The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has a rare typescript of the speech, which Mr Mandela autographed and gave as a gift to a comrade.
In the Rivonia Trial Mr Mandela chose, instead of testifying, to make a speech from the dock and proceeded to hold the court spellbound for more than four hours. His speech, which was made at the beginning of the defence case, ended with the words:
“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Click here to see the last page from the speech from the dock. Less than two months later, Mr Mandela and his comrades Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Denis Goldberg, Raymond Mhlaba, Andrew Mlangeni and Elias Motsoaledi, were convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment. Apartheid laws dictated that the only white person sentenced, Denis Goldberg, should be held in Pretoria Central Prison. The other seven were sent to Robben Island.
Below the final paragraph of his typewritten speech Mr Mandela wrote:
“The invincibility of our cause and the certainty of our final victory are the impenetrable armour of those who consistently uphold their faith in freedom and justice in spite of political…