File 1 - Smuggled Letters - Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada

NMF_Smuggled_Letter_001.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_002.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_003.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_004.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_005.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_006.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_007.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_008.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_009.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_010.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_011.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_012.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_013.tif NMF_Smuggled_Letter_014.tif

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Reference code

ZA COM NMAP 2010/9-1


Smuggled Letters - Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada


  • 1959-01-01 - 1978-12-31 (Creation)

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3 Items

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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(08 August 1929 - 28 March 2017)

Biographical history

Anti-apartheid activist, politician, political prisoner and MP. Leading member of the ANC and of the SACP. Founding member of the Transvaal Indian Volunteer Corps and its successor, the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress. Imprisoned for one month in 1946 for his participation in the SAIC’s Passive Resistance Campaign against the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act. Convicted for his participation in the 1952 Defiance Campaign. Banned in 1954. Co-organiser of the Congress of the People and a member of the Congress Alliance General Purpose Committee. Detained during the 1960 State of Emergency. One of the last twenty-eight accused in the Treason Trial acquitted in 1961. Placed under house arrest in 1962. Arrested at Liliesleaf Farm in July 1963 and charged with sabotage in the Rivonia Trial. Imprisoned on Robben Island, 1964–82, then Pollsmoor Prison until his release on 15 October 1989. MP from 1994, after South Africa’s first democratic elections, and served as political adviser to President Mandela.

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2 handwritten manuscripts of letters by Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada. Includes envelope which Jude Pillay posted had posted to himself in case he was questioned as to how he received the letters. Judge Thumba Pillay donated the two letters and the envelope to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in 2009.

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