History for the Future: Lessons from a Rivonia Trialist
j0p9wr4hpqgmmtdb0b06jpg

Rivonia Trialist, Andrew Mlangeni: A cadre at the centre of a revolution

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, Life Podcasts presents History for the Future: Lessons from a Rivonia Trialist. In episode two of this captivating six-part podcast, Pippa Green sits down with one of the last remaining Rivonia trialists, Andrew Mlangeni. He reflects on his life, his role in the liberation struggle and, the quarter century of democracy he has witnessed.

When the Apartheid government banned the ANC, the SACP and the Pan Africanist Congress in 1960 – an action Helen Suzman warned the government against, ANC leaders were forced to meet and operate underground.

After the Minister of Police, Charles Robberts 'Blackie' Swart's stern warning to freedom fighters, the thought of forming another organisation became unfathomable to most of Nelson Mandela's comrades. With large numbers of people and very few arms at their disposal – Mandela’s comrades believed that the liberation movement, which sought to free South Africans from the damning grip of the Apartheid government, was a suicide mission.

So, needless to say, the birth of the African National Congress’ armed wing, uMkhonto weSizwe ("Spear of the Nation") was a contested one.

We can't go underground with so many people, we're committing suicide... and where are we going to get arms, weapons to fight such a powerful national party government? You are crazy Mandela... So, they used to dismiss him.

Andrew Mlangeni — Rivonia Trialist

Part of a select group of six members, Andrew Mlangeni was recruited by Joe Slovo to undergo military training. After becoming Percy Mokoena, he travelled to China in 1962, a long and dangerous trip, for special training as an underground operator after the ANC was banned.

In 1961, Nelson Mandela had convinced his comrades to form “MK,” and made the decision to take up arms in the fight for the dejected people of South Africa – a turning point in the country's history.

Listen to his remarkable story in six podcast episodes as part of the History for the Future series.

For more articles like this one, visit the History for the Future: Lessons from a Rivonia Trialist feature page.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
History for the Future: The 'Backroom Boy' finally goes home

History for the Future: The 'Backroom Boy' finally goes home

In this podcast series, Pippa Green interviews Andrew Mlangeni about his remarkable life of courage and reflection.

Andrew Mlangeni: From the apartheid struggle to the corruption struggle

Andrew Mlangeni: From the apartheid struggle to the corruption struggle

Lessons from a Rivonia trialist: Andrew Mlangeni talks about the transition into democracy and the challenges we face today.

History for the Future: Negotiating the release that would set South Africa free

History for the Future: Negotiating the release that would set South Africa free

One of the last surviving Rivonia Trialists, Andrew Mlangeni recounts the memories of his time in prison until his release.

History for the Future: "The trial that changed South Africa”

History for the Future: "The trial that changed South Africa”

In this episode, Andrew Mlangeni recounts how he travelled back to South Africa in the face of mounting tensions.

Rivonia Trialist, Andrew Mlangeni: More than just a 'backroom boy'

Rivonia Trialist, Andrew Mlangeni: More than just a 'backroom boy'

To mark 30 years since Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Pippa Green speaks to Rivonia Trialist, Andrew Mlangeni.

Popular articles
[WATCH] Journalists soldier on updating the nation during lockdown

[WATCH] Journalists soldier on updating the nation during lockdown

Frontline heroes: Eyewitness News unpacks a working day in the lives of journalists during the lockdown.

COVID-19 claims two more lives and positive cases now sit at 1,505

COVID-19 claims two more lives and positive cases now sit at 1,505

Health Minsiter Zweli Mkhize briefed the nation from the Khayelitsha Hospital in the Western Cape on Friday afternoon.

Soul singer Bill Withers dies

Soul singer Bill Withers dies

According to a statement released by his family a short while ago, Withers died of heart complications.

 FF Plus founder Constand Viljoen dies at age 86

FF Plus founder Constand Viljoen dies at age 86

The former South African Defence Force commander died earlier on Friday due to what's been described as natural causes.

Ipid investigates after 8 deaths recorded since lockdown

Ipid investigates after 8 deaths recorded since lockdown

About a week into the national lockdown, the Ipid said it was working on 12 cases where officers have been implicated in wrongdoing during this period.

Premium spirits distributor pledges R2m to support bartenders and waiters

Premium spirits distributor pledges R2m to support bartenders and waiters

The initiative by Pernord Ricard South Africa will benefit at least 1,000 workers affected by the lockdown.

UJ makes use of 3D printing to make surgical face shields

UJ makes use of 3D printing to make surgical face shields

Library and Information Centre executive director professor Maria Frahm-Arp says the shield is reusable.

Construction company offers sanitisers and soaps to those in need

Construction company offers sanitisers and soaps to those in need

Hallfax CEO Femi Adeleke explains how the process of giving away the sanitisers work.

Lawyers for Human Rights want waste reclaimers to continue working

Lawyers for Human Rights want waste reclaimers to continue working

The organisation says it has sent a letter of demand to the City of Tshwane with no response.

Don't let FOMO get to you, join the baking club with these simple bread recipes

Don't let FOMO get to you, join the baking club with these simple bread recipes

Food critic Anna Trapido says baking can be quite soothing and people are looking for that.