Young man with a red tie : A memoir of Mandela and the failed revolution, 1960-63, Paperback Book

Young man with a red tie : A memoir of Mandela and the failed revolution, 1960-63 Paperback


It is November 1963. The white police state has captured almost all the underground leaders of the struggle against apartheid, including Nelson Mandela, and put them on trial on charges that carry the death penalty.

Bob Hepple, a 29-year-old lawyer, is making his hazardous escape from South Africa into Bechuanaland, the neighbouring British Protectorate, in order to avoid being called as a state witness.

He has acted as Mandela's legal adviser and has been a lifeline to the underground leaders, with whom he was arrested on 11 July 1963 at Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia, and detained without trial.

He has managed, in Mandela's words about him, to 'outwit the enemy', and now faces the bitter revenge of Dr Yutar, the state prosecutor.

In this memoir of these dramatic events, Bob Hepple throws fresh light on the character of Mandela and other leaders and on the controversies surrounding the emergence of the South African Communist Party and its 'secret' resolution in December 1960 to begin the armed freedom struggle.

There is a first-hand account of Mandela's period as the 'Black Pimpernel', his 1962 trial for incitement, and of the Rivonia raid in 1963. He gives a graphic account of the psychological effects of interrogation in solitary detention without trial, and of the difficult personal choices he had to make.

Bob Hepple tells his story against the background of the experiences of his childhood and youth in a racist society.

These experiences led him - described by a pro-government newspaper as 'a young man with a red tie' - to play a role as a student activist against racial segregation in the universities, an adviser and assistant to the virtually illegal multi-racial trade unions, a lawyer defending political victims of the police state, and to a lifetime fighting for human rights.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9781431407842

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