Reader's Guide for Saving Nelson Mandela

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Background

This year's incoming class book club pick is Saving Nelson Mandela: The Rivonia Trial and the Fate of South Africa, written by UNC Law emeritus faculty member, Kenneth S. Broun. Prof. Broun has worked since 1986 in South Africa's Trial Advocacy Training Programs through the Black Lawyers Association of South Africa. Through his work, he became acquainted with the lawyers who defended Nelson Mandela and the nine other prominent anti-apartheid leaders charged at the Rivonia Trial that resulted in Mr. Mandela's 27 year- long imprisonment. The meeting initiated 25 years of research for Prof. Broun, cumulating in the publication of the book. Many of the other individuals charged - Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, and Walther Sisulu among them, made significant contributions to the anti-apartheid struggle before, during, and after their imprisonments as a part of the African National Congress.

About the Book

The book takes an in-depth look at the Rivonia trial through Prof. Broun's meticulous research. It includes interviews with many of the trial's most important figures as well as a look at portions of the trial transcript and testimony. In 1963, when the trial began, Mr. Mandela and his co-defendants feared they would receive the death penalty for the charges they received under the apartheid regime's Sabotage Act. Indeed, Prof. Broun points out that being charged under this act meant the defendants were not accorded some of the procedural rights afforded to other defendants. The factors leading to the outcome of the trial, such as the excellent advocacy of the defense attorneys, the overwhelming support for the defendants by ordinary South Africans, and the stature of the defendants themselves, are well-documented and described in Prof. Broun's work.

This guide will offer you some additional links for you to consider for additional information as you read the book.

Book Reviews

  • Kirkus Review
  • Maclean's Review, written by Michael Petrou
  • Marjorie Meyers, SAVING NELSON MANDELA THE RIVONIA TRIAL AND THE FATE OF SOUTH AFRICA BY KENNETH S. BROUN OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS (2012), 37 Champion 57 (March 2013).
  • A review from the Legal History Blog
  • Stephen Robinson, Their day in the dock; The defense lawyers emerge as the stars in this fascinating account of Mandela's trial, The Sunday Times, 47 (April 22, 2012).

Websites with Additional Information about the Trial, Including Primary Documents from the Trial


Posted by Leslie A. Street on Tue. May 27, 2014 9:03 AM
Categories: Uncategorized


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