Nelson Mandela in 1964
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Nelson Mandela: "It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die"

In 1963, ANC activist Nelson Mandela was arrested and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government.

Speaking from the dock in the Rivonia court room, Mr Mandela used the stand to deliver one of the 20th Century's most famous speeches.

"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities," he said.

"It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised. But... if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." The courtroom was shaken.

In the winter of 1964 he was sentenced to life in prison.

  • 08 Aug 2013
  • From the section Africa