The avoidance of civil war had dominated our thinking for many years, but when we decided to adopt violence as part of our policy, we realized that we might one day have to face the prospect of such a war. Experience convinced us that rebellion would offer the Government limitless opportunities for the indiscriminate slaughter of our people. I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world, and the independence and impartiality of its judiciary never fails to arouse my admiration. A few days thereafter, he arranged for Michael Harmel to take me to Rivonia. He was… 1188 Words 5 Pages Nelson Mandela life was dedicated to the struggle to set his people free. Nelson Mandela I am the First Accused. This is what has motivated me in all that I have done in relation to the charges made against me in this case.
African women want to be with their menfolk and not be left permanently widowed in the Reserves. Moreover, Africans who do obtain employment in the unskilled and semi-skilled occupations which are open to them are not allowed to form trade unions which have recognition under the Industrial Conciliation Act. At a later stage the support was made openly. I naturally found Rivonia an ideal place for the man who lived the life of an outlaw. The High Command was the body which determined tactics and targets and was in charge of training and finance. I also discovered that some well-known African states, all of them non-communists, and even anti-communists, had received similar assistance. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all.
And I shall now tell the Court how that form of violence came to be determined. He felt that he was likely to be sentenced to death regardless of his statement, so that saying what he truly felt would be the best option. This included charges of recruiting persons to undertake guerrilla warfare against the South African state, conspiring to aid foreign military against the republic, and furthering acts of communism. In parts of this potent address he utilizes facts. From my reading of Marxist literature and from conversations with Marxists, I have gained the impression that communists regard the parliamentary system of the West as undemocratic and reactionary. This is why persons such as 'Mr. When anything has to be carried or cleaned the white man will look around for an African to do it for him, whether the African is employed by him or not.
The Whites failed to respond by suggesting change;they responded to our call by suggesting the laager. We believed in the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that 'the will of the people shall be the basis of authority of the Government,' and for us to accept the banning was equivalent to accepting the silencing of the Africans for all time. African children, however, generally have to pay more for their schooling than whites. South Africa is the richest country in Africa, and could be one of the richest countries in the world. For most people, it was the first time they had seen or heard Mandela since the early 1960s. His term in office ended in 1999, however, he still fought for racial equality and peace. Africans want to be paid a living wage.
Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and as a direct result ended up spending twenty-seven years in prison. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. A young man that had no shoes till he approached the age of sixteen, and then transformed into a great political leader of his country. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. At this stage it was decided that I should attend the Conference of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for Central, East, and Southern Africa, which was to be held early in 1962 in Addis Ababa, and, because of our need for preparation, it was also decided that, after the conference, I would undertake a tour of the African States with a view to obtaining facilities for the training of soldiers, and that I would also solicit scholarships for the higher education of matriculated Africans. When some of us discussed this in May and June of 1961, it could not be denied that our policy to achieve a non-racial State by non-violence had achieved nothing, and that our followers were beginning to lose confidence in this policy and were developing disturbing ideas of terrorism. Legislation designed to preserve white supremacy entrenches this notion.
I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle. We viewed the situation with alarm. This proposal was heavily defeated. Following his release from prison on 11 February 1990, Mandela supported reconciliation and negotiation, and helped lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy in South Africa. Attacks on the economic life-lines of the country were to be linked with sabotage on Government buildings and other symbols of apartheid. Wherever I went I met sympathy for our cause and promises of help. Africans, who constituted approximately 70 per cent of the population of South Africa, were not entitled to vote, and were not even consulted about the proposed constitutional change.
The Government often answers its critics by saying that Africans in South Africa are economically better off than the inhabitants of the other countries in Africa. We decided, therefore, in our preparations for the future, to make provision for the possibility of guerrilla warfare. This is recorded by me in the document which is Exhibit R. I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. I, and the others who started the organization, did so for two reasons. I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle.
The African people were not part of the Government and did not make the laws by which they were governed. In 1956, 156 leading members of the Congress Alliance, including myself, were arrested on a charge of high treason and charges under the Suppression of Communism Act. And violence is carried out of the townships in the white living areas. This makes the white man fear democracy. The African National Congress was formed in 1912 to defend the rights of the African people which had been seriously curtailed by the South Africa Act, and which were then being threatened by the Native Land Act.
With more facts throughout the speech, it gave Mandela more of a reasoning to not be convicted. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. Upon his release he quoted the last sentence of his speech to the awaiting press. I believe that communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements. Children wander about the streets of the townships because they have no schools to go to, or no money to enable them to go to school, or no parents at home to see that they go to school, because both parents if there be two have to work to keep the family alive. I am the First Accused. At the beginning of June 1961, after a long and anxious assessment of the South African situation, I, and some colleagues, came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be unrealistic and wrong for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the Government met our peaceful demands with force.