n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Mandela in/and Pretoria

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



This article is a reflection on how Pretoria as a political, social and cultural space could be re-envisioned post-apartheid. The angle of approach is critical, general jurisprudence as advocated by Douzinas and Gearey (2005), with an emphasis on law's consciousness, its conscience, and its justice. The reflection takes place against the framework of spatiality, spatial justice and the notion of genius loci, spirit or sense of place. Using John Hyslop's discussion on the Afro-modern Mandela in Johannesburg as point of departure, a discussion on Mandela in/and Pretoria follows, with specific reference to the Treason Trial staged in the Old Synagogue between 1958 and 1961 and the Rivonia Trial played out in the Palace of Justice on Church Square in 1964. The question is asked how the influence of Johannesburg as metropolis differs from the influence of Pretoria as centre of nationalism, bureaucracy and governmentality. Another, more recent, Pretoria trial, on the Schubart Park evictions, is invoked.Linking up with Sarah Nuttall's musing on the 'Johannesburg text', it is stated that, in the same vein, the Pretoria text, as a certain instantiation of the law scape, is still finding its form.

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