Nelson Mandela Museum

Nelson Mandela Museum is situated right on the N2 as it cuts through Umtata. This is a major stop off point en-route towards Durban, Nelson Mandela Metro and Port St Johns respectively.

After his release from Robben Island, as the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela received a significant number of gifts from many parts of the world in recognition and appreciation for the role he played in the struggle for peace, freedom and democracy in South Africa and the world. In accepting the gifts he indicated that he did so on behalf of all the people of South Africa and further expressed the wish that the gifts be displayed for the benefit and appreciation of the nation at or near his home village, Qunu, in the Eastern Cape. The department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, as the engine of cultural and heritage preservation was tasked with the responsibility of establishing a museum for this purpose.

The idea of building one big museum in Qunu was formulated in 1996 but it was later decided to shift from the initial concept in favour of a multi model museum with three components at each of Mvezo, Qunu and Umtata.


Be a leading African world-class institution devoted to perpetuating an understanding and learning from the legacy of Nelson Mandela, his life and times in context, which contribute to learning, development, and renewal.


Research, depict and tell the story of the life of Nelson Mandela in context, perpetuate the legacy of the man, human development, education, values, economic development, tourism, cultural development, and contribute to urban renewal, rural development and to preserving Nelson Mandela’s gift to the nation.


  • Partnerships that are sustainable;
  • Ubuntu associated with integrity and respect;
  • Professionalism and excellence;
  • Justice, fairness, equity and redress; and
  • Conservation of the environment within and outside.
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