Liliesleaf Farm

Liliesleaf Farm, which lies in the midst of the leafy suburb of Rivonia, played a pivotal role in the history of South Africa

Gauteng Tourist AttractionsThe Liliesleaf Farm

Liliesleaf Farm, which lies in the midst of the leafy suburb of Rivonia, played a rather pivotal role in the history of South Africa.

Where? 7 George Avenue, Rivonia, Sandton, Johannesburg

When? Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 17h00.
Saturdays and Sundays from 09h00 to 16h00

How? Call +27 (0)11 803-7882

Overnight? See Rivonia accommodation, Sandton

It was here at Liliesleaf Farm that a group of senior ANC members were arrested during a police raid in 1963 for planning to overthrow the apartheid government.

Nelson Mandela was already in prison by the time of the raid, however he was one of the ANC members who used Liliesleaf Farm as a place to meet and hide. It is regarded as the the birthplace of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, who fought against the apartheid government.

The farm had been bought by the SA Communist Party to use as a safe house, where the Goldreichs lived as 'white' owners of the property (Including Arthur Goldreich who managed to escape before the trial), and Nelson Mandela, who is said to have also lived pretending to be David Motsamayi, the cook and gardener.

The raid of 1963 led to the Rivonia Treason Trials and the imprisonment of many of the senior members of the ANC, including Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada.

Today, Liliesleaf Farm is a tourist attraction, a place you can visit. There are guided tours, a conference centre for hire, a museum and the restored house to visit. In 2010 it was awarded a Merrit Award Certificate that recognises the Liliesleaf Project as one of the best new tourism projects in the world.

The house has been as authentically restored as possible – 60% of the building today is the original brickwork, whilst the outbuildings were only uncovered during the archaeological excavation. There is also an interactive table that allows one to experience video, images, audio and text in a 3d interface.

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