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A monument to the ANC's freedom charter in Walter Sisulu Square

Kliptown, Soweto, was where the freedom charter was signed. It was where the struggle against racism and minority rule began. Mandela, Govan Mbeki—father of Thabo—and even Robert Mugabe, who was a student in South Africa, all hid out in the “safe houses” and “shebeens” (illegal bars and brew houses) of Kliptown.

Today the nation goes to the polls. Here there are long queues to vote,…

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