Durban - Fifty-one years ago today, Nelson Mandela was arrested in KwaZulu-Natal on charges of leaving the country without a passport and calling on workers to strike.
This moment on August 5, 1962, Mandela’s last day of freedom before his 27 years of incarceration, is remembered as having changed the course of the Struggle against apartheid. His arrest was recreated in the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom to be released later this year.
Mandela, in his disguise as a chauffeur, had been driving with fellow activist Cecil Williams from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng. He had recently returned from travelling through Africa and on to London where he had undergone military training and drummed up support for the ANC.
In Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom, he described the events leading up to his arrest.
“Cecil and I were engrossed in discussions of sabotage plans as we passed through Howick, 20 miles north-west of Pietermaritzburg.