Nelson Mandela in 1961: Remembering a Freedom Fighter

18 Jul 2008

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Editor's Note: This clip has been removed from You Tube due to a copyright claim. We did, however, manage to transcribe the interview before it was removed and it's well worth a read.

This rare interview with Nelson Mandela in 1961 shows a young spirited leader, who cuts a different figure to the conciliatory old man we all know and love. The memory of Mandela the freedom fighter is inspirational for the new generation of activists fighting in the struggle against social injustice, which continues in South Africa today.

Transcript of Interview:

Nelson Mandela: The Africans require, want, the franchise on the basis of one man one vote. They want political independence.

Interviewer: Do you see Africans being able to develop in this country without the European being pushed out?

Nelson Mandela: We have made it very clear in our policy that South Africa is a country of many races. There is room for all the various races in this country.

Interviewer: Now If Dr. Verwoerd's government  doesn't give you the kind of concessions that you want, some time soon, is there any likelihood of violence?

Nelson Mandela: There are many people who feel that the reaction of the government to our 'stay at home', ordering a general mobilization, arming the white community, arresting  ten thousands of African, the show of force throughout the country - not withstanding our clear declaration that this campaign is being run on peaceful and nonviolent lines, close a chapter as far as our methods of political struggle are concerned. There are many people who feel that is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and non-violence against a government whose reply is only savage attacks on an unarmed and defenseless people and I think  the time has come for us to consider, in the light of our experiences in this 'stay at home', whether the methods, which we have applied so far are adequate.

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/41.19.

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