The Nelson Mandela Foundation has discovered what is probably the first television interview with former president Nelson Mandela.
It seems to have been filmed during a break in the Treason Trial in 1956, which lasted four and a half years. Mandela was with the last group of 28 accused who were acquitted on March 29, 1961.
Days later, he went underground until his arrest on August 5, 1962. Previously it was believed his first television interview was while he was underground in late May 1961, when British journalist Brian Widlake was taken to his secret hideout in Johannesburg.
The recently resurfaced video, which is 24 seconds long, was broadcast on January 31, 1961, by Netherlands television broadcaster Avro.
The rights holder, Avrotros, has waived its licence fee for the Nelson Mandela Foundation and authorised its use by the foundation for one year.
“We are excited to have this historical material of what we now believe is the first television interview with Nelson Mandela,” said Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The interview was conducted at the Old Synagogue in Pretoria, which was used as a courtroom for the Treason Trial.
It was included in a programme on apartheid South Africa, called Boeren en Bantoes, presented by GBJ Hiltermann.
It is unclear who conducted the interview and the exact date was not immediately available. Among the others interviewed were Professor ZK Matthews, Ahmed Kathrada and Helen Joseph.