by Simon Capstick-Dale

In Madiba's footsteps

Nelson Mandela tours take off

In Madiba's footsteps
In Madiba's footsteps

A guided tour of key Johannesburg sites linked to Nelson Mandela has long been popular with visitors and residents alike, but the walk in Ferreirasdorp, a western Johannesburg suburb where the anti-apartheid hero first practised law, has gained added poignancy as Madiba's health declines.

Visitors are first taken through the Old Pass Office, which issued the permit documents that blacks had to carry – on pain of imprisonment – under apartheid.

Also on the itinerary is the notorious John Vorster Square, now Johannesburg Central Police Station, where many political activists were detained and tortured and where they often disappeared in the 1970s up to the early '90s.

The two-hour walk then proceeds to Chancellor House, the office block where Mandela and his old friend and fellow anti-apartheid militant, Oliver Tambo, opened Johannesburg's first black law practice in 1952.

Displays on the ground floor tell the story of the two men and their fight against white minority rule and racial oppression.

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