Medallions honour Liliesleaf Farm and struggle icons

FORMER state president Nelson Mandela and late ANC leader Albert Luthuli's legacies live on after their faces were engraved on medallion coins.

The medallion coins were launched by the South African Gold Exchange and the Scoin Shop in partnership with the Liliesleaf Trust at Liliesleaf Museum in Johannesburg yesterday.

The event was to mark the 50th anniversary of July 11 1963 when apartheid police swooped on the farm, where political activists had gone underground planning to topple the racist regime.

The event led to the arrest of Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni, among others.

Mandela, who was already in jail during the crackdown, was linked to the plot through documents found at the scene.

The raid led to the Rivonia Trial after the Struggle leaders were charged with treason.

The set is called the Liliesleaf Farm Memory and Legacy set.

The trust and the gold exchange also announced a joint R1.9-million education trust fund that would focus on promoting history in education.

Liliesleaf Trust chief executive officer Nicholas Wolpe said that the problem with people now was that they were "living in the material world and have forgotten that they came from the sacrifices of people".

"People are now concerned with fancy cars, fancy clothes and fancy houses.

"There is nothing wrong with that, but people must learn about history.

"History is the basis of who we were and what we are about," Wolpe said.

He said plans had not been put in place as yet to decide how the money was to be distributed to the beneficiaries of the bursaries, but hinted that it could be awarded to post- graduate students.

The first gold medallion features Mandela's face, while on the reverse side it commemorates the raid on Liliesleaf Farm.

The second gold coin has the face of Luthuli.

Its flipside depicts the daring escape of Arthur Goldreich and Harold Wolpe from the Marshal Square police station in Johannesburg on August 11 1963.

The third silver medallion features the profiles of both Mandela and Luthuli in the front, while on the back it features the start of the Rivonia Trial. - xabav@sowetan.co.za

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