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Tributes: Capture Site

Residents from around KwaZulu-Natal paid their respects to former President Nelson Mandela who died in his home in Johannesburg on Thursday night (05 December 2013). Hundreds of people descended on the iconic Mandela Capture Site outside Howick to pay their tributes and to lay flowers at the memorial. Some mourners could not contain their emotions as they openly wept while others sang church hymns. (Reinhardt Hartzenberg)

The Capture Site is a significant historical landmark: In 1962, on 5 August, this otherwise ordinary piece of road along the R103, approximately five kilometers outside Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, suddenly took on profound consequence. Armed apartheid police flagged down a car in which Nelson Mandela was pretending to be the chauffeur. Having succeeded in evading capture by apartheid operatives for 17 months, Mandela had just paid a clandestine visit to ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli’s Groutville home to report back on his African odyssey, and to request support in calling for an armed struggle. It was in this dramatic way, at this unassuming spot, that Nelson Mandela was finally captured and arrested. (thecapturesite.co.za)

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