The Nelson Mandela Museum hosted the African Liberation Heritage Indaba on the current and future status of Liberation Heritage archives within South Africa. The African Liberation Heritage Indaba was underpinned by the philosophy of Nelson Mandela, Ubuntu, Reconciliation, Nation Building, and Social Cohesion.

From the 13th and 14th of October 2022 Heritage & Conservation practitioners, Historians, Politicians, Heritage Legacy projects directors, Museum officials and community leaders gathered at the International Convention Centre in East London engaging on the important role of South Africa’s Legacy Projects in preserving and archiving of South Africa’s path to freedom.

Key participants and speakers included Ms Baleka Mbethe, former deputy president and Speaker of National Parliament, Mr Amos Masondo, the Chairperson of the NCOP born is Soweto; Prof Somadoda Fikeni; Prof Beki Mngomezulu; Dr Wally Serote; Dr Ndlhovu and many others like Bishop Mbete who represented interfaith.

In summarising her words, Mam Baleka had this to say:

“The Museum should engage in an all-inclusive process of preserving the liberation heritage of all political parties. Culture and heritage is a much bigger space. The former Deputy President has already committed to dedicate her retirement activity on leading the establishment of the National Liberation Heritage Institute. The official establishment, registration and launch of the institute was completed in July 2022. She used the metaphor of the breast that was buried after the raid by the Apartheid regime in Gaberone that killed many people including Batswana women. These unnecessary deaths of non-South Africans emphasize and demonstrates the role and sacrifices made by people from neighboring countries.

The question is who’s breast was it’. Whatever heritage policy choices made must be informed by Ubuntu. She cited the possibility of resigning from the ANC NEC in the conference in December to pave way for younger people to actively participate and contribute to decision making that will benefit the country’s growing generation.

For a summary of the African Liberation Heritage Indaba, view the video below: