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Famous Mandela trial records to be digitised

Last Updated: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 17:15

Johannesburg: Records of the 1964 trial that led to South Africa`s first black president, Nelson Mandela, spend decades as a political prisoner, are to be digitised.

Internet giant Google in association with The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in March created online digital archives of Mandela`s life, comprising thousands of handwritten documents, photographs and videos of Mandela.

The project to digitise the records of the world famous Rivonia treason trial of Mandela and ten other activists is a part of that initiative.

Though digitisation will increase the accessibility to records, very few original documents of the trial are available, Verne Harris, head of the memory programme at the centre said.

A major portion of the records of political trials and prosecution of anti-apartheid activists has been lost or destroyed, but what remains will be digitised to give everyone greater access, Harris said.

The addition of the Rivonia trial details is expected to boost further interest in the joint project between Google and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

Mandela, who was captured and sentenced to life during a 1964-trial, delivered a speech that later became the manifesto of the anti-apartheid movement.

After spending 18 years on Robben Island and nine years in two mainland prisons, Mandela was freed and led the country in its first democratic elections.


First Published: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 17:15

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