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The Struggle is My Life

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'The struggle is my life', wrote Nelson Mandela in a letter from underground on 26 June 1961. 'I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.' Within three years he was to be sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island together with others from the Rivonia trial. ‘The verdict of history’, commented the London Times, ‘will be that the ultimate guilty party is the government in power – and that already is the verdict of world opinion.’ ‘Most of the world,’ added the New York Times, ‘regards the convicted men as heroes and freedom fighters.’ On 21 February, ten days after his release from 27 years imprisonment Mandela sent a message to the International Solidarity Movement which had mounted a worldwide campaign calling for his release, and in support of the resistance of the people of South Africa.


In his message he expressed his hope that the same efforts would go to securing the release of all political prisoners. This revised and enlarged edition is being published to make a contribution to those efforts. It contains material prepared by Mandela before his meetings with P W Botha and F W De Klerk, and the addresses he made on his rallies in each of the four provinces of South Africa. The collection of photographs has been updated and contains pictures of Mandela since his release.

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandelawas the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election.

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