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by Francis Akhalbey, at 09:53 am, June 12, 2018, History

Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment on this day in 1964

Photo Credit: Peter Magubane

On this day in 1964, anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of sabotaging and planning a violent revolution against the apartheid government in the famous Rivonia Trial.

On July 11, 1963, the police raided Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, Johannesburg which was the hideout of some key African National Congress members taking with them supposed evidence of plans by Mandela and others to sabotage and lead a violent revolution against the apartheid government. Keep in mind that Mandela was already serving a five-year jail term on charges of leaving South Africa without permission and also instigating workers to go on strike.

Liliesleaf Farm

Though the Rivonia Trial, which took place between October 9, 1963, and June 12, 1964, was strongly condemned by recognized international organizations including the United Nations and the World Peace Council, it still proceeded and eventually found Mandela together with the other accused guilty.

The Palace of Justice, Pretoria: Where Mandela and the other accused were tried

He was sentenced to life imprisonment alongside seven others. The prosecution pushed for a death sentence but the presiding judge opted for life imprisonment.

Below are some photos of the trial:

 

Photo Credit: Alf Kumalo

 

Winnie Mandela outside the court — Photo Credit: Pretoria News Library

 

Winnie Mandela outside the court — Photo Credit: Pretoria News Library

 

Protestors outside the court — Photo Credit: Pretoria News Library

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