Orlando, Soweto

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Orlando is located in Gauteng
 Orlando shown within Gauteng
Location within Greater Johannesburg
Orlando is located in Greater Johannesburg
Orlando is located in South Africa
Orlando (South Africa)
Orlando is located in Africa
Orlando (Africa)
Coordinates: 26°14′28″S 27°55′01″E / 26.241°S 27.917°E / -26.241; 27.917Coordinates: 26°14′28″S 27°55′01″E / 26.241°S 27.917°E / -26.241; 27.917
Country South Africa
Province Gauteng
Municipality City of Johannesburg
 • Total 10.01 km2 (3.86 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 108,813
 • Density 11,000/km2 (28,000/sq mi)
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
PO box 3680

Orlando is a township in the urban area of Soweto, in the city of Johannesburg (South Africa). The township was founded in 1931 and named after Edwin Orlando Leake, Mayor of Johannesburg from 1925 to 1926, it is divided in two main areas: Orlando West and Orlando East.


The township of Orlando was directly involved in some of the most important events of the fight against the apartheid system, some of the most dramatic clashes between the South African police and anti-apartheid demonstrators occurred in Orlando West. This includes the Soweto uprising where 12-year-old Hector Pieterson was killed, the Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum was established in Orlando West to commemorate those events.[2] In the surroundings of the museum is the house where Nelson Mandela lived for several years while practicing law; the house now hosts the Mandela Family Museum.[3]

Orlando East was also involved in a dramatic shoot-out in the apartheid era the same day that Pieterson was killed in West Orlando, it occurred at the Regina Mundi church, which is the main Roman Catholic church in South Africa. The façade of the church and the interior still show bullet holes,[4] after the apartheid system was dismantled, several meetings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were held in Regina Mundi.[4]

Orlando Stadium is the home of the soccer team Orlando Pirates of the South African Premier Division. They have won nine total top-flight league titles (four in the modern Premier Division), and nine national cup championships.