In 1961 Nelson Mandela was a younger man of 42, on the run from the police for organising strike action in protest against South Africa’s independence from British rule. The decision to make the country a “republic” had been determined by a referendum in which only white people could vote. As freedom from British rule meant the freedom to implement apartheid, most white voters chose freedom from British rule.
Mandela organised a labour strike to protest the new racist republic, and by doing so made himself a marked man. His increasingly militant solutions to the problem of apartheid also made him a target for the police. He was on the run. Yet, despite apartheid lunacy, way back then – over 60 years ago – Mandela remained outspokenly committed to racial tolerance and peace.
Watch Mandela explain his views in his very first televised interview, in 1961.