The goal was freedom and not enrichment, says Denis Goldberg about the Struggle

It's nearly 55 years since the verdict was delivered in the 1964 Rivonia Trial.

On that day, eight of the defendants, including late president Nelson Mandela, were sentenced to life in prison.

On Saturday May 25 a documentary telling the story behind the trial is being screened in Cape Town to coincide with Africa Day.

Life is Wonderful: Mandela's Unsung Heroes tells of the immense courage and self-sacrifice on the part of ten men who fought for a democratic South Africa.

The title of the film comes from the word's of trialist Denis Goldberg as the verdict was read out.

Goldberg, who spent 22 years in Pretoria Central Prison following the trial, takes part in the film directed by former UK high court judge Sir Nick Stadlen.

He shared with Africa Melane some of his keenest memories of the trial.

You sit there day after day with a prosecutor who's out to hang you, the security police who, whenever there's a particularly damning piece of evidence, would turn around and run their fingers across their throats.

Denis Goldberg, Rivonia trialist

Walter Sisulu had four years of school but he was the intellectual giant of our movement...and there was the prosecutor trying to lord it over him and he (Sisulu) turned him out intellectually in four days in the witness box. It was absolutely astonishing.

Denis Goldberg, Rivonia trialist

Freedom doesn't fall from the trees...we were prepared to put our lives on the line for freedom.

Denis Goldberg, Rivonia trialist

The film is being screened at the District Six Museum to raise funds for the Denis Goldberg House of Hope.

Denis plans to be present at the screening, and there will be a Q&A session after the film.


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : The goal was freedom and not enrichment, says Denis Goldberg about the Struggle


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