Prior to the Meetings Africa exhibition today, South Africa Tourism and Gauteng Convention Bureau invited members of the international meetings press on a day discovery of Johannesburg and Soweto, the nearby township.
In the South African sunshine, the group were transported to Liliesleaf Farm, which was the nerve centre for the Mandela-led Liberation Movement and a place of refuge for its leaders. The world heritage site, located in the peaceful Rivonia suburb, included artefacts and documents from secret meetings between Nelson Mandela and his rebel cohorts, as well as the accounts from policemen who stormed the farm and arrested the leaders during their last meeting on the farm.
The tour continued on an open-top bus through the crowded and vibrant Johannesburg city centre before heading east towards Soweto, the township where non-whites were relocated during the 1950s. Soweto now houses approximately five million people.
Stops made along the way included the stunning FNB Stadium, or as it was named during the FIFA 2010 World Cup, 'Soccer City' and the memorial made to remember the 627 school children that were innocently murdered in 1976 by pollice during protests.
The group stopped for lunch on the famous Vilakazi Street, where both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu once lived.
The tour ended at the Hilton Sandton where Meetings Africa organisers hosted pre-event drinks, building excitement for a busy week to come.
South Africa Tourism will host a post-event tour of South Africa for selected members of the international press that will showcase the C&I wonders of Sun City and Cape Town.
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