Anyone who has read Long Walk To Freedom should be familiar with this incredible story about Nelson Mandela. How he was caught in a random roadblock in the Natal Midlands, and ultimately incarcerated for 27 years.
To be honest I wasn’t aware of this story until friends showed me a picture of the awesome monument that has been erected in the very place where it happened.
So according to a few sources, this is the story:
Check this out:
At the time, Mandela was driving an Austin Westminster from Groutville with his friend and comrade Cecil Williams.
They were en-route to visit then ANC president Albert Luthuli to discuss the ANC’s position on non-racialism. When they were stopped by police, Mandela – posing as a chauffeur – insisted he was David Motsamayi.
But the police recognised him though and he was arrested on August 5, 1962. He was only released 27 years later. He was convicted of incitement and illegally leaving the country and sentenced to five years in jail before being prosecuted in the Rivonia Trials that led to his incarceration on Robben Island.
Can you believe that some random roadblack check took him down the path and created the story we all know so well? Incredible.
And who is this David Motnamayi, you ask?
In June 1961, on the instructions of the ANC, Nelson Mandela went underground and spent many months hiding out in different locations, including Liliesleaf farm (more on that below – further reading) in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg – on the pretext of being a ”houseboy” or caretaker. “I had taken the name of David Motsamayi, the name of one of my former clients,” he wrote in Long Walk to Freedom.
Here is a copy of an Ethiopian passport he acquire, in that very name:
The ‘capture site’ where Mandela was arrested has display the magnificent monument shown at the very top of this article, created by sculpture Marco Cianfanelli.
Former President Nelson Mandela’s sculpture was unveiled in Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Saturday.
“The front of the sculpture is a portrait of Mandela, it has vertical bars which represent his imprisonment,” designer Marco Cianfanelli said.
He came up with the concept in 2005 working with architect Jeremy Rose of Mashabane Rose Associates.
Also working on the project was director of the Apartheid Museum Christopher Till.
Cianfanelli said: “When you walk through the structure it’s radiates like a burst of light, which symbolises the political uprising of many people and solidarity.”
He said the sculpture showed the irony of the apartheid government trying to stop the struggle.
“But it had the opposite effect as it helped to grow and galvanise the movement.”
The sculpture comprises of 50 steel columns which are charcoal in colour.
Rose designed the path leading towards the sculpture where at a distance of 35m, a portrait of Mandela looking west comes into focus.
On the sides of the pathway were trees with the words negotiator, courageous, statesman, leader, prisoner, comrade and character.
Click here to read up on the Rivonia Trial.
thanks carls x
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