Delmas Treason Trial

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The Delmas Treason Trial (1985–1988) in South Africa was the prosecution of 22 anti-apartheid activists under security laws, with the intention of suppressing the United Democratic Front (UDF).[1] The defendants included three senior UDF leaders, Moses Chikane, Mosiuoa Lekota and Popo Molefe, known as the "Big Three".[2] Eleven of the accused were found guilty in the same courtroom where Nelson Mandela was found guilty. Just before the verdict, white supremacist spree killer Barend Strydom started to shoot people in the square outside the court.[3] Their sentences were overturned in 1989 after an appeal to the Supreme Court.[4] The trial was the longest in South African history at the time.[5]


  1. ^ Gerhard, Gail. "Trial by Color", New York Times, New York, 30 December 1990. Retrieved on 3 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Pretoria Supreme Court sentences 11 "Delmas Treason Trialists"" South African History Online, Pretoria. Retrieved 3 October 2010
  3. ^ Shouting at the Crocodile, Rose Moss, Beacon Press, 1990
  4. ^ Kraft, Scott (16 December 1989). "Convictions Overturned for 5 Leading South African Black Activists". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "Activists Convicted of Treason". The Salina Journal. 19 November 1988. Retrieved 14 September 2016 – via