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Exhibition Themes > Law > 189. Faried Adams

189.  Faried Adams.  R. v. Adams and others. South African Mass Treason Trial. Pretoria: Special Criminal Court in Pretoria, 1959-1960. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

In the long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, this trial of 156 people accused of conspiring to overthrow the state by violence brought the world's attention to racial and political discrimination in South Africa. The accused were a cross section of South African society: Africans, Indians, Europeans from many professions and occupations: students, doctors, lawyers, skilled and unskilled laborers, shopkeepers, teachers, and tribal chiefs. Many were members of the African National Congress (A.N.C.) which had been a motivating force for the adoption of the Freedom Charter by the Congress of the People in 1955. Among the accused was Nelson Mandela, who, with his law partner Oliver Tambo, had opened the first African legal practice in Johannesburg in 1952. Mandela's testimony is preserved in this transcript, containing his views on non-violence and on the Freedom Charter. After a lengthy trial, the defendants were all acquitted, but this trial was only the beginning of the movement to establish equality before the law in South Africa.

Gift of Thomas G. Karis, 1986

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