Rivonia farm now a heritage site

2011-07-12 08:15

Lilliesleaf farm in Rivonia will be turned into a heritage site, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile has announced.

Speaking at the 48th anniversary gala dinner to honour the Rivonia trialists in Sandton, Mashatile said that the story of the farm – used as a meeting place and a hideout for senior ANC and SA Communist Party (SACP) leaders in 1960 – had to be told “again, again and again”, The Times reported today.

The farm was bought by MK High Command and the SACP, and was to be used as a meeting place and a hideout for banned activists.

However, on July 11 1963, police raided the farm and found the men studying “Operation Mayibuye”, an MK proposal for guerilla warfare and revolution.

Struggle heroes, including Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Rusty Bernstein, Ahmed Kathrada, Denis Goldberg, James Kantor, Andrew Mlangeni, Raymond Mhlaba, Nelson Mandela and Elias Motsoaledi, were all arrested.

Arthur Goldreich and Harold Wolpe escaped before going on trial.

Zuma, who also attended the dinner, said in his keynote address: “We believe that by preserving this heritage (Lilliesleaf farm) we are contributing to the ongoing process of national healing and the building of a more cohesive society.

“We will therefore continue to ensure that the story of (the farm) is told in full for the benefit of current and future generations,” Zuma said.

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