Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's Brandfort house turned into a museum

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This is the house the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lived in when she was banished to Brandfort in the Free State in 1977. (Amanda Khoza, News24)
This is the house the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lived in when she was banished to Brandfort in the Free State in 1977. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

The construction of the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Brandfort House Museum in Majwemasweu, Brandfort, the Free State, is complete, the national Department of Sports, Arts and Culture announced on Monday.

On April 24, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced the construction of the house, where Madikizela-Mandela was banished to, would be complete in November 2019.

Mthethwa promised it would also serve as a multipurpose centre with Wi-Fi facilities and parking space for tourists.

The struggle icon was banished to the town in May 1977 by the apartheid government.

"Twenty four-hour security services have been put in place by the Lejweleputswa District Municipality to guard this prized national asset. 

"… at this stage, the department is in the process of procuring expertise to collect artefacts and curate an exhibition. After the collection of the artefacts and installation of the exhibition material, the museum will be officially opened," department spokesperson Asanda Magaqa said.

"Winnie Madikizela-Mandela House will now be part of the prized national monuments and sites that fall under the resistance and liberation heritage route programme - one of the premier departmental mandates to preserve and promote the legacies of our heroes and heroines as an integral part of our cultural heritage.

"Lastly, the department wishes to place on record it has noted incorrect media reports over the past few days that the museums in Mama Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela's birthplace of Bizana in the Mbizana Local Municipality is under its custodianship.

"The department wishes to categorically state that this institution as well as the flat once occupied by South Africa's first democratically elected president and Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, in Alexandra, Johannesburg, are the responsibility of those relevant spheres of government," Magaqa said.

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