Welcome to Liliesleaf
“At the Rivonia Trialist Reunion held at Liliesleaf in December 2001 President Thabo Mbeki announced the establishment of the Liliesleaf Trust. The Trust aims to ensure that the unique heritage, history and legacy of Liliesleaf Farm is preserved for future generations.”
Situated in residential Rivonia, the insightful and interactive museum experience Liliesleaf honours South Africa’s remarkable heritage and the impressive trajectory of South Africa’s socio-political past. Once the headquarters of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC and the Congress Alliance, Liliesleaf holds a position of esteem among struggle landmarks in South Africa. Visitors to Liliesleaf will experience a first-hand account of the events and circumstances leading up to the infamous raid of the Rivonia farm, as well as insights into some of the revolutionary personalities who helped to shape South Africa’s democracy.
Read more >>
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Raid on Liliesleaf
The Importance of Liliesleaf as Place of Memory and a Reminder for the Present:
Liliesleaf will be remembering and commemorating the 50th anniversaries of the Raid on Liliesleaf on 11 July 1963; Liliesleaf was the ‘nerve centre’ of liberation activity and the raid dealt a serve hammer below to the struggle resulting in the arrest of 18 people including key leaders of the liberation movement. The arrests and evidence seized from Liliesleaf lead to the Rivonia Trial which started on the 26th November 1963, and subsequent sentences of life imprisonment for 8 of the 10 accused - Nelson Mandela and seven other senior leaders of the ANC, South African Communist Party, Congress Alliance and MK. Rusty Bernstein and James Kantor were however acquitted; and the Escape from Marshall Square on 11 August 1963.
The significance of acknowledging and commemorating these events is to not only ensure that our history, memory and legacy of our liberation struggle is preserved and maintained but also collectively embraced, honoured and cherished. For the struggle today is the struggle against the memory against forgetting, the struggle to ensure that as a nation we entrench the ideals, beliefs and principles upon which our liberation struggle was predicated on.
Thus the importance of sites like Liliesleaf as Pierre Nora emphasizes in Between Memory and History is that, “sites of memory allow history a kind of reawakening. These sites bring history to life”. Liliesleaf preserves the memories of our past and in so doing preserves these memories in the minds and consciousness of all.
It is imperative and essential that we reaffirm our liberation heritage as an integral part of our country’s collective memory and cultural history. Equally it is important that we continue to celebrate and draw lessons from the lives of those who shaped our country’s history and contributed to the freedom and democracy we enjoy today.
Thus sites like Liliesleaf not only ensure that a period in South Africa’s recent history is preserved for current and future generations, but also ensures that society does not forget the struggle, sacrifices, values, ideals and principles that underpinned the liberation struggle.
Liliesleaf commemorates a strategic and seminal point in South Africa’s history and represents a beacon on the national and international landscape of human memory. It formed a crucible of the liberation movement and became a distinctive place of memory for definitive leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, and those associated with Liliesleaf and the liberation movement and struggle. The events and activities that took place there pushed the door ajar and propelled the liberation struggle down a new path.
The Liliesleaf Trust Purchases another Freedom Charter :
As part of the Liliesleaf Trust's goal and objective to ensure that our Memory and Legacy is preserved for all, the Liliesleaf Trust on Friday 8th March 2013 purchased a second signed copy of the Freedom Charter which was handed over to the Deputy President and Chairman of the Liliesleaf Trust by Adam Fleming the Chairman of Wits Gold and Rick Menell.
In May 2010 the Liliesleaf Trust acquired a signed copy that is now located at National Archives. At the time of the purchase it was the only one known to be in existence. It is not known how many Freedom Charters were signed but the general consensus is that five Freedom Charters were signed.
Towards the end of 2012 Antiquarian Auctions in Cape Town contacted The Liliesleaf Trust and notified it that they had in their possession another signed copy of the Freedom Charter which they were about to put on auction for their client.
Thanks to the generous and gracious financial support and assistance of Adam Fleming, Chairman of Wits Gold, Rick and Caroline Menell & Lord Robin Renwick the former British High Commissioner to South Africa, The Liliesleaf Trust was able to have it removed from auction.
This signed copy will now be housed at Liliesleaf.
The importance and significance of the Freedom Charter can not be overstated. It signifies, represents , articulates and personifies the essence, meaning and intent of the Liberation Struggle. The Document forms the basis and framework around which South Africa's Constitution and Bill of Rights is based on and thus symbolizes the values, principles and ideals of the Liberation Struggle.
View charter >>
Memory and Legacy Program - Reflections of a Trial
An evening of Dialogue and Reflection on The Rivonia Trial with the 3 surviving Lawyers of the Defense Team was held at Liliesleaf on Wednesday evening the 20th of February. The purpose of the event was to ensure that this key and seminal Trial is not forgotten and that through memory, reflection, dialogue and debate, this will allow and ensure a reawakening of a significant period in the country's struggle for justice, human rights and freedom.
1963 “Cedric” Coffee Shop
Liliesleaf would like to welcome all visitors to the 1963 “Cedric” Coffee Shop to enjoy light meals and refreshments. The coffee shop is open to the public, and there is no entry fee to gain access to the coffee shop.
The 1963 “Cedric” coffee shop is open 7 days a week from:
Monday to Friday – 08:30 am – 17:00 pm
Saturday to Sunday – 09:00 am – 16:00 pm
In addition to the menu, there are daily specials on offer.
subject to change
The Freedom Charter withdrawn from Auction
The Freedom Charter drawn up in 1955, following the Congress of The People, forms the cornerstone and framework of our democratic Constitution. It proclaims that South Africa belongs to all who live in and that all shall be equal before the law.
It is not known how many Freedom Charters were signed but the general consensus is that only 5 to 7 Freedom Charters were signed. Two years ago the Liliesleaf Trust acquired one of the signed copies which is now located at National Archives. At the time of the purchase, it was the only one known to be in existence.>>
In mid-November Antiquarian Auctions in Cape Town contacted The Liliesleaf Trust and notified them that they had in their possession another signed copy of the Freedom Charter which they were about to put on auction for their client. Yet again the Liliesleaf Trust negotiated through the auction house to purchase and have the Freedom Charter removed from the auction.
Read More >>
Transcript of the address by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe at the Liliesleaf Trust’s Commemorative Gala dinner in honour of the Harold Wolpe trust on 14 June 2012.
Directions to Liliesleaf >>
We welcome you to browse through our site, read the stories, and retell them. One of the objectives of the Liliesleaf Trust is not only to preserve the narrative of our historical and political past, but to ensure that these stories are circulated and known, and that the hardships endured by the men, women and children who fought for so long can be heard.
Contact us >>
LILIESLEAF IS OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK
MONDAY TO SUNDAY
Week : 8:30am - 5pm
Weekend : 9:00am - 4pm
Tour Rates and Packages
You can choose a 45 minute, 1, 2 or 3 hour tour.
- The standard self-tour is a R60.00 which is the entrance fee only (Pensioners R35.00)
- The Self-tour Package is a R100.00 which includes the entrance fee and a choice between a scone or muffin with either Tea or Coffee (Pensioners R75.00)
- The Standard Guided Tour is a R110.00 which includes the entrance fee and a tour done by one of our well-trained tour guides (Pensioners R40.00)
- The Guided Tour Package is a R150 which includes the entrance fee, a tour done by one of our well-trained tour guides and a choice between a scone or muffin with either Tea or Coffee (Pensioners R80.00)
- The Student Guided Tour is R30.00 and includes the entrance fee and a tour done by one or our well-trained tour guides
- Children 0-2 is free
- Children 3-14 years is R30.00 and it includes the entrance fee and guided or unguided tour
- Children Package Rate 3-14 years is R70.00 and it includes the entrance fee, guided or unguided tour with a choice between a muffin or scone with a soft drink
Please note that the last Tour will commence 1 hour before closing of the historical site
For any group larger than 10 people we require a booking and full pre-payment
"Liliesleaf was an old house that needed work and no one lived there. I moved in under the pretext that I was a houseboy or caretaker that would live there until my master took possession. I had taken the alias David Motsamayi, the name of one of my former clients. At the farm, I wore the simple blue overalls that were the uniform of the black male servant."
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Watch the stories of South Africa’s past unfold in 3-D
INTERACTIVE TABLE > MANOR HOUSE
The table displays a 3d interface consisting of video, images, audio, and text. The interface is browsed by visitors using two aluminum ‘navigators’, that allow them to view info about the Apartheid era in South Africa. Click here for more…
Follow us on:
Make a booking
On the 5th November 2012, Liliesleaf was presented with a “Diamond Arrow 2012” Award by PMR Africa in the category Leaders and Achievers rated on their contribution to the economic growth and development of the City of Johannesburg.
Liliesleaf was awarded “Outstanding – 1st Overall “for the most Exciting/Interesting Heritage/Historical Sites/Buildings.
An interactive experience