Anti-apartheid heroes


Chuka today welcomed Denis Goldberg, a hero of the anti-apartheid struggle, and Maki Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s daughter, to Streatham.

Denis Goldberg is one of the three surviving Rivonia Trial defendants. All three were sentenced to life imprisonment and served 74 years between them.

The other two surviving defendants, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni sadly could not take part in the visit, but they were joined by Andrew Mlangeni’s son, Sello Mlangeni, and granddaughter, Mpumi Mlangeni. 

Chuka said: “I remember as a teenager joining the huge crowds who welcomed Nelson Mandela when he visited Brixton in 1996. Twenty years later, as the local MP, I was honoured to welcome his daughter and fellow anti-apartheid campaigner to Streatham. 

“Just like Nelson Mandela himself, these are truly inspirational figures. Their story is one of immense courage and sacrifice for freedom and racial equality, and a democratic and just society.”

Chuka took the group to Dunraven School where he chaired a Q&A with students. The students asked a range of questions about their lives fighting for freedom and justice, and Nelson Mandela's legacy. 

David Boyle, Principal of Dunraven School, said: “We were delighted as a school to host a visit from Denis Goldberg and Maki Mandela, along with our MP Chuka Umunna who remains a great supporter of our students. 

“Giving our young people the chance to hear from figures who have 'lived' the history they will come to study is a remarkable opportunity, let alone the association with one of the 20th Century's most important leaders.”

After the Q&A, the group visited the Black Cultural Archives - the UK’s first dedicated Black heritage centre - in Brixton to learn about their work, view the exhibitions, and watch footage of Nelson Mandela’s historic visit to Brixton on 1996.

Paul Reid, Director of the Black Cultural Archives, said: "I want to thank our patron Chuka Umunna for bringing Denis Goldberg and Maki Mandela to the Black Cultural Archives. It was an honour to host them and show them round our current exhibition and the work we do. Nelson Mandela has had a great impact on many generations in Britain, and a lasting memory here in Brixton."