Nelson Mandela
Statement from the dock at the opening of the defence case in the Rivonia Trial

Acknowledging his involvement in sabotage, Mandela explains the policies of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, and how it differs from terrorism. He places the ANC's decision to engage in sabotage as a strategy of "controlled violence" in the context of its long history of non-violent actions that were met by violence by the state and the banning of political organizations. Mandela described ANC's cause as African nationalism and closed by saying of the struggle for the African people: "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." (Speech)

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Source: African National Congress - Famous Speeches

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AODL African Studies Center MSU NEH Matrix