Dig­i­tal plan for Rivo­nia trial record

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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

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