Saving Nelson Mandela: The Rivonia Trial and the Fate of South Africa

Paperback | October 14, 2015

byKenneth S. Broun

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The question was: would he hang? In 1963, when South Africa's apartheid government charged Nelson Mandela with planning its overthrow, most observers feared that he would be sentenced to death. But the support he and his fellow activists in the African National Congress received during his trial not only saved his life, but alsoenabled him to save his country. In Saving Nelson Mandela, South African law expert Kenneth S. Broun recreates the trial, called the "Rivonia" Trial after the Johannesburg suburb where police seized Mandela. Based upon interviews with many of the case's primary figures and portions of the trial transcript, Broun situates readersinside the courtroom at the imposing Palace of Justice in Pretoria. Here, the trial unfolds through a dramatic narrative that captures the courage of the accused and their defense team, as well as the personal prejudices that colored the entire trial. The Rivonia trial had no jury and only asuperficial aura of due process, combined with heavy security that symbolized the apartheid government's system of repression. Broun shows how outstanding advocacy, combined with widespread public support, in fact backfired on apartheid leaders, who sealed their own fate. Despite his 27-year incarceration, Mandela's ultimate release helped move his country from the racial tyranny of apartheid toward democracy. As documented in this inspirational book, the Rivonia trial was a critical milestone that helped chart the end of Apartheid and the future of a new SouthAfrica.

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The question was: would he hang? In 1963, when South Africa's apartheid government charged Nelson Mandela with planning its overthrow, most observers feared that he would be sentenced to death. But the support he and his fellow activists in the African National Congress received during his trial not only saved his life, but alsoenabled...

Kenneth S. Broun is the Henry Brandis Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of North Carolina Law School. Since 1986, he has traveled regularly to South Africa to conduct programs in trial advocacy training through the Black Lawyers Association of South Africa.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:October 14, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199361282

ISBN - 13:9780199361281

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Trial Begins2. Arrests and Escapes3. The Lawyers and the Judge4. South Africa and the World React5. Preparing for Trial6. A Pyrrhic Victory7. The Case for the Prosecution8. Mandela Speaks to the Court9. The Other Defendants Make Their Case10. Arguments11. Pressures from Outside the Courtroom12. Judgment and Sentencing13. South Africa and the World React14. Thinking About the Judgment and Sentence15. Life After the Rivonia Trial16. What Rivonia Meant for South Africa and the WorldPrimary SourcesOther SourcesNotes

Editorial Reviews

"A well-written account of an important moment in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa... a valuable resource for course use, not only in legal history in Africa, but for courses on the role of law in social change." --Mary Dudziak, author of War Time