CNBC Africa and the Liliesleaf Trust have announced a partnership in documenting the story surrounding Liliesleaf and the role it played as a headquarters of the newly-formed MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe, translated 'Spear of the Nation') during the height of apartheid.

Former President Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Harold Wolpe, Raymond Mhlaba, Amed Kathrada and Walter Sisulu, were among the struggle icons that utilised Liliesleaf as a meeting place for committee gatherings and as a high command.
A key event was the raid on Liliesleaf, which led to the Rivonia Trial where Nelson Mandela and several other co-accused were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Together with Liliesleaf, CNBC Africa plans to produce a three-part documentary that captures the events of Liliesleaf. Viewers will experience a first-hand account of the events and circumstances leading up to the infamous raid of Liliesleaf, as well as insights into some of the revolutionary personalities who helped shape South Africa's democracy.

Rakesh Wahi, vice chairman of CNBC Africa, who conceived this project with the Liliesleaf Trust, says: "The importance of Liliesleaf should never be forgotten. We are able to document this in film and broadcast it throughout Africa, ­ making sure that the story is remembered long after the heroes are gone."

Gary Alfonso, chief operating officer of CNBC Africa, adds: "By providing a platform for a part of history that shaped South African democracy to what it is today, we are not only growing awareness of the people who made a difference in the battle against apartheid, but also how individual contributions can ultimately make a lasting historic difference."

Commenting on the documentary, Nicholas Wolpe, Chief Executive Officer of the Liliesleaf Trust and also the son of Harold Wolpe, says: "I'm pleased. Finally, a dedicated documentary will tell the story of this unique historical site and it is being captured before it is lost forever. CNBC Africa will be the first to tell the story of Liliesleaf."

Pre-production on the documentary is said to be underway and is set to be completed within months. An official launch of the documentary will be announced at a later stage. The Department of Arts and Culture has given the project its official support and has expressed interest in being involved in the launch, scheduled for early 2010.

Source: This article appeared in Africa Biz Community on 26 August 2009 at