Written Speeches That Changed The World

I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than that of socialism.

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Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another.

The ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. [someone coughs] During my lifetime I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people.

Mandela's best known speech, delivered in 1964 from the dock of the Pretoria courtroom, having been in jail two years already by then.

The speech was made famous by its closing lines in which he speaks of democracy and free society, an ideal for which he said he was prepared to die.

'Black Man In A White Man's Court' In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions.

In the absence of these safeguards the phrase 'equality before the law', in so far as it is intended to apply to us, is meaningless and misleading.The land, then the main means of production, belonged to the tribe.There was no rich or poor and there was no exploitation.All the rights and privileges to which I have referred are monopolised by whites, and we enjoy none of them.The white man makes all the laws, he drags us before his courts and accuses us, and he sits in judgement over us.I will tell Your Worship why: the real purpose of this rigid colour-bar is to ensure that the justice dispensed by the courts should conform to the policy of the country, however much that policy might be in conflict with the norms of justice accepted in judiciaries throughout the civilised world.I feel oppressed by the atmosphere of white domination that lurks all around in this courtroom.Somehow this atmosphere calls to mind the inhuman injustices caused to my people outside this courtroom by this same white domination.It reminds me that I am voteless because there is a parliament in this country that is white-controlled.Such widely different persons as Gandhi, Nehru, Nkrumah, and Nasser all acknowledge this fact. I have been influenced in my thinking by both West and East.We all accept the need for some form of socialism to enable our people to catch up with the advanced countries of the world and to overcome their legacy of extreme poverty. All this has led me to feel that in my search for a political formula, I should be absolutely impartial and objective.


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