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How a tour operator’s secret was key in ending apartheid

How a tour operator’s secret was key in ending apartheid

“Africa Hinterland Safaris”, the ANC “Tour Bus” that smuggled arms across multiple borders to eventually be distributed across South Africa.

This little known secret is actually an extremely captivating story for anyone with an interest in South Africa. And should be for the locals as well.
This ambitious initiative under the command of comrade Joe Slovo, used a converted Bedford truck which took adventure seekers overland in a southerly direction from Kenya to a country at the tip of Africa,  one which was on the brink of a civil war at the time.

These happy go lucky tourists were completely unaware of what they were letting themselves in for. Some of them eventually found out about this ploy once the African National Congress party (ANC) felt that it was time to reveal the operation, however, most of them did not.

Lilieslief is a farm near Johannesburg where ANC activists including Nelson Mandela were captured and arrested by the then State Security Police of the apartheid South African government. It is at this farm where advance plans were made by key ANC comrades regarding the implementation of what was to be called the “armed struggle against apartheid” which included the formation of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) military wing of the ANC.
The farm was code-named “CEDRIC” by the underground operatives, and today, it is a National Heritage site with a museum and other interesting displays for visitors. And the accompanying coffee shop is aptly called “Cedric’s”.

It is here at Lilieslief, that the old Bedford truck stands today.

Welcome to “Africa Hinterland Safaris”

Click    here    for an article by news24.

The videos below tells the tale from the side of the driver/guides.


Johannesburg Today and News24 (print)
Ruby Parker-Harbord (video)
Tom Zubryiki-director of Safari Secret (video)


2 thoughts on “How a tour operator’s secret was key in ending apartheid

Tsholo GaoromelwePosted on  10:12 am - Sep 27, 2021

This is educational and historical too, which makes tourism to be even more interesting.

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