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TToday the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional is still a functional gaol with a C-Max section. The gallows, however, are now a museum where you can learn more about the history of this place and about the history of South Africa. .
The walls are lined with the names of the prisoners and the nooses hanging from the ceiling add an air of sadness, which reminds us just how far we have come as a nation.
IIn 1996 the gallows was dismantled after the death sentence was discontinued in South Africa. It was decided, however, to restore it as a museum and a heritage site in honour of those who lost their lives there. The 52 steps which the prisoners had to climb accompanied by the wardens are numbered to give you an idea of just how the seconds ticked by for those ascending them.
Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility
TThe gallows at Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility are the only place in the country where executions took place. Constitution Hill and its gaol held many a prisoner including Nelson Mandela, twice, but no executions were carried out since 1902. One very famous person who was hung at Kgosi Mampuru Correctional was Daisy De Melker, who was accused of killing two husbands and a son with poison.
Nelson Mandela’s first act when he created the constitutional court was to abolish the death penalty. He himself had been sentenced to death, which would have been carried out at Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility had he not been given a reprieve due to international pressure.
His famous quote while facing the death penalty in 1964 still echoes today, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”
Pretoria Central Prison is arguably the most infamous prison where Mandela was held before he was transferred to Robben Island.
Dr. A.B. Xuma’s house in Sophiatown tells the story of a way of life during apartheid.
The FNB stadium continues to be the preferred platform of choice for the Soweto derby involving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
Regina Mundi Church a struggle landmark and a tourist attraction that continues to serve the community.
The Mandela House in Vilakazi Street, Soweto is now a small but interesting museum which you can go to in order to learn about his life.
National Archives and Records Service of South Africa - the Reading Room is open for public use and is free of charge.
Have you ever wondered where we, human beings, came from? What led to this evolutionary revolution on Planet Earth? All of the answers can be found in one place: the Cradle of Humankind.
Maropeng is the official visitors’ centre for the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site within easy distance of Johannesburg and Pretoria.