New mu­seum to hon­our Madiba

Vuk'uzenzele - - Sport, Agretnser&aclulture - Amuke­lani Chauke

AS THE COUN­TRY com­mem­o­rates the 100th an­niver­sary of Nel­son Man­dela's birth, a new mu­seum will open its doors to mem­bers of the pub­lic

The early life of for­mer Pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela, his ca­reer as an at­tor­ney and his rise into pol­i­tics through his in­volve­ment in the de­fi­ance cam­paign against un­just laws is a well-doc­u­mented story that forms part of South Africa’s lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

To add to this, mon­u­ments have been erected in his hon­our – from the Nel­son Man­dela Mu­seum in Qunu, a stone’s throw away from where he re­ceived pri­mary school­ing, to his jail cell at Robben Is­land near Cape Town where he, was jailed by the apartheid govern­ment for decades.

How­ever, the site of his ar­rest at a road­block near How­ick in KwaZulu-Na­tal on 5 Au­gust 1962 – which set in mo­tion events that led to the fa­mous “Rivo­nia Trial” in Oc­to­ber 1963 – has for years only been marked with a barely vis­i­ble memo­rial plaque for years.

On 5 Au­gust 2012, a land­mark sculp­ture was erected near the cap­ture site along R103 in a project spear­headed by the Apartheid Mu­seum’s di­rec­tor Christo­pher Till, in con­junc­tion with the KwaZulu-Na­tal Depart­ment of Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs (CoGTA), to mark the 50th an­niver­sary of Man­dela’s ar­rest.

As the coun­try com­mem­o­rates the 100th an­niver­sary since the birth of Nel­son Man­dela, a new mu­seum will open its doors to the mem­bers of the pub­lic in Septem­ber near the Nel­son Man­dela Cap­ture Site to them a “360-de­gree view” of Madiba’s long walk – from his cap­ture right through to the 1994 demo­cratic elec­tions.

Till also started the Apartheid Mu­seum in Jo­han­nes­burg and con­vinced the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity and CoGTA to buy the farm ad­ja­cent the cap­ture site. He then went back to con­vince the part­ners to build an ac­com­pa­ny­ing mu­seum and a vis­i­tor’s cen­tre, which is a R65 mil­lion project.

“We man­aged to get money to build that new mu­seum which is cur­rently 98 per­cent fin­ished. We have also cre­ated an ex­hi­bi­tion to go into that space. It will be an in­ter­ac­tive au­dio-visual kind of ex­hi­bi­tion,” he said.

Go­ing for­ward, Till said the mu­seum has part­ners in the wings and that he was also look­ing for new part­ner­ships to im­ple­ment the third phase of the project.

“We also want to con­struct an am­phithe­atre and put in place a skills de­vel­op­ment train­ing cen­tre and a craft mar­ket where we will be­gin to en­gage the lo­cal com­mu­nity to bring ac­tiv­ity and em­ploy­ment and trans­for­ma­tion to that site,” he added.

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