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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Johannesburg Zoo, Hillbrow Tower, SAB World of Beer, Satyagraha House, Constitution Hill, Brenthurst Gardens, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Radium Beer Hall, ABSA Art Gallery, Vilakazi Street, The Bag Factory, Bensusan Photographic Museum, Oriental Plaza, Standard Bank Gallery, Rand Easter Show, MuseuMAfricA, Mandela House, Madiba Trail, Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum
The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg was constructed in 2001 to commemorate those affected by apartheid, a dark period in South Africa’s history when sectors of the population were deprived of their basic rights and excluded from all but the most basic of services. Their crime? They were born black.
The museum is essentially a timeline of events that followed from 1948 when government opponents such as the African National Congress (ANC) were jailed without trial, the years of violence, the formation of Bantustan homelands, political executions through to negotiations and ultimately a peaceful end to a horrific time in the country’s history. The subject matter makes this museum totally unique.
To one side of the museum stands 7 pillars of civilised society now forged into the South African constitution – democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom.
The apartheid period began in 1948 when the National Party took power. They implemented laws such as the Group Areas Act which prevented people of colour from owning property and residing in certain areas. In 1990, the National Party leader unbanned the ANC political party and agreed to release Nelson Mandela, and so began a new era in South African society. It took a larger than life personality like Nelson Mandela, who ironically suffered more than most under the apartheid leadership, to exonerate his perpetrators in the spirit of forgiveness, and to move the country peacefully forward.
The Apartheid Museum is located alongside the popular Gold Reef City venue, 6km from Johannesburg city centre, 18km from Sandton and is a scheduled stop on City Sightseeing’s Red Bus.
The museum is a place of reflection, to look back and see how it was that South Africans were able to embrace the wrongs, learn from them and begin working together to find a better future.