Talk:Rivonia Trial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Okay, I'm confused. The article I've linked to (see here) quotes an earlier article which speaks of Mandela being "on trial in Pretoria with eight others". The article I've linked to later mentions "Mandela and the seven other defendants", before listing them. But it only lists six. Impressive journalism, isn't it? ;) And, oh God, I've just found another page that says there were 11... Can anyone clear this up? -- Oliver P. 20:19 May 10, 2003 (UTC)

Addendum: An article on the website of The Jerusalem Report has the following:

"In the Rivonia trial, the Jews involved included all four white defendants, Rusty Bernstein, Denis Goldberg, Bob Hepple and Jimmy Kantor. Arthur Goldreich and Harold Wolpe, who had also been arrested, escaped from the Marshall Square police cells in Johannesburg. Joe Slovo and Ruth First were not involved in the trial; he had already left South Africa when the arrests took place, and she succeeded in leaving the country after a period of detention."

So that's another three defendants; I already had Denis Goldberg. I won't add them to the article, though, until I've become a little less confused... -- Oliver P. 20:27 May 10, 2003 (UTC),6119,2-7-1442_1565837,00.html

I have seen nineteen (19) people arrested at the farm.

They did not all face trial.

Commander in chief of MK, Walter Mkwayi escaped from trial during a coffee break.

Captured a year later and served a life sentence on Robben Island.

Mandela was in prison, leaving he country without permission. From "Long walk to freedom", in the room were Rusty Bernstein, Denis Goldberg, Bob Hepple. Raymond Mhlaba, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni.

Bob Hepple was to turn to State witness, but escaped to the UK.

(The following statement was issued by Chief Lutuli on June 12, 1964, when Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and six other leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment in the "Rivonia trial". It was read at the Security Council meeting on the same day by the representative of Morocco.)

Sentences of life imprisonment have been pronounced on Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Dennis Goldberg, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni in the "Rivonia trial" in Pretoria.

Thus the trialists were

With Lionel "Rusty" Bernstein acquitted.

"His covert ANC and South African Communist Party activities led up to the police raid on Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia, where he and 10 other prominent ANC leaders were arrested on 11th July 1963. Rusty was held in solitary confinement under the notorious Ninety Days detention law. At the end of ninety days, he was charged together with Nelson Mandela and others, in what became known as the Rivonia Trial. At the end of the trial, the remaining men were all found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Rusty was the only one found not guilty and he was discharged."

Nationalities of those arrested[edit]

I am putting back the nationalities edited out. It was apartheid, and I think very interesting. Wizzy 14:18, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The nationalities have been added as a seperate sentence, after the list of those arrested. Perhaps you should explain the significance of their nationalities.

I presume you want to make a point about about the multi-racial ANC membership or something. 11:00, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. I just didn't want to lose the information. Wizzy 15:52, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

> Their personal backgrounds are indeed very interesting!

Broken Links[edit]

There are several broken links in the list of defendants. Could some one please fix this? Being a newbie with a dumb sig, I don't know how. Until next edit, SonicBoom95 16:48, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

External link[edit]

I'm removing the external link to the Warwick University magazine article about Liliesleaf Farm as there's nothing there. Also corrected the reference to where Mandela was in prison at the time of the Police Raid. He was only moved to Robben Island after the big trial. (I'm very happy with my very first contribution which is an article on the Farm. I live only 4 kms away.) With help from ZAIAN !!

Colinvlr (talk) 20:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)


I know that there's a reference, and that the cited reference has the quotation in quotes... but can it REALLY have been "ferment"? --Dante Alighieri | Talk 16:29, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

There are a number of sources that use the "foment" language, although there are more (via Google) that seem to use ferment. I do not find this convincing, however, since many of the "ferment" pages clearly have their origins as the Wikipedia article. I've bypassed the issue by removing the quotation altogether. If anyone has access to the audio/transcripts mentioned here, a validated quotation can go back in. --Dante Alighieri | Talk 16:39, 21 April 2009 (UTC)


"The trial was essentially a mechanism through which the apartheid government could hurt or mute the ANC. Its leaders, including Nelson Mandela, who was already in Johannesburg's Fort prison serving a five-year sentence for inciting workers to strike and leaving the country illegally, were prosecuted, found guilty, and imprisoned. The apartheid regime's attack on the ANC's leadership and organizers continued with a trial known as Little Rivonia, in which other ANC members were prosecuted in accordance with international laws on terrorism. Amongst the defendants in this trial was the chief of MK, Wilton Mkwayi who was sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and the other ANC leaders on Robben Island."

The Following I feel are POV: - "essentially a mechanism through which the apartheid government could hurt or mute the ANC" There is no source stated to prove that it was the reason of the trial. - "The apartheid regime's" The term regime is POV as it is debatable on whether it should be called such, unless a legal South African source that says such it remains POV

Unless i here valid counter arguments and sources put in place I will remove the POV terms not before 22 September 2010 --Scottykira (talk) 21:01, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Rivonia 11[edit]

An Image of the Rivonia 11 (those who stood trial) can be found I think it might be a useful addition to the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:07, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Mandela's arrest[edit]

In the current way the article reads, it seems that Mandela was already arrested by the time the others were arrested and in Johannesburg's Fort prison for inciting workers? It was pointed out to me that he was in fact arrested in a roadblock in Natal subsequent to the other arrests.

The following link also states it: — Preceding unsigned comment added by CheekyB (talkcontribs) 19:41, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Sunday Times[edit]

The July 7 2013 article "The Day The Dry-cleaning Van Came to Liliesleaf Farm" has details of the arrest at the farm in Rivonia. It also mentions that the raid may have been from a CIA tip-off although no evidence is provided, except that a CIA operative active in South Africa at the time neither confirmed or denied the allegation. (talk) 21:58, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Why no discussion of Mandela's speech?[edit]

Nelson Mandela's address to the court is widely regarded as one of the great speeches of the 20th century. Is there any reason that it goes totally unmentioned in this article? Nandt1 (talk) 03:48, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

You might want to take another look - there is a prominent quote from the speech in the "Results" section. It can probably be expanded. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 18:59, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I've created an article about the speech which is now linked from this article.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:38, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, Dodger, but a two sentence extract was hardly the kind of substantive discussion the speech and its arguments merited. Anyway, now we are making progress in the right direction. Nandt1 (talk) 00:26, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

This article's discussion of Madela's speech[edit]

Helen, You reverted my expansion of the treatment of Mandela's speech in this Rivonia trial article, arguing for a concentration on the new article on grounds of redundancy and consistency. While fully in agreement with you that we should continue to strengthen the new article, I want to make the argument in favor of the modifications I made here. My main concern, to be frank, was that the text as it stood was potentially misleading. It spoke of a campaign of violent opposition. Without the qualification that I inserted (to explain that we are talking about acts of sabotage against property) that statement could very well be misinterpreted to point to acts of unrestricted violence. I also believe it is appropriate to give a very brief synopsis of NM's statement of the political differentiation between ANC and the Communist Party, which was at the heart of his defense.

I suggest that most people who read this article are not going to follow the link to the new piece. What is in the trial article will be all they learn about the speech. As such, without going on at extreme length, the treatment here should be self-contained on the key points.

If you still have issues, let's by all means discuss what should reasonably be in the main trial article before we get into an editing war, but I do plan in the meanwhile to revert back to the somewhat fuller discussion. Best wishes for your future edits on Wikipedia. Nandt1 (talk) 13:17, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

I will leave it up to the other editors involved in the new article to respond if necessary. At any rate, I am glad that you are now also working on the main article. For what it's worth, and please don't take this as anything other than constructive criticism, your last sentence comes across as patronising at best and sarcastic at worst. Rather just focus on content issues in talk pages. HelenOnline 14:00, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Dear me. Neither sarcasm nor patronization intended. I try to wish the other Wikipedia editors with whom I correspond best wishes with their editing with the intention of promoting good will and civil relations among our editing community. No one has ever reacted like this before..... Nandt1 (talk) 14:42, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Inconsistency over Death Penalty[edit]

This article and the "I am prepared to die" article offer mutually inconsistent statements vis-a-vis the death penalty: one says that the death penalty was initially requested by the prosecution but they were outmaneuvered, the other says that the prosecution never formally requested the death penalty, but it was understood [how? how reliably?] to be what they really wanted. One of these statements might be correct, but not both -- and possibly neither. I have no idea what the facts are -- and restricted access to the sources -- but surely we should be able to achieve greater precision and consistency on this rather basic point? Nandt1 (talk) 00:18, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Yutar did not explicitly request the death penalty, but there is a wide agreement among the people involved in the trial that it was very strongly implicit in the way he argued his case that he found that to be the appropriate sentence - Mandela and his lawyers certainly considered this the case as did the international observers, and the government also made it explicit that they considered it appropriate. Yutar himself in late life claimed that by not explicitly seekng the death penalty he had saved the lives of the accused, and saved South Africa from a blood civil war fueled by the existence of martyrs for the ANC cause.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:37, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Maunus. I am myself very much an outsider to this material. What you say does, though, seem to confirm that the present article is inaccurate in saying that the death penalty was initially requested. If you have sources that could be cited as part of a corrected account (e.g., if you feel the article should go into the question of Yutar's thinking at the time of the trial, in addition to his actions) would you care to take a stab at editing the article to get the facts straight? Nandt1 (talk) 03:04, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
Having not heard back from you on this, I took it upon myself to redraft the relevant section in line with your account on this page. I hope, though, that you and others with closer knowledge of the case than mine will feel free to add citations to the article on this point. Thanks again for your help. Nandt1 (talk) 14:20, 21 December 2013 (UTC).
Ah, I see now that you had inserted a reference under Charges. What I did just now was to edit the (conflicting) language in the Results section. I have now pasted in your reference to Frankel there as well. Nandt1 (talk) 16:02, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Rivonia Trial. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 20:48, 9 December 2017 (UTC)