- 1976 - (Creation)
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finally reached under which the front part of the cage was pulled down and the case was remanded.
After two weeks we were all released on bail and were happy to be back amongst our families and friends. On the day we were granted bail large crowds attended the court and well wishers from diverse walks of life came forward to guarantee bail for each of the accused. This was a tremendous gesture of solidarity and proved to be the beginning of what later came to be the Treason Trial Defence and Aid Fund.
The next day I went to my office. There I met an old friend who was a keen rugby player. I had not seen him for several months. Before the arrests I had deliberately cut down my weight and thought I was looking quite trim. "Madiba (which is also my clan name), must you look so thin?" he asked. I caught the hint and offered an explanation. He was not impressed. "No man, you were scared of jail, that is all. You have disgraced us Xhosas!" he said. There are arguments one cannot win. I changed the subject to rugby and he talked ceaselessly and warmly till we parted.
Wessels, who heard the preparatory examination, was an experienced and courteous magistrate but with hardly any sympathy for the sort of accused now before him. Joe Slovo, and advocate, was one of the accused and conducted his own defence. There was an interesting incident when a number of accused almost rioted when they rose and moved forward towards the bench when Wessels summarily fined Joe Slove for alleged contempt of court. Chief Luthuli and captain van Zyl, the senior orderly, had great difficulty in restraining the accused.