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Freed Rebels Talk of Decades in Pretoria’s Prisons

canada goose clearance sale Walter Sisulu and canada goose outlet 2015 two of his freed colleagues from the outlawed African National Congress talked today about their 26 years in prison and how their captors had tried at first to break them with hard labor, midnight searches, informers and humiliation. canada goose clearance sale

canadian goose jacket Mr. Sisulu, who is now 77 years old, Ahmed Kathrada, 60, and Elias Motsoaledi, 65, were among eight political prisoners released unconditionally by the Government on Sunday. They had been sentenced with their comrade, Nelson Mandela, to life imprisonment in June 1964 for conspiring canada goose outlet uk to commit sabotage and overthrow the Government and sent to Robben Island, South Africa’s equivalent of Alcatraz, and then to Pollsmoor Prison on the mainland canada goose jacket uk in 1982. canadian goose jacket

Canada Goose Jackets As they related their experiences to a group of American and French reporters in a small canada goose outlet belgium hall of Holy Cross Anglican Church near Mr. Sisulu’s home, several hundred chanting schoolchildren gathered outside in hope of glimpsing Soweto’s newest heroes. Discreet Talks With Government Canada Goose Jackets

canada goose coats on sale Mr. canada goose factory outlet Mandela before he was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor in 1982, and that discussions grew more serious after he was moved to a prison farm outside Cape Town last December after canada goose vest outlet recovering from a near fatal bout of tuberculosis. Mr. Sisulu did not give any details. canada goose coats on sale

buy canada goose jacket cheap Mr. Sisulu said negotiations are impossible until Mr. Mandela is freed. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose black friday sale Mr. Sisulu described Robben Island and Pollsmoor as providing the best kind of political education. And the men said they had learned that pressure, whether from inside canada goose outlet toronto factory prison or abroad, was the way to force an end to apartheid. As a result, canada goose outlet mall they said the struggle ”in all its aspects” an allusion to guerrilla attacks and economic sanctions against South Africa should be intensified. Kathrada said. Every concession the Government has made ”has been under some pressure or another.” canada goose black friday sale

canada goose clearance Mr. Kathrada said his group had been prepared psychologically for prison because they expected to be arrested at some stage. But when they were deposited on canada goose outlet location Robben Island, which lies in chilly, shark infested Atlantic waters off Cape Town, he contended that their captors wanted to break them. Kathrada said. canada goose parka outlet uk ”They did everything to crush our morale.” canada goose clearance

canada goose store For the first six months, he said, Mr. Mandela and the other prisoners were put to work breaking stones with hammers. Then they were sent to work in the prison’s lime quarry, performing hard labor that Mr. Kathrada said lasted more than a decade. canada goose store

canada goose At one point before conditions improved, Mr. Kathrada said, Mr. Mandela and Mr. Sisulu were put on a meager ration of rice gruel as punishment for allegedly not canada goose outlet phone number working hard enough. canada goose

canada goose coats on sale Mr. Kathrada, who is of Indian descent, said that initially he and the mixed race convicts were issued long trousers, but black convicts like Mr. Mandela and Mr. Sisulu had to wear shorts, however cold the weather, and were not given socks. canada goose coats on sale

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canada goose clearance After the day’s labor, Mr. Sisulu said, the convicts had to strip naked outside and wash down with cold seawater, even in winter. canada goose clearance

buy canada goose jacket cheap Mr. Kathrada vividly recalled one night he said the date was May 28, 1971 when canada goose outlet michigan the warders, ”many of them very drunk,” descended on their cells to rouse the convicts, stripped them and forced them against the canada goose outlet online uk wall for a particularly rough search in which he said Govan Mbeki, a prisoner released in 1987, nearly suffered a heart attack. But Mr. Kathrada said they were canada goose outlet boston spared physical brutality that was inflicted on less prominent prisoners. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose black friday sale The men insisted that the intended humiliation only stiffened their defiance. ”Because canada goose outlet ontario we were so close to the oppressor, it helped to keep us united,” Mr. Kathrada said. They went on hunger strikes to force concessions. The former prisoners also credited the International Red Cross and Helen Suzman, a liberal white legislator who focused attention in Parliament on the plight of political prisoners, with having improved conditions. canada goose black friday sale

Canada Goose sale Such pressure, they said, gradually improved their lives in prison. In 1980, after 16 years on Robben Island, they were allowed to read newspapers. They were later permitted radios, although not short wave canada goose outlet london receivers for foreign broadcasts, and television and videocasette recorders in 1986. Canada Goose sale

canada goose store They tried canada goose outlet store calgary to keep up with events outside by talking to new prisoners, reading smuggled letters and ”begging, stealing and bribing” for information. ”Political prisoners give top priority to keeping themselves informed,” Mr. Kathrada said, but they sometimes went without news for several months. canada goose store

cheap Canada Goose He said canada goose factory outlet vancouver they did not learn about the uprising touched off by Soweto schoolchildren in June 1976 until August. Mr. Motsoaledi said he was upset to learn that two of his children’s playmates died in the violence. No Moments of Despair canada goose outlet cheap Canada Goose

canada goose Mr. Sisulu said he never felt despair in his prison years, ”but there were moments when I felt very much in high spirits.” He said he was ”inspired” by events like the 1976 Soweto rebellion and the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions and canada goose outlet in montreal the United Democratic Front, which form canada goose outlet in vancouver the core of the anti apartheid movement and have links to the African National Congress in exile. canada goose

canadian goose jacket The released prisoners sounded occasionally nostalgic for the old camaraderie that bound them together for the last quarter century. ”In prison, the best comes out and the canada goose shop uk worst comes out as well, because of the deprivation and suffering,” Mr. Kathrada said. He joked about having to live with Mr. Sisulu’s taste for pop music in their last three and a half years as cellmates. canadian goose jacket

canadian goose jacket Mr. Sisulu canada goose outlet usa said the ”enriching experience” of confinement had matured them all. ”There has been never a greater university for canada goose outlet factory political education goose outlet canada than there was in prison.” canadian goose jacket.