KZN invests millions at capture site to keep Nelson Mandela's legacy alive

11 February 2020 - 16:22 By Zimasa Matiwane
A multi-purpose centre has been launched at the Nelson Mandela capture site in Howick.
A multi-purpose centre has been launched at the Nelson Mandela capture site in Howick.
Image: Supplied

The KwaZulu-Natal government launched a multi-purpose centre at the Nelson Mandela capture site on Tuesday to commemorate the late former statesman's release from prison 30 years ago.

Department of co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka said the department had invested millions to develop the multi-purpose centre to keep Mandela’s legacy alive for the next generation.

“This place is a fitting tribute to our difficult history as well as proof of what we can achieve when we focus our energies on developing our potential as a young democracy.

"While the fight for the economic emancipation of our people still rages on, looking back we can be proud of what we have managed to achieve thus far.”

The capture site, which is also a major tourist destination, is in Howick in the KZN Midlands, where Mandela was arrested on August 5 1962 when travelling illegally from Durban to Johannesburg, after meeting the then ANC leader Albert Luthuli.

Mandela’s capture started the events that led to the Rivonia Treason Trial and his imprisonment for 27 years.

“To us, as the KZN provincial government, immortalising this place felt like a fitting tribute to these momentous events of our history. In developing this site, we had a vision of a sombre place for collective memories but also a place that could attract international tourists,” Hlomuka said. 

The capture site also boasts a large sculpture of Mandela made up of steel columns which stand between six and nine metres tall.