Constitution Hill saw members and affiliates of the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) – particularly SAACI JHB branch, come from far and wide in early June to celebrate 100 years of Nelson Mandela.
The crowd was given an insightful take on South Africa’s history as they were shown the old prison cells at Constitution Hill. A tour of the premises revealed the harrowing nature of how poorly South Africa’s political stalwarts and freedom fighters were treated.
Constitution Hill’s very knowledgeable tour guide, Ntsika Gqomsa, showed the crowd how rough the prisoners had it, with up to 60 men crammed into a space intended for just 30, where the most basic of human rights were denied. Racism was evident with set menus for ‘whites’, ‘blacks’ and Asians, with more favourable rations being given to people of Caucasian descent.
Political prisoners almost certainly faced a death sentence as they were tortured or interrogated for information. Disease was rife with cholera and infection presenting the greatest risk to prisoners living in unclean cells where they were afforded a shower just once a week and had their overalls washed only every six months.
The tour concluded with a visit to the highest court of law, the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Following the tour guests participated in an engaging quiz session focused on industry questions and history questions around the South African Constitution. SAACI’s flagship event and a highlight in the business event calendar, the SAACI Congress 2018, will be held on the 29-31 July 2018 at Misty Hills in Johannesburg. The Planner Guru team looks forward to seeing you there.