‘Hide out’ let go

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July 17, 2017
‘Hide out’ let go

FOR SALE: Late activist Fatima Meer's house to be auctioned

The house of the late struggle activist Fatima Meer, where the late Nelson Mandela spent time while hiding from the apartheid government, is for sale.

The house on Burnwood Road in Sydenham, Johannesburg, provided shelter for many anti-apartheid stalwarts, including Oliver Tambo and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The house first went on sale in 2010 after Meer’s death when her daughters Shamin and Shehnaz sold it to their uncle, Len Anderson.

 Late activist : Fatima Meer 

“The family wanted to get rid of all the sentiments and memories, and all other things that went wrong, and they are living in Cape Town and Johannesburg. None of the grandkids wanted the house so I, as the first cousin, purchased it from the family,” Anderson told the Sunday Tribune.

The humanitarian and businessman never lived in the house and says it has become costly to maintain.

He would like to see it turned into a museum. The auction will take place in a fortnight.

Head of Parks and Recreation Thembinkosi Ngcobo said the municipality had embarked on a liberation heritage route project with the role to map and identify sites that were a part of the Struggle. However, he was not aware of the sale.

“We had identified the houses of Griffiths Mxenge, Mahatma Gandhi, Baleka Mbete, the grave of Isaiah Shembe, so the house of Fatima would have also formed part of this project. It’s very unfortunate that the family had decided to sell it and did not approach us.

“Fatima formed a great part of our history with her role in education and social cohesion.

“We owe it to her to keep history alive,” said Ngcobo.

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