- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - a lawyer, anti - apartheid activist, banned person, ANC member, SACP member, MK Commander in Chief, 1956 Treason Trialist, Robben Island prisoner, Nobel Peace Prize winner and first elected President of a democratic South Africa.
The year 1962 marked the first charges against him - inciting persons to strike illegally and leaving the country without a valid passport. In 1956, Mr Mandela was charged with high treason, but the charges against him were dropped after a four - year trial.
Later on, he was arrested again and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government. As a result, he was jailed for 27 years at the Robben Island prison, Cape Town.
An excerpt from Mandela’s statement from the dock, Rivonia Treason Trial, Monday, 20 April 1964, in Pretoria's Palace of Justice, which is also one that we will remember forever, “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.
While in jail, his reputation grew and he became widely known across the world as the most significant black leader in South Africa.
Rest in Peace Tata Madiba!
Date: 9th December 2013
Legislation: Sabotage Act
Suppression of Communism Act