The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Rivonia Trial dictabelts digitized

By K Bhana – Founding Editor

On March 17 2016 the voices and sounds of the historical Rivonia Trial filled the courtroom of The Palace of Justice in Pretoria’s Church Square. The distinct voice of Nelson Mandela was immediately recognizable as if it was being channelled through a medium at a séance.

Cooperation between South Africa’s Ministry of Arts and Culture and the French National Audio-visual Institute (INA) will make possible public access to over 50 000 dictabelts which will be digitised for easy dissemination. To begin with there are 230 hours of audio records of the historic Rivonia Trial that took place between October 1963 and June 1964. 591 dictabelts were entrusted to INA in October 2013 for digitization. The official handover of the recordings took place in dramatic fashion in the actual courtroom where the trial took place and was attended by among others three special guests, Andrew Mlangeni, Dennis Goldberg, and Ahmed Kathrada the surviving accused.

Picture: Courtroom C, Palace of Justice, Church Square, Pretoria

 

The availability of the recordings to the public will allow a wide analysis of the case itself and perhaps answer many questions regarding this significant milestone in South Africa’s history. It may also raise many questions about a paranoid and ruthless regime and a miscalculation of strategy on the part of the accused.

SEE ALSO: Digitisation of the Rivonia Trial

The misinformation and propaganda machine of the Nationalist apartheid government went into top gear as it went about justifying apartheid. It managed to convince some people, governments and business both internationally and locally that apartheid was a humane policy, while it went about relentlessly discrediting and brutally crushing any resistance in the name of terrorism.

The access to the digitized recordings will make abundantly clear the sad injustice that imposed an inhumane sentence on innocent victims of discrimination. It also makes apparent the irrational fear of a regime obsessed with defending a misconceived perception of their God given right.

During this time many South Africans left the country, some fearing for their lives as they escaped into exile. When they started returning in the early nineties after the initial steps of negotiation, they recounted stories of camaraderie and solidarity but they also recounted incidents of betrayal, spying, assassinations and double agents.

Those who resisted from within the country became all too familiar with these activities. Today it is a well-known fact that the liberation movements were infiltrated by numerous operatives and agents of not only South Africa, but of other countries as well.

Two decades into a constitutionally democratic and free South Africa, the impact of accessing these recordings will significantly change the way South Africans view their history and its impact on the present and enable them to perceive a proactive future.

 

More News

 



United Arab Emirates National Day17/12/2017
article thumbnail

United Arab Emirates National Day 15 December 2017 The National Day of the United Arab Emirates, Al Yawm Al Watani, is celebrated on 2 December each year. It marks the UAE's Union Day between the se [ ... ]


26th Independence Anniversary of Kazakhstan17/12/2017
article thumbnail

26th Independence Anniversary of Kazakhstan 15 December 2017 21 journalists from 15 countries were invited for an eight day whirlwind tour of three major cities of Kazakhstan, in the heart of Eurasi [ ... ]


54th Jamhuri Day Celebrations17/12/2017
article thumbnail

54th Jamhuri Day Celebrations 15 December 2017 HE Jean N. Kamau, High Commissioner of Kenya to South Africa, hosted the 54th Jamhuri day Celebrations in Pretoria on 7 December 2017. The celebratio [ ... ]


Finland at 10017/12/2017
article thumbnail

Finland at 100 15 December 2017 Ambassador Kari Alanko of Finland hosted a reception to celebrate Finland's 100th birthday. Photo: Ambassador Alanko (bottom right) pictured with embassy staff ant  [ ... ]



 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

Nov/Dec 2017 Edition

 
 
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

President Jacob Zuma hosts Madagascar President Rajaonarimampianina 1 November 2017 President Jacob Zuma in his capacity as the Chairperson of SADC has met with the President of the Republic of... <|> South Africa and Comoros meeting 6 November 2017 South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane met with Comoros Foreign Minister Mohamed El-Amine... <|> SA boosts trade with Cuba 7 November 2017 The Havana International Fair will further advance relations between South Africa and Cuba, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani... <|> Cooking Sri Lankan cuisine 7 November 2017 On 27 October Champa Weerasekara, spouse of the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Pretoria hosted a cooking demonstration and luncheon at her official... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Algeria National Day 1 November 2017 Ambassador Abd-El-Naceur Belaid of Algeria hosted a reception to celebrate the 63rd Anniversary of the launching of the Algerian Revolution. He said that it was... <|> Zambia Independence Day 25 October, 2017 Zambia says her democratic credentials have remained admirable since the introduction of multi-party democracy. Zambia’s High Commissioner to... <|>   Successor Ante Portas? 14 December 2017 When recently surfing along the internet in research mode I stumbled across two items – not connected to each other at first glance. On... <|> Commemorating the 160th anniversary of Joseph Conrad Korzeniowski 20 November 2017 The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Pretoria organized a special screening of the Polish – British film... <|> <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.