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The sizzle of Stephen could go to quit. Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba. And so a long shot, Latona, Alexandra, our only Mamelodi only. The saga is how are the children singing about the great songs and sometimes I wish I was going to the father, but I appreciate what he's done for the people in America to say that I'm his daughter and somebody had to take the stand to fight for the people in South Africa. And if that means he had to sacrifice us, that's OK, because
we understand that sacrifice Africans require want one franchise on the basis of one man, one vote. Nelson Mandela was born of royal heritage. And from a traditional background, he was educated in mission schools and liberal universities and established, articulate, practicing attorney and Christian and advocate of democracy in South Africa for all its citizens. He was forced underground by a warrant for his arrest. He was a fugitive on the run for 17 months and thrilled South Africans with his disguises and ability to move around the country and meet people, eluding police dragnets and roadblocks. But as fate would have it with information provided by a police informant, Nelson Mandela was arrested August 5th, 1962. He faced two charges inciting blacks to strike because he organized a three
day stay away after the Sharpeville massacre. The other charge was leaving the country without proper documentation when he attended a Pan African Freedom Conference in Ethiopia and visited other African countries where Nelson Mandela's trial opened October 22nd, 1962. He told the judge the aspirations of the African people were on trial in the longest running. Like I said before beginning his defense, Mandela said the state should drop the case.
He argued a fair trial was impossible since equality under the law was reserved only for whites in South Africa. Mandela was very strong. He defeated them with his statement completely. Everybody was sure that he was going to be discharged. In fact, he first wanted the judge to to be recused. When the prosecutor wanted to know why, he says, look, the people who are prosecuting me are the whites. The prosecutor is the whites, the judge is the whites. Where are the blacks? But the judge, the prosecutor wouldn't want to listen to that story. Then he says, I know is not going to be justice in this court. Mandela was sentenced to five years hard labor on Robben Island, a maximum security Alcatraz prison off the coast of Cape Town where he was held in solitary confinement. Umkhonto We See This Way or IMK, the armed wing of the African National Congress, which he started, continued acts of sabotage.
Walter Sisulu and other leading members of the ANC, EMK and South Africa's Communist Party were underground living and meeting on a 22 acre farm called Rivonia. It was located in a secluded white suburb north of Johannesburg. January 1963, police staged a dramatic raid on Rivonia, again tipped off by an informer. We can be together here. You'll only find that this man is an informer all along while moving with his people. Yet they are informers, he told me who was the person who was giving him what happened. A deal was made because that's what gets the mob. And of course, she's in London. No more Gutzman once he's married to a fellow by the name of that. Not only was the leadership of MK and the ANC captured, but also a radio transmitter, Mandela's personal diary with details of all his meetings and activities and a huge cache of incriminating documents.
During that case, a document was produced in Mr Mandela's own handwriting in which he stated the following. We Communist Party members are the most advanced revolutionaries in modern history. The enemy must be completely crushed and wiped out from the face of the earth before the communist world can be realized, realized underground, Nelson Mandela had been writing a history of the ANC. He'd also taken on a project to help a friend rewrite Communist Party literature to make it more understandable and appealing to the average person. Armed with this body of evidence and the testimony of a former ANC member turned state witness named Bruno Tolo, or Mr X, the white minority government brought Nelson Mandela back from Robben Island to stand trial.
The charges were sabotage, recruiting and training for guerrilla warfare and the violent overthrow of the government, conspiring to aid an invasion by foreign military units and furthering the aims of communism. They, Mr. Mandela and his friends planned violent insurrection and rebellion. The saboteurs had planned to manufacture Atley of at least seven types of bomb 48000 anti-personnel mines, 250000 hand grenades, petrol bombs, pipe bomb, bomb and all the friends both referred to are Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Raymon and Labor, Andrew Mlangeni, Elias Motsoaledi, Denis Goldberg and James Cannon, all captured at Rivonia. Mandela had had enough experience in South African courts as a defender of the accused and is accused himself to know the futility of making a traditional
defense against the charges. The government had already proclaimed the guilt of the Rivonia detainees before the trial began. Mandela and his co-defendants decided instead to make a case for their ideals to use the courtroom as a platform from which to clarify to the country and the world their efforts to bring about a nonracial South Africa. Mandela was deliberate and detailed in its four hour testimony. He talked of growing up in the sky and how the old stories of his ancestors fighting settler invasions motivated him to make a contribution to the freedom struggle. He described how the apartheid practicing government had made violence inevitable by ignoring all supplications, meeting nonviolent protest with brutality and violence. He told the history of the ANC described its structure and all the campaigns it had launched. The ANC, he said, was not and had never been a communist organization, contrary to Afrikaner insistence in a democracy.
We want everybody to have a safe place where they could call anybody in this country who was against apartheid is a communist strange. Why should it be only the oppressed people of this country when they come up and say We want freedom should be termed communists? They are given that take because the government does not want to give the people their freedom, their rightful rights. If I say I need a cover over my head, does that mean I'm a communist? If I say I'm hungry, can I have some food? Am I a communist for now, under house arrest altogether and under 17 years for being communist, a communist. But the government needs me to be a communist. The definition of communism is so wide it makes no difference to the whole thing. I might say. I don't know. How do I know? I know. And they say this many years coming to address.
You know, my argument has nothing to do with my own country. It's what I see in front of me. That's all Mandela said. First and foremost, he was an African patriot. Above all, my lord, we want equal political rights because without them, our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom. For all his own defense, what he said is something that really elevated himself in the eyes of many people. My grandchildren the other day they had the whole Rivonia thing and what Nelson was saying. And for them, that was just unbelievable.
It made this person that they don't know this person that went to jail before they were born. They realize this is a great man, that. Epoch making speech that he made, those words are immutable, you can't imitate the Bible, they are the cradle of struggle in this country and those are the ways that you make put it to sleep and the way that have mobilized the international world to see a man who can speak like this while behaving in a very magnanimous hut. 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 with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
Appeals came from around the world, from heads of state, international jurists and others to convince the South African government to spare the lives of the Rivonia accused. Nelson Mandela and seven other men found guilty of treason in South Africa have been sentenced to life imprisonment during the trial, which lasted eight months and which attracted world attention. The defendants, six of whom are Negroes, were charged with planning the violent overthrow of the South African government, and it had been feared that the South African court would impose the death penalty. Robben Island, a former mental asylum and leper colony, was now and for an indefinite period of time. Home for Nelson Mandela. It was a massive crackly rock adrift out to sea, surrounded by an
swimmable, turbulent waters and dense fog making escape impossible. The prison itself consisted of three areas. It was a very old area. At one time, people said this is leprosy. Then there was the second portion, which is very temporary, consisting of corrugated iron or sheets of zinc. Then there was the new section which we built. We were required to carry the rocks and have them carved and split them both up into sections. So I ended up in what was called the trunk or the stone prison, which is the maximum security section. And there were 88 cells where they kept people like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu. And that, in a sense, was a maximum security area in the center of a maximum security prison that was very heavily guarded. All the wardens of white, all the prisoners were black. So you have this little township.
It's like. The daily prison routine included useless and punishing hard labor in a limestone pit. Each day we were given a quantity of rocks and a hammer and required to reduce the gravel, the gravel would then just be scattered around you so that you saw the futility of the exercise. The atmosphere was torturous and the surroundings harsh. But Nelson Mandela and the ANC leadership made the best of the hardship, devising new methods for organizing against apartheid. They turned Robben Island into a leadership training institute, Robben Island.
It's the fort where we hook everybody to become a politicians. And some of the people who left that place left there, having been brought up as potential leaders for our struggle. So there got more time to plan conduct seminars, that type of stuff, which they don't have in could include in society because of the many social restrictions that are there. And it became projected as a place of emulation and aspiration that they would have today because Mandela emphasized the need for education. Robben Island was unofficially renamed Mandela University. Mandela believes one study. When you go to Robben Island, he has a message out to all of us prisoners. So he's a gentleman. You must study. Nobody could say no with Mandela. So we went out and became a university in direct contrast to the government that planned. Then he said, OK, you enrolled and I'm going to get the
study materials. We have teachers, but not many. And then Mandela said, don't worry about this among yourselves. If there's one standard, six standard to teach, standard one to standard six, standard six will come in and take him further on, just like that's how we were teaching each other in Robben Island. We also tell them about the nature not only of the South African society, but of society at large, the history not only of South Africa, but the history of man himself. There was some criminal offenders on the island, but for the most part, the prison was a divergent community of political prisoners and an extraordinarily talented man. He has the capacity to understand all viewpoints, the capacity to understand all political nuances and to be able to tolerate which is nonexistent outside.
And Robin Island has always been a society of divergent political parties, and people can learn to be together at all on Robben Island. And he certainly provided the younger inmates would incite incidents just to get to the isolation wing where Nelson Mandela and the other senior ANC leadership were held. Release prisoners who went back home to their communities kept alive the memories of the old men as they were respectfully called. The graduates of Mandela University have many fond remembrances of Nelson Mandela and how he touched their lives. I have stayed with Nelson Mandela. I have stayed with Walter Sisulu. All of those. We are very dear to my for what makes them dear to my from the prison. Burgmann You'd expect them to be people who are high up there because they are leading the most well-known organizations of Africa.
But you'd be surprised how simple they are. One day I just saw Nelson on his knees scrubbing the floor and I was terribly embarrassed. I said, yeah, he's my leader right down on his knees with soap and scrubbing brush, scrubbing the dirty floor. So linked up to you. But I said, you got to listen to the younger generation, you leaders. He says leaders are the leaders. We are equals. He is the man who saved me. When I came to Robben Island. I had a nervous breakdown and he actually asked the authorities to be next to him because they are conditions that slightly better. Doctors did not see what was wrong with me. I stayed within my bridge, had been giving me trouble and really came back from the dentist. Nelson asked me what's the problem? And I told him that they have to put in a new bridge.
And he asked me how much it cost in a very casual manner. And I said it's going to cost me about 400 rain, but I'll try to raise it before I knew it, so. Deposited 400 in my account when I wrote to my wife to thank her. She said, no, they had not many days yet. So I made four inquiries only to discover that Nelson himself privately had made arrangements to have that money to help the warders who are having domestic problems used to take the domestic problem to Nelson Mandela and ask him to. You are a lawyer. Can you give us an idea what to do with the younger? Inmates were impressed with Mandela's generosity. He often received gifts, especially food, which he would always share. They also thought it admirable that someone so sought after for advice would always consult with others before making decisions. Martin Zuma is Nelson's nephew.
Of course, he was the so-called prime minister of a so-called independent state applied to see to visit Nelson as a family member. He certainly was entitled to visit Nelson, but he saw the entire discussion open to the prison. And when the overwhelming majority of the committee says that on political grounds, right. His visit is not acceptable. Nelson, without hesitation, abided by the decision. With Nelson Mandela behind bars for an indefinite period of time, the Afrikaners turned their vengeance on his immediate family and his charismatic social worker wife, Winnie Mandela. Mandela's are identified with the struggle of black people for rights in South Africa and the harassment of Mrs. Mandela by the South African police. And the incarceration of Mandela himself represent the unwillingness of the South African government to consider change in the direction of human rights.
Here we are from Africa. Yeah, we are from L.A., but I guess in my mind, it comforts me like my mathematical model of raising tuition and fees. We to rise above the limits of kitchen life. We up on the belly of imperialism and proud ways of loving husband. Was slavery is family's. Prison guards and security police became a part of Winnie Mandela's life. I don't remember any period in my life where I have not been hounded by the government in one way or another. Home suddenly lost its dignity.
The home became an extension of police headquarters. They had the right to raid the family at any hour, two or three times in one night. I myself have been in and out of prison. I have been banned for the past 25 years. The security police caused her to lose jobs and friends. I had no sense of belonging. And anyone who associated with the family, with me or my children, no matter how indirectly was harassed by the government. My little children, barely above the age of seven and eight, were harassed in school. The security forces went so far as to interfere with the teachers at school. At one time I registered them with their clean name,
trying to remove them from this heat and these police caught up with it. In 1976, the children of Soweto took to the streets to protest Bantu education being taught in Afrikaans the language of the oppressor. The world expressed outrage at the thousands of unarmed students who were killed or jailed. The South African government began its search for someone to blame for the Soweto uprising. And from 1976, the government concentrated more on me as an individual, even though I had been in earlier years, I was placed under house arrest. I was the first to be one of the first to be jailed after the 1976 uprising. They believe that the children, in fact, were instigated by me and that I set and blended with them. At four o'clock one morning in May 1977, Winnie Mandela
was awakened by an army of security police. They informed her that she and youngest daughter Zenzi were being forcibly removed to the orange free state. I was deeply wounded with the situation and the fact that she was banished with me. The banishment of Brantford meant isolation for Winnie and Zenzi Mandela. They were in the middle of farming country and in the heart of conservative Afrikaner ideology and hung out with an Zenzi singing a lullaby. DeSousa Winnie, Mandela's first grandchild, who was born in Brantford after experiencing three firebombings, frequent and arbitrary jailings for banning violations and constant police harassment, Winnie Mandela said enough was enough. She packed her things and returned home to Soweto.
But I soon realized they wanted to see how much I would endure. You either emerge from apartheid completely broken or you go overboard. You have to make your choice. You know, you have to choose your path. In 1982, after spending two decades on Robben Island, Nelson Mandela was moved to another prison, Pollsmoor, some say, because prison officials realized Mandela had turned the island into an institution of higher learning. In 1988, Nelson Mandela turned 70 and had spent over a quarter of a century in detention. He contracted a near fatal case of tuberculosis. He had tuberculosis. It was true. He had it very badly. Now he is so well that they have discontinued the treatment and he is in total. Physically, he is a solid health. It even when he was very ill,
his doctors had to restrain him and had to stop him from exercising. He still gets up at 3:00 in the morning, sticks to that routine. He exercises for those two hours. I don't think they would have contained him otherwise. They would rather not. Giving food as long as he has is taking equipment. Many say the South African government had hoped to eradicate the idea of freedom from the minds of a black majority by banning organizations like the African National Congress and imprisoning Nelson Mandela and other men and women revered as the popular leaders, that strategy didn't work.
Mandela's influence has transcended prison walls, responding to diplomatic and economic pressure and calls for his release. Spokespersons for the South African government suggest Nelson Mandela is being released from prison in stages. He is currently detained at the Victor Verster Prison, a prison farm in the winegrowing region of the Western Cape. Mandela is living in a spacious bungalow equipped with his personal chef, a weight and exercise room, TV video and swimming pool. But he is kept in isolation and is very lonely despite the semblances of material comfort. His prison. Nonetheless, my.
Nelson Mandela: Africa's Noblest Son
Episode Number
No. 1
The Early Years
Producing Organization
Pacifica Radio
KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Series Description
"The program is a four-part special and collection of oral histories about the life of Nelson Mandela. Mandela, imprisoned since 1962 for allegedly fomenting riots and attempting treason, is one of the most celebrated political prisoners in the world and best known dissident in South Africa. The specials demystify the hero and present the person. The recollections of family members, former law partners, neighbors, Robben Island prison mates, political associates and regular citizens create a flesh and blood composite. Describing Mandela's life, the interviewees also provide personal insights into the history of race relations in South Africa and an analysis of the current situation there. "A state of emergency is in effect which limits press access and censors media reporting about South Africa. Reporter/producer Sandra Rattley traveled to South Africa as a tourist and interviewed Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie and other banned or house arrested activists who are restricted by law from making public statements or being quoted by the press. "The four, half hour documentaries merit Peabody consideration because [they] expose radio listeners to points of views not available anywhere else. The programming goes beyond the [headlines], providing depth and human perspective on the day to day realities in the most developed, [resource-rich], and strategically important country in Africa. "The specials are also important because of their timeliness. Political observers consider Nelson Mandela's release from prison imminent. Nelson Mandela has been meeting with representatives of the white minority government of South Africa to discuss ways to democratize the society. South Africans of all races describe Mandela as a catalytic agent, critical to negotiations if there is to be a peaceful solution to the country's problems. "Nelson Mandela is an important figure inside and outside South Africa, having been awarded numerous honors such as the Nehru Award for International Understanding."--1989 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: Pacifica Radio
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-9a210ada758 (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio cassette
Duration: 0:30:00
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Chicago: “Nelson Mandela: Africa's Noblest Son; No. 1; The Early Years,” 1989, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Nelson Mandela: Africa's Noblest Son; No. 1; The Early Years.” 1989. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Nelson Mandela: Africa's Noblest Son; No. 1; The Early Years. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from