SA commemorates 56th anniversary of Lilliesleaf arrests

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Thursday marks the 56th anniversary of the arrest of the high command of Umkhonto Weziswe at Lillieslief Farm in Rivonia, North of Johannesburg.

Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Raymond Mhlaba, Ahmed Kathrada, Elias Motsoaledi and Dennis Goldberg were arrested on July 11, 1963.

Nelson Mandela was arrested in Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on August 5, 1962.

All eight of them were sentenced to life in prison in 1964 in what is known as the Rivonia Trial.

86-year old Goldberg and 94-year old Mlangeni are the only surviving Rivonia Trialists.

Goldberg says he clearly remembers the day the security police arrested them.

“I was sitting in the lounge of the house, Sergeant Dirk of the security police came dancing with his hat on, obviously holding a revolver of some kind and I was there trying to keep warm, reading a book. There he was, and I grabbed my notebook and ran for the toilet to get rid of the notes about where we were going to buy the ingredients for explosives and so on, and the police were waiting, and got hold of my book, and I tell you it got very very cold,” Goldberg says.

Click below to watch interview with Dennis Goldberg.