South Africa: Liliesleaf Farm Museum, a Place Where the Voices of the Struggle Resonate, Is in Crisis


Liliesleaf Farm Museum, described as the 'nerve centre of the liberation movement' is facing a crisis, made worse by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Liliesleaf Farm Museum is facing a serious cash crisis. Nicholas Wolpe, the CEO of Liliesleaf, said he would be devastated if the museum were to close. The farm, located in Rivonia, Johannesburg, is where the Communist Party of South Africa had its headquarters in the 1960s and the then-banned ANC had its underground meetings.

"It evolved from being the secret headquarters of the Communist Party into first the newly High Command or the newly formed uMkhonto we Sizwe," said Wolpe, who described the farm as the "nerve centre" of the liberation fight. "It was a place of activity. It was a place of dialogue, with a place of engagement, a place of debate, it is where we planned the overthrow of apartheid," he said.

On 11 July 1963, following a tip-off, police raided the farm and arrested Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba and Ahmed Kathrada among others. The diary of Nelson Mandela, the commander-in-chief of uMkhonto we Sizwe was found on the farm with details of a possible guerrilla warfare strategy. Later, Mandela and his co-accused, which...

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