The archive audio material from the 1964 Rivonia Trial is now available to South Africans and the International community, thanks to Sound engineer, Henri Chamoux.
Chamoux played an important role in the digitization process as he invented the Archeophone which made it possible for the recordings to be available in digital format.
The audio files which were received from the Department of Justice were in the form of Dictabelts.
Chamoux says working on the 256 hours of audio from the recordings offers magnificent information b that the public will find riveting.
Razia Saleh from the Nelson Mandela foundation says it is fantastic that these archives will be made available to the public for free.
The audio has now been digitized and will be available on the National Archives website.
The release of the audio is an initiative of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa (NARSSA), the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), Ina (Institut national de l’audiovisuel), the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the French Embassy in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and IFAS-Research and the Wits History Workshop.
The collaborators seek to celebrate the unique heritage that the restored sound archives represent to the South African public, who had previously not been able to access the recordings due to the obsolete recording format.
The Rivonia trialists were: Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Ahmed Kathrada, Lionel Bernstein, James Kantor, Elias Motsoaledi and the two surviving Rivonia trialists, Andrew Mlangeni and Dennis Goldberg.
In June of 1964 the country dominated international headlines – as the trial unfolded.