South Africa: The ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ has ended


Nelson Mandela is dead

August 05, 1962 in KwaZulu Natal: Coming from Groutville in the Midlands Meander, an Austin Westminster was rolling along the R103 country road, chauffeured by Nelson Mandela, who acted as a driver in disguise for his comrade Cecil Williams. They were heading back from a visit they had just paid to Albert Luthuli, then president of the African National Congress ANC. Near Howick, the car was stopped by armed police and Mandela captured. 27 long years of incarceration followed, 18 of which Mandela served at the high-security jail on Robben Island off Cape Town’s coast.

The Rise of Apartheid - exhibition at the Mandela Capture Site museum near Howick.

The Rise of Apartheid – exhibition at the Mandela Capture Site museum near Howick.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus ( = unconquered), written by the British poet William Ernest Henley (1849 – 1903), became Nelson Mandela’s creed.

The Mandela Capture Site

High treason

The exhibition at the Apartheid museum erected close to this Mandela Capture Site near Howick offers an emotional testimony of the dramatic stages in the life of a nonviolent activist and his relentless fight against Apartheid. To mark the 50th anniversary of Mandela’s arrest and his ‘long walk to freedom’, a powerful sculpture was created by artist Marco Cianfanelli: it comprises 50 irregularly shaped steel columns – each between 6.5 and 9.5 metres tall. From the museum, a wide path leads down towards the monument. At a distance of 35 metres, the 50 vertical units create the illusion of a flat image – and now the portrait of Nelson Mandela comes into focus. A plain memorial stone was placed at the actual ‘Capture Site’ on the opposite side of the road.

Nelson Mandela Monument near Howick in KwaZulu Natal.

Nelson Mandela Monument near Howick in KwaZulu Natal.


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, together with Frederik Willem de Klerk. As the former’s successor and as the first black president, he ruled South Africa between 1994 and 1999. Nelson Mandela died on December 05, 2013 at the age of 95 – peacefully, it is confirmed.

“His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world“, said South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma when addressing his nation on television.

Barack Obama: “He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages”.

All photos taken at the Capture Site by Christina Feyerke.