Mandela Rivonia Trial

Topics: South Africa, Nelson Mandela, African National Congress Pages: 4 (1407 words) Published: January 28, 2014
1. Look up the red words and write down the translation of them. 2. Give each part of the speech a heading.
3. In a few sentences sum up in your own words what the speech is about. The speech is about communism.
4. What are the circumstances of the text?
5. Using examples (3-4) from the speech analyse the language. After being sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013) became a worldwide symbol of heroic black resistance to the apartheid regime of South Africa. He joined the African National Congress in 1952 and became a member oTf a small action group whose main task was to launch Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) or MK. From a safe house in Rivonia, MK planned sabotage of strategic targets – after its first terrorist attacks in 1961 bombs exploded in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban. When the ANC was banned in 1961, Mandela evaded arrest for a year but was gaoled for five years in 1962 and sent to Robben Island. His prison term was interrupted by the Rivonia trial, brought after a police raid on ANC headquarters in 1963. Mandela and his colleagues were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act The trial opened on 9 October 1963, with Mandela named as Accused Number One and facing the death penalty. He denied he was a Communist and described himself as an African patriot who admired the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. His concluding words inspired support throughout the world. On 11 June Mandela and the seven other defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela returned to Robben Island, where he was put in a stone cell measuring two metres by two metres, lit by a forty-watt bulb and set to hard labour in a quarry. He spent twenty-seven years in prison.

Johannesburg, 20 April 1964
‘An ideal for which I am prepared to die’
Our fight is against real, and not imaginary hardships […] We fight against two features which are the hallmarks of African life in South Africa.[...] These features are...
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