WORD LISTS

Nelson Mandela "I am Prepared to Die" (1964)

July 6, 2012
The resounding words of a man about to be silenced by decades in prison, this statement given by Mandela in his own defense traces the history of black Africans under Apartheid.
incite
I am a convicted prisoner serving five years for leaving the country without a permit and for inciting people to go on strike at the end of May 1961.
sabotage
I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage.
tyranny
I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites.
oppression
I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites.
prominent
I admit immediately that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto we Sizwe, and that I played a prominent role in its affairs until I was arrested in August 1962.
prescribe
In order to explain these matters properly, I will have to explain what Umkhonto set out to achieve; what methods it prescribed for the achievement of these objects, and why these methods were chosen.
indictment
I deny that Umkhonto was responsible for a number of acts which clearly fell outside the policy of the organization, and which have been charged in the indictment against us.
hostility
Firstly, we believed that as a result of Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and that unless responsible leadership was given to canalize and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of this country which is not produced even by war.
supremacy
Since White South Africans of European origins controlled all of the nation's wealth and power Mandela and others referred to their behavior as white supremacy.
Secondly, we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy.
mode
All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the Government.
recourse
We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.
curtail
The African National Congress was formed in 1912 to defend the rights of the African people which had been seriously curtailed by the South Africa Act, and which were then being threatened by the Native Land Act.
apartheid
The change was embodied in a decision which was taken to protest against apartheid legislation by peaceful, but unlawful, demonstrations against certain laws.
pursuant
Pursuant to this policy the ANC launched the Defiance Campaign, in which I was placed in charge of volunteers.
colleague
I and nineteen colleagues were convicted for the role which we played in organizing the campaign, but our sentences were suspended mainly because the Judge found that discipline and non-violence had been stressed throughout.
treason
In 1956, 156 leading members of the Congress Alliance, including myself, were arrested on a charge of high treason and charges under the Suppression of Communism Act.
suppression
In 1956, 156 leading members of the Congress Alliance, including myself, were arrested on a charge of high treason and charges under the Suppression of Communism Act.
acquitted
We were acquitted on all counts, which included a count that the ANC sought to set up a communist state in place of the existing regime.
regime
A synonym for a regime is a government.
We were acquitted on all counts, which included a count that the ANC sought to set up a communist state in place of the existing regime.
allegation
This allegation has been repeated in the present case, but as I will show, the ANC is not, and never has been, a communist organization.
unremitting
We believed it was our duty to preserve this organization which had been built up with almost fifty years of unremitting toil.
toil
We believed it was our duty to preserve this organization which had been built up with almost fifty years of unremitting toil.
disband
I have no doubt that no self-respecting White political organization would disband itself if declared illegal by a government in which it had no say.
referendum
In 1960 the Government held a referendum which led to the establishment of the Republic.
republic
In 1960 the Government held a referendum which led to the establishment of the Republic.
apprehensive
All of us were apprehensive of our future under the proposed White Republic, and a resolution was taken to hold an All-In African Conference to call for a National Convention, and to organize mass demonstrations on the eve of the unwanted Republic, if the Government failed to call the Convention.
milestone
This was an indication that the Government had decided to rule by force alone, and this decision was a milestone on the road to Umkhonto.
abject
Anything else would have been abject surrender.
seething
In 1961 there had been riots in Warmbaths, and all this time the Transkei had been a seething mass of unrest.
channel
It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe.
manifesto
In the Manifesto of Umkhonto published on 16 December 1961, which is Exhibit AD, we said:
propaganda
Nor would this be politically correct, because it would result in members ceasing to carry out this essential activity: political propaganda and organization.
guerrilla
There is sabotage, there is guerrilla warfare, there is terrorism, and there is open revolution.
congregate
Had we intended to attack life we would have selected targets where people congregated and not empty buildings and power stations.
isolated
The sabotage which was committed before 16 December 1961 was the work of isolated groups and had no connection whatever with Umkhonto.
commence
The Manifesto of Umkhonto was issued on the day that operations commenced.
speculate
A great deal of enthusiasm was generated by the initial successes, and people began to speculate on how soon freedom would be obtained.
friction
Already scores of Africans had died as a result of racial friction.
compulsory
All whites undergo compulsory military training, but no such training was given to Africans.
nucleus
It was in our view essential to build up a nucleus of trained men who would be able to provide the leadership which would be required if guerrilla warfare started.
solicit
At this stage it was decided that I should attend the Conference of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for Central, East, and Southern Africa, which was to be held early in 1962 in Addis Ababa, and, because of our need for preparation, it was also decided that, after the conference, I would undertake a tour of the African States with a view to obtaining facilities for the training of soldiers, and that I would also solicit scholarships for the higher education of matriculated Africans.
matriculate
At this stage it was decided that I should attend the Conference of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for Central, East, and Southern Africa, which was to be held early in 1962 in Addis Ababa, and, because of our need for preparation, it was also decided that, after the conference, I would undertake a tour of the African States with a view to obtaining facilities for the training of soldiers, and that I would also solicit scholarships for the higher education of matriculated Africans.
provocation
I do not know what justification there was for these acts, nor what provocation had been given.
abolish
But though this may have blurred the distinction between Umkhonto and the ANC, it by no means abolished that distinction.
creed
The ideological creed of the ANC is, and always has been, the creed of African Nationalism.
monopoly
It calls for redistribution, but not nationalization, of land; it provides for nationalization of mines, banks, and monopoly industry, because big monopolies are owned by one race only, and without such nationalization racial domination would be perpetuated despite the spread of political power.
perpetuate
It calls for redistribution, but not nationalization, of land; it provides for nationalization of mines, banks, and monopoly industry, because big monopolies are owned by one race only, and without such nationalization racial domination would be perpetuated despite the spread of political power.
hollow
It would be a hollow gesture to repeal the Gold Law prohibitions against Africans when all gold mines are owned by European companies.
repeal
It would be a hollow gesture to repeal the Gold Law prohibitions against Africans when all gold mines are owned by European companies.
prosperous
The realization of the Freedom Charter would open up fresh fields for a prosperous African population of all classes, including the middle class.

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Saturday February 9th 2013, 11:37 AM
Comment by: Houssam T.
i like
Sunday December 8th 2013, 5:21 AM
Comment by: Arif (India)
Nice information
Monday December 16th 2013, 11:00 AM
Comment by: Larry D.
Great info; gives me a clear sense of the intellect and eloquence of this extraordinary man and what the world has lost in his dying.

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