page 295 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_295.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 9-295

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_295.jpg]

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  • 1976 - (Creation)

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page

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Pirow. Ironically the two other speakers on that occasion were two "listed" communists. George Findlay came to the court that day in his capacity as chairman of the Pretoria Bar. Present in court that day as the leading defence lawyer was Bram Fischer and it thus became his task to also say a few words in tribute to Pirow. Findlay's tribute was warm and stimulating and he described Pirow as a brilliant advocate. Bram, in his usual courteous and adroit manner, avoided any embarrassment he felt in his role and ended his oration with the pertinent remark that Pirow would be remembered by different people for different things.

Advocate De Vos became the new leader of the Crown team. The defence team had little difficulty in showing that the Crown had failed to prove the allegations in the indictment. In support of their argument they quoted in addition to the massive evidence of the different witnesses, that of the police men referred to earlier and asked for our discharge.

On 29th March 1961, four years and four months after our arrest we were found not guilty and acquitted. The Treason Trial had ended. The State had set out to characterize the ANC as a front organisation of the Communist Party. In this it failed dismally before its own courts. In the judgement of the court the ANC emerged clearly as an organisation in its own right and the spearhead of the Congress movement. We were acquitted to the accompaniment of tremendous excitement amongst counsel, the accused, our family and members of the public. Members of the defence team were loudly cheered as they came out of the synagogue and carried aloft whilst the accused kissed and embraced their wives, relatives and friends.

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