We visit Constitution Hill and experience the unique way that South African transition has built hope for the future out of the pain of the past. We stop here for a guided tour through the old and cold deserted prison. (1 Hour Stop)
The hill was formerly the site of a fort which was later used as a prison. The Old Fort Prison complex is known as Number Four. The original prison was built to house white male prisoners in 1892. The Old Fort was built around this prison by Paul Kruger from 1896 to 1899 to protect the South African Republic from the threat of British invasion. Later, Boer military leaders of the Anglo-Boer War were imprisoned here by the British.
The Old Fort prison was later extended to include "native" cells, called Section 4 and Section 5, and, in 1907, a women's section was added. An awaiting-trial block was constructed in the 1920s. Both political activists opposed to apartheid and common criminals were held at the prison. Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here in 1906, and striking white mineworkers in 1907, 1913 and 1922.
Under the apartheid government, only whites were held in the Old Fort itself, except for Nelson Mandela, who was given a bed in the hospital section when he was as an awaiting-trial prisoner in 1962 prior to the Rivonia Trial. Joe Slovo, Bram Fischer, Albert Luthuli and Robert Sobukwe were also inmates.
The site housed prisoners until 1983, when it was closed. In 1995, the Constitutional Court justices began looking for a permanent location for the new Court.
The court building itself was built using bricks from the demolished awaiting-trial wing of the former prison. The court building is open to the public who want to attend hearings or view the art gallery in the court atrium. The court houses a collection of more than 200 contemporary artworks chosen by Constitutional Court judge Albie Sachs, including works by Gerard Sekoto, William Kentridge, and Cecil Skotnes.
The hill overlooks downtown Johannesburg to the South and the wealthy northern suburbs of Houghton, Parktown, Sandton, etc to the North.
The Carlton Centre is a skyscraper located in downtown Johannesburg. At 233 meters (731feet), it is the tallest building in Africa and about half the height of the Sears Tower in Chicago. This will be our last stop to ascend to the 50th floor of the highest building in Africa. This will offer you the best aerial view in Africa. The building houses both offices and shops, and has over 46 per cent of the floor area below ground level. A viewing deck on the 50th floor offers views of Johannesburg and Pretoria.(20 minute stop). From here we depart for a tour through Johanesburg city centre, a drive past Newtown, we crossover the Nelson Mandela Bridge and via Hillbrow.
At the turn of the 20th century, the Newtown Precint was originally known as the Brickfields. This area was rich in clay, brick makingbecame the most popular form of generating income and even better if an individual had their own clay mixer for making bricks. By 1896, about 7 000 people of all races lived in the Brickfield area, later named Burghersdorp.
As this land was close to the centre of Johannesburg and the railway line, many busnesses and immigrants coming from overseas bought stands in Burghersdorp. Soon trading companies, banks, brick companies, a brewery and fisheries moved into the area. Many Indians set up shops and eateries along Locatie (now known as Carr Street), which led to the station.
In April 1904, the fire brigade set the area alight destroying everything in the inferno -a measure to the combat bubonic plague that had broken out. The area was surveyed, re-planned in unbecoming haste and renamedNewtown by October 1904. A commercial area where vast fortunes in milling, production of sugar and food merchandising would come to existence.Newtown has now become synonymous with the heritage andculture of South Africa and especially Johannesburg.Hence it is universally known as the cultural Precinct. , , , Nelson Mandela Bridge, and a drive through the famous Hillbrow.
|Tour Cost:||R 450.00 per person|
|Tour Duration:||4 Hours|