Mandela Capture Site

The piece of land that altered the history of South Africa

Unique Sculpture at The Mandela Capture Site

Mandela’s long walk to freedom was interrupted for 27 years when he was ‘captured‘ on his return journey to Johannesburg. Having succeeded in evading capture by apartheid operatives for 17 months, armed apartheid police flagged down a car in which Nelson Mandela was pretending to be the chauffeur.

It was in this dramatic way, at this unassuming spot roughly three kilometres outside Howick, that Nelson Mandela proceeded to disappear from public view for the next 27 years.

Marking the piece of land that, quite randomly, altered the history of South Africa is a powerful new sculpture. The extraordinary sculpture comprises 50 steel column constructions - each between 6.5 and 9.5 metres tall set into the environment of the silent Midlands landscape. At a distance of 35 metres, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus as the 50 vertical units line up to create the illusion of a flat image. The sculpture is affected by the surrounding landscape, visually shifting throughout the day as light and atmosphere behind and around it change. 

Midlands near Howick N3

Credit: The N4 Book – The Road to Maputo & The N3 Book