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Peps and Pete Travels "On pleasure bent again"

Soweto

SOUTH AFRICA | Sunday, 17 June 2007 | Views [582]

Our trip to South Africa was yet another eventful trip involving a cancalled flight out of Bahrain. The people at the Gulf Air desk had fairly thick accents, so I thought that we had been rerouted on to Eritrea Airlines, but luckily he was actually saying Etihad (a fact I only discovered o\nce boarding the plane!).

Once we arrived in Johannesburg we stayed with my Uncle. We didn't really do much in the way of touristy things (most of our time in SA has been spent visiting family and friends), except for a tour of Soweto - a tour which I highly reccomend to anyone visiting Joburg.

Our tour started off with a visit to Regina Mundi church, a Catholic Church which remained open during the Soweto riots (many other churches were forced to close)and actually has bullet holes inside the church from the South African Police (SAP). The church is an amazing place, and it tells an incredible story about sowetos history from the perspective of a sanctuary that was breached by live ammunition. It is a sacred and battleweary place that still stands defiant as a beacon to all people, and it has hosted many famous faces including Mandela and Bill Clinton.

Our next stop was the Hector Pietersen museum - named for the 13 year old boy who was killed by police while students protested the enforcement of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in school. This event was the beginning of the slow decline of the apartheid era. It may have taken many long years for the regime to finally crumple, but the students started it off. The musem is a memorial to those students who stood up on that day, a significant number of whom lost their lives at the hands of the police, and it is an incredibly moving tale of defiance and courage.

Another stop on our tour was Nelson Mandela's house, the one he lived in before he was sent to jail. Interesting to see th humble beginnings of such a great man! As an aside, the house has Sugar Rays world title belt, which was given to Mandela as a gift.

Our final stop was for lunch where we were able to sample some traditional food - and the meal like the tour was incredible. Soweto is a must see!

Tags: Sightseeing

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