Liliesleaf: Celebrating the transformation of a nation
Liliesleaf Farm, the headquarters of Umkhonto we Sizwe and the site on which the Rivonia trialists were arrested in 1963, has reopened its doors in the form of an interactive and experiential tribute to South African history. It was at Liliesleaf that prominent and influential leaders such as Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Nelson Mandela collaborated and engaged in strategic and military discourse to overthrow the Apartheid regime.
Although 60% of the site’s infrastructures are comprised of original brickwork, two new buildings have been constructed: Liberation Centre (which houses a coffee shop, curio shop and crèche, as well as permanent and temporary exhibits, and 66-seater auditorium) and the Resource Centre which boasts an impressive collection of archives, over 3000 books and in excess of 500 hours of interview footage. The state-of-the-art auditorium shows an introductory 15-minute film to begin the visitor’s tour of the site, and the tour through Liberation Centre takes the visitor on a journey of enlightenment: from struggle to liberation, to transformation. Manor House, which once served as ‘home’ to the Goldreich family in the early 1960s, has been equipped with an interactive table depicting the story of our political emancipation and also transmits the Freedom Radio broadcast recorded by Walter Sisulu in 1963. In addition to Manor house, the museum component of Liliesleaf is completed by the thatched cottage, the two outbuildings and the coal shed and bunker.
The authenticity of the site lends itself to an insightful and interactive snapshot of South Africa’s history and acknowledges our remarkable heritage, as well as the progress we have made since 1963. Tours of the historical site take approximately one and a half hours and are ideal for family weekend outings. The museum is open seven days a week, from 09h00-18h00 and bookings can be made through Southern Spoor Marketing on the details alongside.