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KKholvad House, in Market Street, Johannesburg has had an interesting role in South African history and was built in 1942 by a group of Indian people who came to South Africa from the labourer community of Kolvad. They built flats as a means of raising funds to educate poor children back in their home village and here in South Africa.
The five-storey building was designed and built by a brilliant young architect called Rusty Bernstein, who was later arrested with Ahmed Kathrada and held for trial at the Rivonia Treason Trial. It was the home of Robben Island prisoner Ahmed Kathrada for more than 16 years and it was the place where Nelson Mandela uttered profound these words, “the first seeds of non-racialism were sown and a wider concept of the nation came into being”.
FFlat 13 became a haven and a beacon of non-racial social integration, a hub of intense political debate and tradition. In 1960, when Mandela and Oliver Tambo’s law firm was forced to close down due to the State of Emergency, Mandela continued seeing clients at Kathrada’s flat. In 1962, Kathrada was placed under house arrest.
TThe following year he broke his banning orders and went underground to continue his political work, but was later arrested and, with Mandela and others, sentenced during the Rivonia trial to life imprisonment.
Kholvad House, in Market Street is located close to Chancellor House, at the corner of Fox and Gerard Sekoto streets in Ferreirasdorp, directly across the road from the Johannesburg Magistrates' court. The chancellors House is where Mandela and Oliver Tambo opened their legal practice, Mandela & Tambo. It was the first black-owned and run legal practice in the country and defended those who could not afford legal representation as victims of apartheid laws. The practice eventually closed down in 1960 when Tambo went into exile and Mandela was arrested. When the law firm closed in 1960 Nelson Mandela moved to Kholvad House.
TThis five-storey building was restored in 2011 and now makes it onto the list of formidable Johannesburg heritage gems. Local residents and visitors interested in retracing the footsteps of the late former president, Nelson Mandela, can do so by hopping on to a Rea Vaya bus to Soweto to learn more about this legendary man.
Pretoria Central Prison is arguably the most infamous prison where Mandela was held before he was transferred to Robben Island.
The FNB stadium continues to be the preferred platform of choice for the Soweto derby involving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
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.
The Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility gallows is now a museum. It memorialises the 3500 souls who met lost their lives here.
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.