'Liliesleaf is an icon of the struggle for freedom.'  Denis Goldberg. Liliesleaf is one of South Africa’s foremost national heritage sites. Between 1961 and 1963, Liliesleaf served as the secret headquarters and nerve centre of the ANC, SACP, Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Congress Alliance. 

On 11 July 1963, the police, acting on a tip-off, raided Liliesleaf and arrested the core leadership of the underground liberation movement. Following the raid, ten people were eventually put on trial to face charges of 193 counts of sabotage against the state.

Nelson Mandela, who was already serving a prison sentence at the time of the raid, became Accused Number 1. With him in the dock were Walter Sisulu, Denis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Lionel (“Rusty”) Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba, James Kantor, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni.

Kantor and Bernstein were acquitted but the other eight were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. The raid on Liliesleaf and the subsequent imprisonment of the leaders of the struggle dealt a hammer blow to the liberation movement and internal resistance to apartheid.

Today, Liliesleaf is home to extraordinary exhibitions and a wonderful archive that tell stories of the journey to democracy in South Africa. But Liliesleaf is more than just a site of memory; it encourages learning, engagement and dialogue for meaningful change through school outreach programmes and roundtable discussions.

Despite relentless efforts to secure public and corporate funding, and with Covid-19 severely impacting on income generating activities, Liliesleaf, like other South African heritage institutions, is finding it increasingly difficult to sustain its operations and programmes.

This is an appeal for contributions to keep Liliesleaf going, to preserve its historical artefacts and exhibitions, to sustain its operations and to ensure that it remains a treasured resource for future generations.

In August we will commemorate the 60th of the purchase of Liliesleaf.  We will hold our crowdfunding appeal for financial support on the, April 27, Freedom, which also marks 27 years since our first democratic elections.  In keeping with these two significant milestones, we are appealing to you to donate either:


27 Rands, Dollars, Pounds or Euros to mark

27 years of a free South Africa

27 years Mandela spent in prison 

60 Rands, Dollars, Pounds or Euros to mark

60 years since the of the purchase of Liliesleaf


Please click here to donate: https://liliesleaf.co.za/donations/

04/30/2021 - 00:00
Thu, 04/08/2021 - 08:42

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