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Mahlamba Ndlopfu (was Libertas)
Bryntirion, Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng

Gerard Leendert Pieter MOERDYK: Architect

Type:Official Residence

Libertas built as the Official Residence of the Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, now the Official Pretoria Residence of the State President of the Republic of South Africa, renamed Mahlamba Ndlopfu in 1995 by President Mandela which is Shangaan meaning "The New Dawn" when translated into English.

The original intention of the architect, Gerhard MOERDYK was to establish an African style through reference to a style of South African soil, namely Cape Dutch, a style evolved from European style traditions but tempered by the building traditions of the labour used in construction.

It was intended that the building reflect two aspects of this tradition, namely the traditions of city and farm. The flat-roofed double-storey with roof-line obscured by low moulded parapets was of the city and used for the central portion of the building. The flanking wings were meant to be styled in the Cape Dutch farm tradition. These were never built.

[Barnard, X. 2002. Van Libertas tot Mahlaba Ndlovu. Pretoria, unpublished MA thesis. Simpson, R. 1993. Libertas. Pinetown: Cross Paths]

Extract from the Department of Public Works' website:
"Designed by Gerhard Moerdyk and built from local material by local craftsmen during the 1930’s. The design of Moerdyk won a national competition promoted by the National Department of Public Works. The site was declared a national heritage site in 1993."
Submitted by William MARTINSON.

The building was declared a National Monument in 1993 and is now a Provincial Heritage Site.

See the website of the Presidency.

Writings about this entry

Fisher, RC & Botes, N. 2000. Conservation Policy for Mhlamba Ndlophu. Pretoria: Unpublished report for DPW & SAHRA. pg All