- 1976 - (Creation)
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withdraw from the case in protest. He asked us to express our views and warned us of the serious implications of conducting our own defence in a capital charge.
We carefully discussed the matter amongst ourselves and unanimously approved of the recommendation of the lawyers. In spite of this unanimity and because of the seriousness of the whole issue we thought it advisable to ask each of the 29 accused to express hsi opinion. Again the proposal was unanimously endorsed. It was further agreed that each accused would conduct his own defence and Duma Nokwe and I would help in preparing the case and advising them on matters of procedure.
One day as the proceedings started, Maisels dramatically announced the decision and thereafter he and the other lawyers quietly filed out of the synagogue. After Maisels' announcement the judges repeated the warning previously given to us by counsel in almost identical terms. But we were angry and ready for a showdown. We had briefed lawyers and not judges to advise us in the trial. They had done so and the matter was closed. It was under these conditions and in this atmosphere that the trial proceeded thereafter until the five month long martial law was lifted and our defence team returned to conduct our case.
Our strategy was simple to drag out the case until martial law was lifted when our lawyers would return. We were arranged alphabetically and accused number one was Farid Adams, a member of the Transval Indian Youth Congress. According to our plan he would open his case by calling