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South Africa 1945-1994: Was Nelson Mandela a Terrorist? What was the Cartoonist's View of the verdict passed on Nelson Mandela?

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Introduction

South Africa 1945-1994: Was Nelson Mandela a Terrorist? Question 5: What was the Cartoonist's View of the verdict passed on Nelson Mandela? In December 1963 Nelson Mandela was tried in the Rivonia Trial. The Trial lasted until June 1964 where he was imprisoned for life narrowly avoiding being sentenced to death with seven others including Walter Sisulu, the leader of the ANC. Mandela was tried for "recruiting people for training and guerrilla warfare for the purpose of violent revolution", when the police raided the MK's headquarters and found links between Mandela and the recent sabotages on power stations. The prosecution demanded that they should all be hanged but the amount of international interest forced the judge to pass life imprisonment on them all. The arrests managed to break down the MK and the ANC inside South Africa. In Source G the cartoonist, a man named Illingworth, has depicted Nelson Mandela being tied down by one finger with a police man a court judge and Verwoerd the most powerful Nationalist party Leader standing next to him. Illingworth is trying to say that the system is not holding him down. This is because in the source Mandela's face is depicted as angry and as though the men tying him down are having no effect on him. It may also be that he is trying to say that the government think that they have felled a giant but really they are having no effect. ...read more.

Middle

In source 1, the South African journalist Ormonde Pollock says that life on Robben Island is not what people stereotype it to be, "One goes to Robben Island with a preconceived notion". He explains that "In the few hours...we never saw anyone who appeared to have been ill-treated." Pollock also explains that it was nothing like the statement that the United Nations published, saying that, "...prisoners...are accorded especially cruel". In the second source by an Australian journalist, David McNicoll, Nelson Mandela explains that Robben Island is not that bad and explains that Mandela devises his own ways of information and how it stops him from getting depressed. Mandela also explains that he knows his "cause will triumph" and he is satisfied by the way things are proceeding. The last sentence of the source reads, "I would like you to listen to some complaints" and a footnote at the bottom says that sixty-five words have been deleted. In the third source by an ex-prisoner, Neville Alexander, it explains to the others contradiction that Robben Island was "hell on earth". Alexander describes how the guards treated the prisoners and how they "would often punish the prisoners by seating them in the most disadvantageous places". The sources contradict themselves in many ways, for example, on the surface Source 1 is saying that life is not bad on Robben Island and that the idea that there are "prison staff armed with machine guns, pacing the parapets", are not true and it is just a "preconceived notion". ...read more.

Conclusion

As a conclusion it is obvious that on the surface, without studying them in depth the sources all contradict themselves. Source 1 says life is good, Source 2 has a neutral view but then says that life is not great and gives to sides to the argument and Source 3 says that life on Robben Island was "hell on earth", and they were not even allowed to talk to the person next to them for most of the time. But it becomes more apparent that the sources are all alike when studied in depth. In Source 1 Pollock is being almost sarcastic and pointing out the complaints and turning them in to praises and trying to make people read between the lines. Source 2 is also putting life on Robben Island into a bad perspective as the source has been censored cutting out the passage where Mandela clearly states that life on Robben Island is cruel and source 3 generally says that life was bad although this could be exaggerated to some extent because Alexander thought that it was time that people knew what really happened and to prove they were un-necessarily cruel because if they had or had not done it Mandela would still be running for election anyway. This is why the sources do not differ too much of their accounts of life on Robben Island. History South Africa Coursework Edward Mathews Source Based Questions 5 and 6 Centre No: 65129 1 ...read more.

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