Nelson Mandela says family leadership and international solidarity gave him strength to survive 27 years behind bars. He describes brutal treatment and psychological abuse on Robben Island.
Mandela discusses how comradeship strengthened among ANC members while in prison. He and other leaders taught politics to students, developing underground communication channels to other prison sections.
Mandela and his colleagues conducted hunger strikes and resisted doing humiliating things. He describes being punished for his resolve.
Mandela studied Afrikaans in prison to read the literature and newspapers of his oppressors and understand their mindset.
The South African government censored media coverage of Mandela while he was in prison. He wanted to be regarded as human, rather than a hero. He shares leadership responsibilities with the ANC.
Mandela rejects the influx control system restricting black South Africans from cities. The ANC will decide how to proceed with the transition to democracy, beginning with the government agreeing to pre-conditions. Mandela wants the best candidates to be elected for office.
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In this 1990 interview, Nelson Mandela shares his experience of 27 years in prison and reflects on the ANC's collective leadership model in the transition to a post-apartheid South Africa.
Length: 23 minutes
Copyright date: ©1990
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