frontline: the long walk of nelson mandela
the prisoner

Monitoring Mandela

8115, Orlando West
JOHANNESBURG
11th December, 1959

The Honorable the Minister of Justice
Union Buildings
PRETORIA
BY EXPRESS DELIVERY

Dear Sir,

re: APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO VISIT BIZANA, TRANSKEI

Yesterday, Detective Head-Constable Viviers of the Johannesburg Special Branch of the South African Police advised me by telephone that you had refused to grant me permission to leave Johannesburg on the 18th instant for Bizana where I intended spending a holiday for ten days.

No reasons whatsoever were given for this eleventh-hour decision. My request was made to you on the 17th July this year and was repeated on the 23rd of last month. Yet in spite of numerous telephone inquiries made in your department in connection with the matter, you did not communicate with me until a day or two before my intended departure. Was the delay in advising me of your decision due merely to negligence in the execution of your duties or was it a deliberate attempt on your part to punish me for my political convictions and to inconvenience me by refusing my request only after I had made elaborate preparations for the journey? I hesitate to conclude that a Minister of the Crown could, in the performance of a public duty, act in a manner suggestive of vengeance and political persecution of those who abhor the fascist policy of the National Government. Perhaps you would like to offer me an explanation to allay my doubts.

If by refusing me permission to leave Johannesburg you think I will be intimidated and cease to oppose the policy of your government, then I must say with all due respect to you, that you stopped reading the contemporary history of South Africa when your party came into power in 1948. You are apparently not aware of the complete failure of all measures adopted by your government during the past eleven years to destroy its political opponents. In spite of the confinement of many individuals, banning them from organizations and gatherings, and the ruthless suppression of civil liberties by the Nationalists, the demand for democratic changes has become more assertive and powerful. Your government, which is forcibly imposed on 10,000,000 of its citizens and which is maintained by sheer force and intimidation, must sooner or later give way to a democratic one based upon the will of all the people of South Africa. As for myself, with the exception of a period of nine months, you have confined me to Johannesburg since December 1952. In spite of this fact, I have throughout this period consistently opposed and condemned the medieval policies practiced by your government and I shall maintain this stand until democratic changes we are fighting for are won.

Yours faithfully,

N.R. Mandela

----------------------------

No. S. 4/907 (2)

SUID-AFRIKAANSE POLISIE.
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE.
HOOFKWARTIER,
HEADQUARTERS,
xxxxxx at CAPE TOWN.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, CAPE TOWN.

NOTICE IN TERMS OF THE RIOTOUS ASSEMBLIES ACT (ACT NO. 27 OF 1914) AS AMENDED: N.R. MANDELA.

Your minute J.21/22/2/31 dated 22.1.1955 has reference.

I have the honor to inform you that there is no necessity for MANDELA to appear at Potgietersrus on behalf of Christopher Sakwe - there are sufficient legal men at that center to be briefed in this case.

It is felt that this application is merely a cloak for MANDELA to go to Potgietersrus to engage in subversive activities. He will undoubtedly abuse opportunities of this kind to disseminate propaganda on behalf of subversive organizations.

C. I. RADEMEYER
THE COMMISSIONER OF THE
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE

----------------------------

S.4/907

14th January, 1955.
The Minister of Justice,
Union Buildings,
PRETORIA

Nelson R. MANDELA.

Your J.21/22/2/31 of 21.12.1954 and my minute of even number dated 23.12.1954, refer.

I have the honor to report that the order served on MANDELA has already been relaxed to the extent that he is now free to appear in court on behalf of his clients in any of the magisterial districts of the Witwatersrand ... Nigel, Springs, Brakpan, Boksburg, Benoni, Germiston, Johannesburg, Roodepoort, Randfontein and Krugersdorp (your J. 23/6 dated 1.6.1953) and it is recommended that he be granted no further privileges.

MANDELA cannot be trusted and visits by him to Pretoria and Vereeniging must be treated with suspicion.

From inquiries made at the Magistrate's court and the Native Commissioner's court in Pretoria it would appear that MANDELA is not known here, from which it must be inferred that he is very seldom, if ever, called upon to appear in court in Pretoria on behalf of his clients.

In view of the fact that the aim of the "Congress of the People" is to formulate its so-called Freedom Charter before June this year, it is possible that MANDELA may, if this concession is granted, avail himself of the opportunity to further the objects of the organization.

Although there are no practicing native attorneys in Pretoria, there is certainly no scarcity of European attorneys and as the general opinion amongst non-Europeans seems to be that their interests are best served by European legal talent, there does not appear to be any good reason for MANDELA to come to Pretoria.

In specific instances, consideration may be given when applied for.

C. I. RADEMEYER
THE COMMISSIONER OF THE
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE.

----------------------------

HEADQUARTERS
HOOFKWARTIER
PRETORIA
GEHEIM
SECRET

The Minster of Justice,
CAPE TOWN.

Nelson R. D. MANDELA.

I have the honor to return the annexure to your minute J. 21/22/2/31 dated 10th March, 1954, and to report as follows:-

Chief Kegakilwe J. Letlhogile of the Genesa Native Reserve, Vryburg, was originally represented at the inquiry by another attorney (European), to whom he paid a substantial amount in fees. He was unable, however, to guarantee payment of the full amount demanded by this attorney for representing him throughout the inquiry, with the result that the attorney declined to continue acting as his legal representative and withdrew from the matter.

Chief Letlhogile thereupon approached Nelson MANDELA and engaged the latter to represent him at the inquiry.

In view of the fact that MANDELA is known to be a sly individual and a dangerous agitator, it is not considered advisable that the restrictions placed on him should be relaxed so as to enable him to proceed to the Genesa Native Reserve.

There are no less than five legal firms with twelve attorneys in Vryburg and it is felt that Chief Letlhogile will not in any way be prejudiced in his defense should he not be able to secure the services of MANDELA.

J. A. [Brink]
THE COMMISSIONER OF THE
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE

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