Digital plan for Rivonia trial record
PARIS: France’s National Audio- visual Institute ( INA) has said it will restore and digitise the recordings of the Rivonia Trial in which Nelson Mandela and seven other anti-apartheid activists were sentenced to life in jail.
The original audio recordings of the 1963-1964 court case are old and deteriorating.
INA “will be in charge of the digitisation, restoration and indexing of the recordings” of the trial, it said in a statement, adding that it would make them available to the public.
The project was announced as France and South Africa officially closed an eight-month nationwide event in France showcasing the country through exhibitions, concerts and other happenings, in the presence of Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile.
The trial resulted in Mandela, whose death on December 5 prompted a global outpouring of grief and tributes, being sent to Robben Island, where he spent 18 of his 27 years in prison.
During his defence, Mandela made a speech that was to electrify the courtroom, South Africa and the world.
It ended with the words: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.
“It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
The speech was to become the manifesto of the antiapartheid movement. “This trial was a turning point in the fight against apartheid, and continues to be a key moment in the global struggle for human rights and human dignity,” INA said. – Sapa-AFP