A popular tourism attraction in Orlando West Soweto, at Vilakazi street named Mandela House Museum, is about to be liquidated in order to settle a debt.
According to workers at the museum, the furniture inside the house which was acquired by Soweto Heritage Trust will also be sold to the debtors.
“We are worried about losing our jobs as the management has informed us that the museum will be liquidated in order to pay off debt. This is one of the major tourism sites that attract tourists from all over the world”, said one of the workers.
The late former and first black president of South Africa Nelson Mandela founded Soweto Heritage Trust in 1997. He later left the museum house to the trust. In 2008, the Heritage Trust restored the house with the aim of preserving its history, through fund-raising events. However, since 2010, the museum has been managed by the Apartheid museum.
“We were not aware that the house owes some money as it is a well-known tourism spot. It is painful because we do not know when the liquidation will take place. As staff members, we do not even know to whom the museum is sold to”, a worker added.
Mandela house at Vilakazi street has a lot of history in South Africa. Vilakazi is the only street in the world where well-known South African Noble Peace Prize Laureates Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Dudu lived. Mandela started living in that house from 1946 with his first wife. 11 years later after divorcing his first wife he lived with his second wife Winnie Madikizela Mandela. After his 27 years imprisonment, he returned to the same house in 1990.