Heritage: Treasure trove of the liberation

2015-03-15 14:30

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

It’s hard not to be overcome by emotion every time you enter the Liliesleaf memorial site in Rivonia. So much of our history is held within the towering walls of this architecturally spectacular suburban enclave of strife.

It is the home of moments we owe our freedom to – from the historic Liliesleaf captures, where liberation leaders like former president Thabo Mbeki and freedom fighters Ahmed Kathrada and Walter Sisulu fiercely struggled to escape the clutches of apartheid security police, to the hollow cries of the Rivonia Trial, where those men – considered terrorists – narrowly avoided the death sentence for their covert activities.

Now a new exhibit at Liliesleaf unveils a nearly 40-year-old secret of espionage, bravado and selfless activism undertaken by The Internationals – a community of global activists, spies and renegade soldiers who, under the guidance and instruction of Ronnie Kasrils, took it upon themselves to fight apartheid.

The exhibition documents and displays (in a newly built structure designed by pioneering architecture firm Studio ZA) what London’s Victoria and Albert Museum beautifully named Disobedient Objects at a similar exhibition held there in 2012.

Crazy items like the 70s leaflet bombs that would discharge a confetti of thousands of African National Congress leaflets smuggled from London are exhibited alongside the suitcases that so exquisitely hid the millions of propaganda pamphlets.

Top-secret classified documents between Umkhonto weSizwe veterans and the ambassadors of Cuba, Sweden and the Soviet Union are displayed next to the Africa Hinterland Safari truck – named after the tour operators who stashed more than 400 tons of ammunition in a secret compartment under the vehicle they used to transport tourists around game farms.

It is a vast treasure trove of the liberation movement’s efforts to survive the threat of oppression, and works to ensure that the memory of the liberation struggle and the many diverse stories, testimonies and events that took place are never forgotten.

*Africa Hinterland Safari Truck is a permanent exhibit at Liliesleaf in Rivonia.

Visit liliesleaf.co.za

The display at the new museum

From left: Essop Pahad, Sydney Mufamadi, Kgalema Motlanthe, Ronnie Kasrils and Aziz Pahad at the launch

Ronnie Kasrils in a video display at the new museum

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.