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Archival description
National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Pretoria Collection
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Prosecution Records

  • ZA NARSSA MR-RT-005
  • Collection
  • 1963 - 1964
  • Part of Rivonia Trial

These records were donated by the Oppenheimer Family to the National Archives in 2008 from the Brenthurst Library in Johannesburg. The Oppenheimers acquired them from Dr Percy Yutar, the prosecutor in the trial.

They are not a complete record. Some witness testimony, and cross-examination are missing. See linked list for more details.

Included in the records are the indictment, opening address, statements, evidence by witnesses for the State and for the accused, evaluation of evidence of the trial, judgment and sentence, photographs, the diary Mandela kept when he left South Africa secretly at the beginning of 1962 to undergo military training and to garner support for the banned ANC. Also included is Mandela's statement from the dock. A significant component of the material is the working papers of the prosecution that were used to build up the State's case against the Rivonia Trialists. There are also photocopies and microfilm copies.

There are also prosecution records from the Yutars in the personal collection of Douw Steyn and at Liliesleaf Farm.

Yutar, Percy

Criminal Court Case No. 253/1963 (The State versus N Mandela and Others)

  • ZA NARSSA MR-RT-093
  • Collection
  • 1963 - 1964
  • Part of Rivonia Trial

The records of the Supreme Court of South Africa (Transvaal Provincial Division) on the proceedings of the Rivonia Trial. Transferred to National Archives in 1994. Incomplete on transfer. Existent records are:

File cover with handwritten notes, including the sentences that were passed. The clerk of the court recorded the sentences that were passed together with the names of the accused on the cover of a file in blue ink.

Extracts of evidence by state witnesses (3 vols). These volumes include records by the attorney for the accused, Mr. B Fischer, applying for the postponement of the proceedings and the reply by Dr Yutar, the State’s main prosecutor. Further records include the verbatim transcriptions of evidence given by state witnesses.

Evidence for defence (1 vol.). Include verbatim transcriptions of evidence given by Ahmed Kathrada, Raymond Mhlaba, Lionel Bernstein and Govan Mbeki.

Rivonia Exhibits (1 vol.). The exhibits include documents seized by the police at Liliesleaf and deals with topics such as the Transkei; Operation Mayibuye; the new draft programme of the South African Communist Party (SACP); names and addresses of ANC and SACP members; a copy of Sibanye, a newsletter; documents discussing problems in the democratic movement, the Nationalists invasion scare, the general predictions for 1963; handwritten notes on freedom movements elsewhere in Africa; an article by E Rosenthal on General De Wet; a syllabus on the fundamental principles of Marxism; a pamphlet named 'A Call to the Youth'; a manual on rock blasting; the rules of the SACP; sketch of Tunisia; handwritten notes on the Kenya Youth Wing Organisations; SACP newsletter on the China/India border dispute; statement by the SACP on conditions in South Africa; document on the differences in the communist movement; invoices from Ace Auto electricians; press statement by Nelson Mandela on 26 June 1961.

State’s Concluding Address (4 vols). These volumes are divided into three parts. The first part deals with a factual analysis of documentary exhibits handed in, and of oral testimony given, by state witnesses. Part two deals with a factual analysis of the documentary exhibits handed in, and of the oral testimony given, by state witnesses (continued). The third part deals with the Rivonia exhibits.

Two volumes consisting of Judge’s remarks in passing sentence; the Attorney General for the Transvaal’s statement explaining which of the accused was found guilty of what offences; a part of the judgement and verbatim transcriptions of the court proceedings

Judgement (1 vol.).

Dictabelts covering the whole case (8 vols).

These records, together with the Prosecution Records received from Brenthurst Library, will at some stage become one group.

Department of Justice

Department of Correctional Services Political Prisoner Files

  • ZA NARSSA MR-RT-094
  • Collection
  • 1964 - 1990
  • Part of Rivonia Trial

This collection consists of files, kept by prison authorities, on all political prisoners held in prisons in South Africa. The list for these files is in three parts but only the first two relate to Rivonia Trialists.
List A reflects files of nine people, including Kathrada, Mandela, Mbeki, Mhlaba, Mlangeni of the Rivonia Trialists. These files contain correspondence.

List B has many more political prisoners' files. These files contain general correspondence re prisoners, transfers etc. The only Rivonia Trialist in List B is Denis Goldberg.

List C deals with specific issues such as medical attention and education of prisoners but does not include any of the Rivonia Trialists.

Department of Correctional Services

Mandela, H

Mandela, H Headman, location No 15, called Mvezo successor, Ntabezulu Mtirara

Mandela Tambo

Illiquid case payment: Mandela Tambo versus Lucretia.

Criminal Court Case No. 253/1963 (State Versus N Mandela and Others)

Records of the Rivonia trial, State versus Nelson Mandela and nine others. The accused are Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Dennis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Lionel Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba, James Kantor, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni.
The collection includes the indictment, opening address, statements and evidence by witnesses for the State and for the accused. Evaluation of evidence, exhibits including photographs. An important component of the collection includes material confiscated at Lilliesleaf farm in Rivonia, such as Mandela's 1962 diary and other documents in his handwriting, most of them relating to armed struggle. It also includes Mandela's statement from the dock, and the State's concluding address.
A significant part of the collection includes materials used to build up the State's case against the Rivonia Trialists.

Opposed Bail Application

Correspondence on the opposed bail application Lionel Forman, Dorothy Stanley, Reginald September, Nelson Mandela, G.M Naicker and Lawrence Nkosi versus the Attorney General.

Witwatersrand Local Division of the Supreme Court (Johannesburg)

Nelson Mandela

Objectionable films and videos Nelson Mandela 70th birthday concert.

Nelson Mandela

Kop en skouers foto van gllimlaggende Nelson Mandela, hoogaangeskrewe leier van die ANC ( African National Congress) en stigterlid van Umkhonto we Sizwe= Head and shoulders photo of smiling Nelson Mandela, acclaimed leader of the ANC (African National Congress) and founder member of Umkhonto we Sizwe.
12cmX17 cm

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela as prokureur in Johannesburg= Nelson Mandela as a lawyer in Johannesburg.
12cm X 17 cm

Oath of office

Mr. N. R. Mandela signs oath of office after his swearing in as the President of the new democratic South Africa.

Govan Mbeki Release

Mrs Winnie Mandela supports Govan Mbeki, one of the leaders of Umkhonto we Sizwe leaders arrested in Rivonia on 11 June 1963, after his release by the government.

Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk

Mr F. W. de Klerk and Mr Nelson Mandela shake hands after their negotiations at Groote Schuur in Cape Town. 13 x 17 cm colour photograph

[Unknown]

Mandela and Tambo

Photograph of a document from the company Mandela and Tambo attorneys at law requesting the lifting of restriction on Nelson Mandela to enable him to appear on behalf of a client in Hammanskraal Native Commissioner's court. 9 x 12cm

[Unknown]

Nelson Mandela

Personal correspondence.
Correspondents include Winnie Mandela, Zindzi Mandela, Zenani Mandela, Makgatho Mandela, Makaziwe Mandela, Helen Suzman, Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi, Benjamin Pogrund, Judith Mtirara, Amina Cachalia, Archie Gumede, Paramount Chief Jonguhlanga Dalindyebo, Irene Mkwayi, Fatima Meer, Nokukhanya Luthuli, Nkosazana Matanzima, Wolfie Kodesh, Ismail Ayob and Dr. JS Moroka.

Mandela, Nelson Rolihlahla

Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court (Pretoria)

Ex parte application by Nelson Mandela for admission as an attorney in the Supreme Court of South Africa, Transvaal Provincial Division. The application includes:
A transcript from the University of South Africa (UNISA) confirming Mandela's completion of requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree. An affidavit by Lazar Sidelsky declaring Mandela fully qualified to act as an attorney. Confirmation of Mandela's completion of the Attorneys Admission examinations.
Character references; Affidavits by Mandela confirming his date and place of birth and academic qualifications.
Certificates
The attorney's oath signed by Mandela.
A declaration by Justice Steyn of the Transvaal Provincial Division that Mandela is qualified to practice as an attorney.

Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court (Pretoria)

Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court (Pretoria)

Ex parte application of the Incorporated Law Society of the Transvaal versus Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, for the removal of Mandela's name from the list of attorneys, based on his involvement in the Defiance Campaign and other political activities.

Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court (Pretoria)

Witwatersrand Local Division of the Supreme Court (Johannesburg)

Refused bail application after arrests for high treason. Lionel Forman, Dorothy Stanley, Reginald September, Nelson Mandela, GM Naicker and Lawrence Nkosi versus the Attorney General of the Transvaal.

Witwatersrand Local Division of the Supreme Court (Johannesburg)