela’s passing, people from around the world undoubtedly would like to pay their respects to him by visiting the sites where he made history. We are very fortunate as residents of the Western Cape to be surrounded by so many landmarks to honour Nelson Mandela. Here is a list of landmarks in the Western Cape to visit this festive season and pay tribute to him by leaving a message or memento.
Robben Island - Nelson Mandela spent 18 years as a political prisoner on Robben Island. This prison was later converted into a museum and also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mandela House Museum - Mandela spend his final months of imprisonment before his release in 1990 at Groot Drakenstein correctional facility, previously called Victor Verster Prison, Paarl. A bronze statue of Mandela outside the prison gates symbolize his first steps to freedom.
Cape Town City Hall - On February 11, 1990, hours after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela made his first public speech from the balcony of the Cape Town City Hall, located on the Grand Parade.
Houses of Parliament - In 1994 Nelson Mandela become president after South Africa’s first democratic elections. Mandela acted as President from 1994 to 1999 presiding over Parliament and the laws that serve as the framework of this country’s democracy were passed during this time.
Nobel Square - Nobel Square pays respect to the four South African Nobel Peace prize winners, Nelson Mandela, Albert Lithuli, Desmond Tutu, and FW de Klerk. Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, along with FW de Klerk, for his work toward democracy and reconciliation.
Nelson Mandela Legacy Exhibition at Civic Centre - The “Cape Town Honours Nelson Mandela” exhibition features a series of images, quotes and video footage of iconic speeches from the life and political career of Mr Mandela. The exhibit opened 30 June 2013 and runs until July 2014.
Mandela Rhodes Place - The Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel & Spa offers visitors a timeline, which records the life of Mandela in 14 distinct sections highlighted across the walls of one of the hotel’s entrance corridors. An innovative mosaic abstract portrait of Nelson Mandela is also on display in the atrium of the hotel.
A visit to one of these monuments, statues, museums or landmarks will celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy! Rest in Peace Madiba!