The Nelson Mandela I knew and loved

I met Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela 50 years ago this year in his jail cell on Robben Island. I was a newly ordained part-time chaplain to the prison there. He was with other Rivonia Trialists, who were named for the farm in Rivonia, outside Johannesburg, where they had been arrested on July 11, 1963. Mandela was not with them in Rivonia; he was already serving a five-year sentence for leaving the country illegally, and was tried with the Rivonia Trialists because documents incriminating him were found at the farm.


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