On what charges was Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 5th, 2022

Nelson Mandela was given a life sentence for sabotaging the apartheid regime of South Africa. The occurrence happened on June 12, 1964. Using the alias David Motsamayi, Mandela smuggled himself out of South Africa on January 11, 1962. He was accused of encouraging workers to strike and leaving the country without authorization.

Nelson Mandela's Imprisonment

  • He visited England and traveled throughout Africa to garner support for the armed effort. In July 1962, after completing his military training in Ethiopia and Morocco, he returned to South Africa.
  • On August 5, while traveling back from KwaZulu-Natal, where he had explained the ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli on his trip, he was detained by police at a roadblock outside of Howick.
  • He was accused of encouraging workers to strike and leaving the country without authorization. He was found guilty and given a five-year prison term, which he started to fulfill at the Pretoria Local Prison.
  • He was moved to Robben Island on May 27, 1963, and sent back to Pretoria on June 12.
  • Within a month, police stormed Liliesleaf, an ANC and Communist Party activist hideout in Rivonia, Johannesburg, and several of his comrades were taken into custody.
  • In what became known as the Rivonia Trial, Mandela was one of 10 defendants put on trial for sabotage on October 9, 1963. His last remarks to the court during his infamous "Speech from the Dock" on April 20, 1964, were immortalized despite him being on death row.
  • Mandela and the other seven defendants - Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi, Raymond Mhlaba, and Andrew Mlangeni - were found guilty on June 11 of that year and given life sentences the following day. Due to his race, Goldberg was transported to Pretoria Prison, whereas the others were transferred to Robben Island.

Summary:

On what charges was Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment?

Nelson Mandela received a life sentence for undermining South Africa's apartheid system. The incident took place on June 12, 1964. He was found guilty and given a five-year prison term, which he started to fulfill at the Pretoria Local Prison.

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