01x02 - Part 2: Spear of the Nation and Total Strategy

Episode transcripts for the TV miniseries "Madiba". Aired: February 2017 to February 2017.
"Madiba" is a miniseries about the life of Nelson Mandela.
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01x02 - Part 2: Spear of the Nation and Total Strategy

Post by bunniefuu »

The African National Congress needs educated people.

Where do I sign up?

[singing non-English lyrics]

Arrest the leaders. All of them.

We need a voice that can speak from the safety of another country.

We have a warrant for your arrest.

In this charter...

Is the use of v*olence a tactic employed by your organization?

v*olence would be almost suicidal.

Mandela: Those people were sh*t in the back as they ran.

It was m*rder.

[g*n f*ring]

Crowd: [screaming]

Somebody sh*t Verwoerd.

Both b*ll*ts missed the brain... unsurprisingly.

Thembe, one day we'll be father and son, united in the struggle.

The judges find all the accused Not Guilty.

They could re-arrest you at any moment.

We need to move you.

[dog barking]

♪ ♪

[door opens, closes]

[panting] We have to move you!

Men & women: [shouting in non-English language]

[dog barking]

Woman: [screams]

Police officer: [speaks non-English language]

Men & women: [shouting, crying in non-English language]

Police officer: [shouting in non-English language]

If you struggle, you will be arrested.

[dog barking]

If you stand your ground, you will be arrested!

[dog barking]

Nobody's gonna look for the Black Pimpernel in this White suburb.

[sighs] You'll be safe here.

Thank you, Wolfie.

Well, you must be exhausted.

I'll set up here on the couch.

You take my bed.


I am not going to take your bed.

You're double my height.


And you still wish to fight me about this?


I cannot keep going like this.

We cannot keep asking people to strike, only to end up defenseless, in front of a f*ring squad.


Something has to change.

[birds chirping]

Verwoerd: The man is charging around the country, at will, organizing mass civil disturbance.

I promise, Prime Minister, we're doing everything we can.

[phone ringing]

We have an army and we still can't find him?

We are infiltrating the ANC, sir.

In fact, we're learning that their old rivalry with the PAC has reignited.

With any luck, their infighting should actually work in our favor.

Let me make it absolutely clear.

Mandela is attempting to organize general strikes.

And if he succeeds, it will cause our economy, and confidence in our government, a great deal of disturbance.

And whatever else he is doing, he makes us look foolish.

Worse! He makes us look incompetent.

[birds chirping]

So, I guess we're in business.

Yeah, this Mandela's a slippery bastard.

He's a clever kaffir.

[engine starts]

Never underestimate American Intelligence.

I will find your man.

[thunder crashing]

[heavy rainfall]

Rest assured, we weren't followed.

Thank you, Cecil.

The strike has failed.

Then we try again.

We persist.

Giving up is exactly what they want us to do.

No one is talking about giving up.

But our entire strategy needs to be reformed.

But we've developed this campaign very carefully.

We can't keep asking people who are already poor to stay away from work while they grow poorer and they see no progress.

We can't keep setting them up to be arrested or k*lled for their efforts.

Any action we undertake will be met with overwhelming force.

What, exactly, are you suggesting then?

I need to speak with the press.


There are many people who feel that, uh, it is useless and futile to continue to talk peace and nonviolence against a government whose only reply is savage att*cks against unarmed, defenseless people.

If Prime Minister Verwoerd's government does not give you the kind of concessions that you want, is there any likelihood that the ANC would turn to v*olence?

I think the time has come for us to consider whether or not the methods we have applied so far are adequate.

What the Africans want...

Did you know he was going to say that?

I didn't know he was going to say that on camera.

We want political independence.

[telephone ringing]

Mandela [on phone]: Hello, Oliver.

How are you?

I am well.

And you?


Oliver [on phone]: I cannot imagine this... strain on you.

Thank you. I appreciate your concern.

But that's not what this conversation is about.

So, you don't agree with me?

Whatever I may or may not think about a violent campaign, you decided unilaterally to abandon the ANC's principle all on your own.

I decided no such thing.

Nelson! You said...

What I said was a statement of fact.

There are people who fear...

Do not argue semantics with me.

You were not in a court of law.

You were talking to a journalist, to the world, to the people I am trying to get support from.

And what they saw was one of the leading voices of the ANC abandoning, without consultation, the principle of nonviolence, to which the ANC has been committed to for 40 years.

And now what I want to know is this: what are we supposed to do to stop the ANC from splintering, from the crack you have initiated?

Chief Luthuli has summoned us.

I will convince them that this is the only way.

I need your support, Oliver.

Man: We've been fighting this for years. For years!

Lithuli: My commitment to nonviolence from the ANC is unshakable.

The nonviolence that we have advocated for years demands moral courage.

You look to America at this Martin Luther King and his Freedom Riders.

They are pushing for change right now, as we speak... with nonviolence.

Mandela: Yes.

But they are doing it with the support of the American government, because President Kennedy thr*at to send in federal troops.

That is not our situation.

Verwoerd is leading the v*olence here.

No, no, no.

I would plead with you all not to embark on this course.

v*olence begets v*olence.

You say that v*olence begets v*olence.

But in South Africa, so does nonviolence.

If we take up arms, we lose all international support.

What support?

What has the so-called international community ever done for us?

Give me one example. One.

Joe... Joe...

All: [arguing over top one another]

You have been upper Africa. You know.

Stop, stop, stop, everyone.

Let us try to remember that we are on the same side.

What Nelson and I do agree upon is, above all, to win this w*r, we have to stay together.

I will believe in nonviolence to the end.

But we must take a collective vote.

And when we decide, we have to find our way back to unity... win or lose.

Before we vote, I would like the chance to clarify my position.

We all have the same goal: a fully democratic, multi-racial South Africa.

But to oppose the armed might of the South African government with passive resistance requires a kind of sacrifice.

It requires a level of courage that I no longer have.

The fact is if the ANC believes in its vision, it must be prepared to fight for it.

So, I propose the creation of an entire new wing of the ANC, which would operate independently, yet remain under the authority of the ANC.

The purpose of this section would be to meet the government's armed aggression with a campaign of sabotage, carefully avoiding injury, or loss of life, selecting for its targets government properties... symbols of oppression, not people.

I assume you are talking about a b*mb campaign.

I don't want this any more than any of you do.

If you can tell me there is another way for us to fight realistically against g*n and armies, I will listen to it.

How long before it explodes?

Ten, fifteen minutes.

The fuse is essentially acid eating through cardboard.


[flames roaring]

[debris clattering]


Looks like we can make a b*mb.

With a very short fuse.

We need to do something about that.


So, how many would you need?

Ten? Twenty?

Sixty, ready, in position across the country, December 16th.

All in the same day?

That river.

Dingane's Day.

This year, I would like to commemorate the Afrikaner victory over the Zulus a little differently.

[mixed conversations]

The locations are very clear.

We meet early in the morning, when no one is around.

This is our first strike.

No mistakes, no casualties.

You hear the good news, boys?

Chief Lithuli has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

That is wonderful.

It's wonderfully ironic when you consider we're just about to blow up half the country.

We're moving you.


The South African Communist Party's got a new underground headquarters. A farm.

Will I get sh*t if I don't finish my chores?

You'll get sh*t if you hang around here much longer.

Let's go.

All right.

Mandela narrates: We had made the right choice.

But now we carried a heavy burden.

v*olence has an extraordinary power.

It can effect great change.

But if you are not careful, people, both guilty and innocent, will die.

"Submit or fight: these are the only choices we have left in South Africa. We have sought to achieve liberation without bloodshed, and hoped to bring the government, and its supporters, to their senses before it was too late.

[speaks non-English language]

"For the sake of all of the people of this country, Black, Brown, White."


[sirens wailing]



Three more expl*si*n, sir, in Durban and Pretoria.

How many is that now?



"The ANC announces the birth of uMkhonto we Sizwe, 'the Spear of the Nation.' There comes a time in the life of any nation when there remain only two options: to submit or to fight. We ask the government to enter into negotiations with us to prevent South Africa descending into a disastrous civil w*r."

[clock ticking]

Then w*r it is.

[birds chirping]

[insect buzzing]

Mandela: Mm...

I asked you here to say goodbye.

What do you mean?

I have to go abroad for a while.

We need arms, money, and training.

If we can build b*mb from ballpoint pens, imagine what we can do with funding and the proper training, expertise.

How long are you going for?

I don't know.

I'm scared, Nelson.

What if they catch you?

What if something happens? What about me?

I am very good at looking after myself.

I will be okay.

And when will this hiding end?

When will it stop?


Okay, let me come with you. I could bring the children.

You understand, this is no life for children.

I am always on the move. Sometimes they...

And this is no life for me as well!

You're not the only one in this family who believes in the struggle.

I want to fight, too.

You are doing that by holding us all together.

I need you to do that, Zami.

Please, be strong.

I have so much faith in you.

Do you even know where you're going?

I wouldn't tell you, even if I knew.

I've always wanted to travel the continent.

One day we will, my love.


One day we will. [sniffles]

[car engine starts]

[car door shuts]

[g*n fires]

[g*n f*ring]

[g*n cartridge clicks]

[car horn honking]

[camera shutter clicking]

[car horn honking]




Look at you.

How do you like Mandela and Tambo's new offices?

Mandela: Very nice. Can we afford it?

Both: [laughing]

Oliver: How are Winnie and the kids?

Mandela: They are fine, they are fine.

Oliver: How did it go in Tanzania?

I was advised to drop the armed struggle and cooperate with the PAC.

You were expecting this.

Ah, the PAC got here before us.

They've been telling anyone who will listen that we are a tribal clique riddled with White communists and Indian pacifists.

They have positioned themselves as the only true guardians of Black Nationalism in South Africa.


How is the fundraising going?

It isn't coming.

As soon as we announced the armed struggle, the commitment to funding the ANC started evaporating.

When do I see the president?

He won't see you.

[pounds desk] Eish...

Will he give us the money?

Oliver: I am still working on it.

All the money in the world will not help us if you do not teach us how to fight.

Man: Why can't we just grab him, stuff him in the car, and say we took him on the right side of the border?

No. This is not the place to do it.

We do this by the book.

We'll take him in South Africa.

♪ ♪ ♪

Can I get your papers?

♪ ♪

Enjoy your day.

That was quite... nerve-racking.

We handled ourselves rather well, don't you think, Nelson?

Very well. Thank you, Cecil.

Children: [laughing]

I have missed you all so much.

How are you feeling?

I am tired.

The last three weeks, the police have searched the house every single night... just before the girls go to bed.

Children: [giggling]

But I'm okay.

You have enough on you.

Tell me about your trip.

There is a lot of support here on the continent.

But many African leaders who don't agree with the ANC.

They cannot understand why we haven't risen in revolt against such a small minority of Whites.

I cannot help but to have this feeling... this ominous feeling that we are never going to have a normal life together.

Oh, Zami, my darling, everything that we are fighting for is so that we can have a normal life.


I'm invisible to him when they are here.

[playful squealing]

You should go over there and join them.

You are your father's firstborn son.

Take care to remember that.

I don't know why you stick up for him.

My mother is your cousin.

You should've stayed on her side in the divorce.

Your mother is a very good woman.

But Nelson has been married to Winnie for some time now.

You must respect that.

Yes, Uncle Walter.

I'm sorry for the disrespect.

When you are older, Thembe, you might find that being on his side is far more complicated than it might appear.

Mandela: My friends, our policy of non-racialism is misunderstood in the rest of Africa.

We need to create the impression that we are Africa for the Africans... not communists or anything else.

Yes, I agree.

I recognize that this is a sensitive issue.

It goes against everything that we believe in.

I understand that.

That is why I am only suggesting that we create the impression we are Africa for the Africans.

So, you are just talking about our image?

It's what the people believe that is important.

I see your point, Nelson.

But I'm not sure that Chief Lithuli will.

I intend to try and convince him.

In Natal?

There are roadblocks from here to Durban.


The struggle cannot afford to lose you.

Yes, but something this important, it must be done in person.


♪ ♪ ♪

Diversities of color and race, those are the very things that are going to bring South Africa into a democracy.

I agree. Non-racialism is not about negating race.

Did anyone order dry cleaning?


[dogs barking, growling]

Policeman: Let's go!

The back entrance.

[honks horn]

Oh, they found us.

We're caught.

This can't be happening.

Stay in character.

Nelson Mandela!

You're under arrest.

[dog barking]

[engine starts]

[dogs continue barking]

[heavy thud]


[birds chirping]

[knock on door]

[door opens]

It's confirmed.

Without a doubt?

Police officer: None at all.

[door opens, closes]

[pounding on door]


Caught or k*lled?


Thank the Lord for delivering unto us the sinners who seek to destroy our nation.

We look to you, my Lord, in this time of our great need, for support and guidance.

[metal door clanks]

[door closes]


I, uh...

I have to tell you... that the state has formally advised me that they will be seeking the death penalty.

They will be presenting evidence that you deliberately and maliciously fomented a plan to overthrow the government by violent means by unleashing trained guerilla warfare units as part of a military invasion by hostile foreign powers.

[footsteps departing]

[door unlocking]


Both: [speaking non-English language]

Listen, our Joe is working on an escape attempt for you.

He's got some ideas.

Hey, no. I will no longer hide from this.

We have to face it head on.


I have an idea about the start of the trial.

We need to make a statement.

I will need you to bring me something.

It is very important.

Man: Amandla!

Crowd: Awethu!

Man: Amandla!

Crowd: Awethu!

Man: Mayibuye!

Crowd: i-Afrika!

Man: Mayibuye!

Crowd: i-Afrika!

Man: Amandla!

Crowd: Awethu!

Man: Amandla!

Crowd: Awethu!

Male reporter: Mrs. Mandela?

Tell us what you think about today.

2nd Male reporter: Mrs. Mandela, do you expect your husband to get the death penalty?

♪ ♪

Male bailiff: All rise.

[pounds gavel]

Quiet, please.

My Lord, the defense will begin with a statement from the accused, Nelson Mandela.

My Lord...

I will not deny that I planned sabotage.

But I did not plan it because I have any love of v*olence.

I planned it as the result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that has arisen in this country after many years of oppression, exploitation, and tyranny.

It is the struggle for the right to live... the right to live a normal life, which is the right of every human being.

During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to that struggle.

I have fought against White domination and I have fought against Black domination.

I have cherished the ideal of a free and democratic society in which all people can live together in harmony.

It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.

But if need be, it is an ideal... for which I am prepared to die.

[mixed conversations]


Crowd: i-Afrika!

Woman: [singing non-English lyrics]

Crowd: [singing non-English lyrics]

[singing continues]

You'll have to be quick.


Mama, I'm so grateful you have come.

My son, you'll always be my blessing.

Thank you, Mama.

Thembe, I do not know how long I will be gone, but you need to be the man now.

I already have been.

We must go.


I love you.

I hope you know that.

The, uh, sentencing is in the morning.

Thank you, Bram, for all that you have done for us.

I have decided that no matter the sentence, there will be no appeal.

Crowd: [applauding]

By a significant coincidence, this, the first day of the committee's discussion on the policy of apartheid, happens also to be the very last day of a trial in South Africa, which has as its primary aim the punishment by death of people who are among South Africa's most outstanding opponents of the very policies which the General Assembly and the Security Council have passed, in numerous resolutions, calling upon the South African government to abandon.

Nelson Mandela, being known personally to a number of heads of state, Govan Mbeki, a top-ranking African political leader, and an accomplished economist, who has borne the burden of his oppressed fellow men ever since he left university, Ahmed Kathrada, a South African of Indian extraction, who began his career in politics as a passive leader in 1946 at the age of 17, and has continued to be a leading participant in the struggle of Indians, and other forms of racial discrimination, and joined the Africans in the liberation struggle.

I urge you to accept that the developments that I have referred to call for the immediate action by the United Nations.

For our part, I wish to observe that every single day spent in jail by any of our people, every drop of blood drawn from any of them, every life taken, represents a unit of human worth lost to us.

This loss we can no longer afford.

♪ ♪

The function of this court, as is the function of the court in any country, is to enforce the laws of the state within which it functions.

The crime that the accused have been convicted of... that is, the main crime... is, in essence, that of high treason.

[telephone ringing]


Joe [on phone]: It's Joe.

Life imprisonment. All of them.

One moment.


All of them.




Man: Yes.

All: [applauding]

Thank you, Brother.
[seagull squawking]

Warder: You are all category "D": the highest security risk of all political prisoners.

Every six months, you will be allowed one visitor.

You may receive one letter, and you may write one letter, of no more than 500 words.

You will not talk to each other.

You may not speak to us unless spoken to.

And you will never leave this island.

You've come to this island to be forgotten... and then to die.

[seagulls squawking]

[waves crashing]

Warder: Get dressed.

You, curry muncher, get long pants.

I am formally requesting long trousers for all of us.

Boys get short pants.

Do I look like a boy to you?

You're Black, right?

Then I say you're a boy.

[water dripping]

[boat horn blasting]

[Big Ben chiming]

There is no escape from Robben Island.

Not for any of them.

Damn it, Oliver, we should at least consider breaking them out.

My plan was viable.

Too many unknowns.

Too risky.

We want them free, of course, but we do not want them d*ad.

They are vital to the struggle.

But completely cut off from it.

Not necessarily, Joe.

We can... open lines of communication.

Communicate with heavily guarded prisoners?

In a fortified cell block on an island five miles off the coast?

We know it can be done.

Ferries come and go every day.

That's... that's true.

That is true.

Surprise, guards, new prisoners.

We could smuggle messages in.


It'll take careful planning, lots of moving parts.

A sympathetic guard, perhaps.

Joe: For God's sake, be realistic.


What about Mac Maharaj?

One of our MK men... at the Rivonia trial.


Convicted of sabotage, poor bastard.

And he's definitely on his way to Robben Island.


That is our first mule.

We'll contact him through his lawyer, Bram Fischer.

Attorney-client privilege.

Mac can relay everything directly to Nelson.

Our new leadership structure.

MK strategy.

[seagulls squawking]

[tapping hammers]

Get in line over there.

Go over there, mate.

Mac Maharaj.

A communist.

One of mine.

Looks like he's been tortured.

You're supposed to be over there.

The government won't relent until every last one of the ANC is destroyed.

This new wave will have it worse than us.

[tapping hammers]

[ringing bell] Okay!

Coloreds and Indians, line up at this one.

Blacks, this side.

Go, go, go! [ringing bell]


Oliver says hello.

That's it for today.

Winnie: Excellent work. It looks good.

[car approaching]

[car doors slamming]


[knocking on door]

Don't forget to look under the bed.

Don't worry. We'll be back tomorrow.

[glass shattering]

The only way for us to get better treatment is to engage respectfully with the warders.


Respect for these people?

Nelson, this is a place of resistance, not negotiation.

[pouring liquid]

If we treat them with respect, they will do the same.

Warder: Silence in there!

So this is your plan?

To make friends with them out there?

Warder: No talking!


You kaffirs, even your shit stinks worse.

Now, shut up in here!

[shower water running]

In brief, the MK, the so-called military wing of the ANC, is virtually a spent force.

All the major agitators are out of the picture now, and that kaffir-lover Ruth First will be leaving on an exit visa soon.

Where to?

Into the arms of that Jew Slovo in London.

These White communists are all the same.

Take away their creature comforts and they break.

What's left of the ANC is riddled with agents and informants.

We will break them.

A dangerous assumption.

Until Mandela and his crew are permanently cut off...

Mandela's on an island.

How much more cut off can he be?

We have reliable information that Tambo and Mandela are still in contact.

Why didn't we isolate him from the rest of the prison population?

Put him in a different section?

John, the foreign press, and therefore world opinion, has gone very quiet on Mandela and the ANC, and I want nothing to disturb that state of affairs.

Perhaps we can afford a demonstration of magnanimity, John.

We should consider relaxing his conditions.

All: [chuckling]

Don't underestimate this man.

Relax his conditions, and in time, Mandela will be running not only the ANC, he'll be running that island.

[crickets chirping]

[rapping cell bars] Inspection!

Prisoner: [coughs]

Warder: Silence in the passage.

[approaching footsteps]

Mandela: Good evening, Johan.

How do you know my name?

I asked for your name.

If you say another word, Mandela...

I am not trying to be disrespectful.

I am trying to be civilized... to make life here better... for both of us.

Prisoner: [chattering unintelligibly]

I said silence in the passage!

[footsteps departing]

[door closes]

[water running]

Ah, good morning.

How was your evening?

Not too bad.

Thank you.

Oh... look, Walter.

Long trousers.

Just you.

Not the others.

Oh, I see.

Well, I am the others, and if they don't get long trousers, I'm afraid neither do I.

[water running]

A man who sticks to his principles.

You will soon learn, young man, that nothing gives Nelson more satisfaction than the precious principles.

Tell me, Johan, do you have a family?


Actually, in a month's time, I'll get to see them in Gauteng.

That sounds very pleasant.

You know, in a month, I will be here with my friend, Walter.


May I make a request for pen and paper?

What for?

To write to the prison authorities requesting long trousers for all prisoners.

I'll see what I can do.

Thank you.


First, there was silence.

Now they discuss their holiday plans with us.

Just you wait, Madiba.

In a short while, we'll be one big happy family.



Mr. Prime Minister. Mrs. Verwoerd.

It's a full house. They're all waiting for you.

After the speech, you have a meeting at 1:00 o'clock with the Minister of Defence, and then we'll be placing a call to the United Nations.

That's fine, Schuman. All in good time.

All in good time.

[mixed conversations]

[mixed conversations continue]

Woman: [screaming]

Man: Oh, no!

All: [confused, frightened shouting]

Oh, dear God! Oh, dear God!

Somebody call an ambulance! Quick!



It's you who did this. You and your Progressive Party.

It's all your fault!

We had nothing to do with this!

You incite people!

You want to overthrow this government!

Now we'll get you! We'll get the lot of you!

Oh, God... God...

[hammers tapping]

[quietly] Hey, Verwoerd is d*ad.


Ahmed: You're sure?


Straight off the ferry.

Some crazy White man.


This is not good news.

The leader of the oppressor is d*ad.

Why is this not good news?

Mandela: Political progress is not built on assassination.

Verwoerd's death will produce one predictable result: increased repression.

Nelson, I am tired of your moral superiority.

The architect and creator of apartheid is d*ad.

That's the best news we've had in years.

Something we ordinary men have a right to celebrate.

You think that if we celebrate, things will get better for us around here?

We are irrelevant.

The struggle is what matters.

The struggle cannot be reduced to a personality cult.

This mustn't all be about Nelson Mandela.

Oh, that's what you think I want?

I have made mistakes, yes.

My pride.

My simple-minded optimism.

My vanity to believe that I could lead an armed struggle against the apartheid regime.

Foolish, I know.

I am stuck here on this island.

But I still believe I can change the world, because now I understand that I am part of a group of very remarkable men.

I thank God for that.

Without Walter, Kathi, and, yes, even without you, Govan, I am lost.

Without unity, we are all nothing.

[bell ringing]

Verwoerd was a great man.

Our duty is to fulfill his vision and preserve his legacy.

Yes, Prime Minister.

And it will take a little more resolve than we've shown so far.


I suggest we begin by increasing the period of detention from 90 to 180 days without charge.

I didn't know that you were such a moderate, Hendrik.

Here you go, sir.

Anything else, Boss?

No, that's all for now, Ellis. Thank you.

Thank you, Boss.

Hendrik, there's new legislation coming.

The Terrorism Act will give us unlimited power.

I'm also creating a new security branch to exercise those powers, the Bureau of State Security... BOSS.


Very nice, Mr. Prime Minister.

I want you to run BOSS.

You will oversee both the military and domestic intelligence.

Thank you, Prime Minister.

You will now have good legal authority to do what needs to be done.

What we must do is to continue to eliminate their leadership.

Good afternoon.

How are you?

I have some good news for you, Mandela... and some bad news for everyone.

Winnie is coming.

She's been granted a visit.


Tomorrow morning.




And the bad news?

Van Rensburg is coming.

[hammers tapping]

Who is Van Rensburg?

Mandela: [inhaling, exhaling]

Walter: Nelson?

Yes, Walter?

If you want to look your best for Winnie tomorrow, try to get some sleep.

Yes, Walter.

Johan: [rapping cell bars]

Silence in the passage.

Prisoner: [coughing]

♪ ♪ ♪

Time's up.

Mandela: [sighs] You look well.

I am getting by.

How is your job? Are you enjoying your work?

I have a banning order.

Warder: No politics.

I have lost my job.

But I'm spending more time with our friends.

I hope they are supporting you.

When they can.

I am so happy to see you making out so well.

How are the girls?

They are well.

But the Security Police scare them.

We don't get much sleep at night.

Warder: No politics. Family matters only.

We are a political family.

Warder: No politics!

Have you seen Thembe and the other children?

Thembe just had his 21st birthday.

He has a baby daughter, Ndileka.


My children have grown up and I have not been there.

I have missed so much.

Do not dwell on that right now.


It is cold in here.

I don't feel the cold anymore.

Warder: One minute.

Winnie, there is something I have to say before we finish.

You are my wife.

I love you.

You are the mother of my children.

You support me.

While I am here, that is all I can ask of you.

Those other things... they are not important.

But it is not true about this man and me.

You must be careful.

You are my bride.

Warder: Time's up.

[bell ringing]

[zipper unzips]


[zipper zips]

You must be Van Rensburg.

You must be Mandela.

Have you told them about your wife yet, Mandela?

Winnie has been named as a co-respondent in a divorce case.


What is that? A... a fancy word for a whore?

Easy, kaffir.

You'd like to strike me, but you don't have the guts, do you?

Striking you would not require much of anything.

Certainly not courage.

[sharp slap]

[heavy thud]

You think you're someone, but you're not.

You're nobody.

You're a kaffir, Mandela.

That's all you are.

And you're my prisoner.


I am not your prisoner.

You are just as much a prisoner on this island as I am, sergeant.

You talk shit, Mandela.

I can get a transfer off this island any time I like.

Military intelligence tells us that the numbers of ANC members in exile is growing exponentially, led by Oliver Tambo, whom we suspect is still in communication with Nelson Mandela, and we've got him in the most isolated prison in South Africa.

The only solution is to put Mandela and all those closest to him in solitary confinement.

I've wanted Mandela in his own private cage for years.

That would solve so many of our problems. Yet... now, as prime minister, I have a different vantage point.

World opinion to consider.

Solitary isn't the only way to affect him.

You say he's still getting messages from the outside.


When he heard that Prime Minister Verwoerd was assassinated, he must've jumped for joy.

So, his comrade Tambo is out of reach.

But their Nobel Prize-winning president is where?

Male radio reporter: African National Congress president, Chief Albert Lithuli, has died.

The Nobel Peace Prize recipient was k*lled last night, reportedly when he was struck by a train close to his Natal home, where he was confined for several years while under a government ban.

However he died, however suspicious the circumstances, at this moment, we should remember Chief Lithuli and celebrate his life... president of the ANC for nearly a quarter a century, deeply committed to nonviolence in the face of increasing state oppression.

He was a great man... and a great chief.



You're right, Nelson.

What you had to admire about Lithuli was his consistency.

You knew exactly what he stood for.

And you don't know what I stand for.

Is that what you are saying?


I know exactly what you stand for...

Nelson Mandela.


This is how factions begin... and civil wars.

You must deal with this, Nelson.

I'll try, but at the moment there is something more urgent.

The ANC needs a new president.


Oliver Tambo must put himself forward for election.

And like our friend Govan, Oliver suffers from modesty.


I need to get a message to him as soon as possible.

Children: [laughing]

Dali, let your sister do that.

She has neater handwriting than you.

She doesn't.

Come, you'd better hurry or you'll miss the bus... which is already in Trafalgar Square.

Almost ready, Joe.

Kids, take these to the door.

Coats and boots on. Let's go.

Joe: You finally got a message from Nelson.

Oliver: I may need a magnifying glass for this.

Joe: [laughs]

"We have decided you should be the new president of the ANC. Awarding you this title will allow you the status and effectiveness in negotiations and decision-making. Please, Oliver. Take steps through this official request to organize an election, which I have no doubt will award you the full and independent authority of president."

Winnie: No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No!

No! No! No! No! No!

[glass breaking]

[objects clattering]

Winnie: No! No! No! No! No! No! No!

I'm sorry, Nelson.

I thought you'd want to know.

Thank you, Johan.

I can't tell you how bad it feels to know that the woman that you love would have been better off if she had never met you.

[cell door creaks]

How many days have I been here?

Where are my children?

What are the charges against me?

I demand an answer!

Where are my children?!

[door slams]

Where are my children?!

Male radio reporter: They are now going to...


[horn honks]

[brakes screeching]

[tires squealing]

[tires squealing]

[glass shattering]

[metal clanking]

[metal clanking]

[glass fragments tinkling]


[metal clanking]


Major Kellerman said to bring him in the Jeep.

Prisoners do not get driven around the island in Jeeps.

They walk. What's so important that this kaffir has to ride in a car?

Apparently his son has been k*lled.

Then why didn't you say so?

Mandela! Here!

Get in the Jeep, Mandela.

Major Kellerman wants to see you.

He's got some good news.

Some very good news.

Sergeant... you're a bastard.

Yes, I am.

We're at w*r and bastards win wars.

I'm sorry, Mandela.

But it is my duty to bury my son.

I cannot grant your request.

Thank you.

[door slams]

[approaching footsteps]

[door creaks open]

You know a Thembe Mandela?

He's my stepson.

He's d*ad.

He was k*lled in a car accident.

[door closes, locks]


[plate drops]

[cell door clanking]

[cell door clanking, locking]

He was always very particular about his dress... like me.


I remember I came to visit him at your house about eight years ago.

He was wearing a pair of my trousers.

Of course, they were too big for him.


Always very particular about his dress... and he was wearing clothes too big for him.


It's easy to see why now.


His father was never home.

He missed me.

He missed his father.


Do you remember when he sat behind us in the trial?



Three years ago.

It feels like so much longer.

I could see from the look in his face that he was afraid for me. [sniffles]

So, I kept turning around to nod and smile.

He would return the nod, but not the smile, because he thought I was going to be hanged.

He was afraid his father was going to die.


Such was the life I gave to my son.


[heavy sigh]


[hammers tapping]

Prisoner: [coughing]

Johan: I was sorry to hear about your son.

Thank you.

Very kind of you to say so.

And I also wanted to say goodbye.

You are being transferred?

I'm leaving the prison service.

I am very sorry to hear that.

The prison service needs more men like you.

Walter: Yes.

But if you must go, may I ask a favor?

[hammers tapping]

Mandela: I, uh...

[birds chirping]

You know that I'm the sole representative of the Progressive Party in the South African Parliament.

Are you here to compromise me?

You do work for the Bureau of State Security.

At the moment, I'm not working for anyone.

Are you anti-apartheid?


Then why on earth would you want to help Nelson Mandela?

Because I like him.

Nelson Mandela will speak for us.

Mandela will voice our complaint.

Mrs. Suzman.

Good to see you.

And to see you, Mr. Mandela.

It's been a long time.

Mandela: Our days are long.

The work... hot, dirty.

We do not think it unreasonable that we should have regular access to hot water for washing, and the same food served to all prisoners, Colored as well as Africans.

The food is of inadequate quality and quantity to sustain general health, uh, let alone hard labor.

Okay, broad headings: better clothing, including long trousers; better sanitary conditions, including hot water; study privileges, including materials; rights to information in newspapers, magazines, books; equal and better food.

Is that it?

One other matter, Helen.

I have not complained about discipline.

Discipline is something that prisoners should accept.

But victimization, persecution, flagrant injustice... those are things that no prisoner should be forced to accept.


Run, you lazy pieces of shit! Run!

No! No more!

What did you say, kaffir?

No. No more running.

I will walk to the quarry, but I will no longer run.

Corporal, run the rest of these kaffirs to the quarry.

Yes, Sergeant.

All right. Prisoners, run!

Kathrada, Mbeki, all of you, move!

You will all get solitary for this.

All of you!

You will all lose your privileges for a year.

No... no letters. No visitors.

You will all have your sentences increased!

It would be very difficult for you to increase my life sentence, Sergeant.

And his. And his.

And his.

Mandela: Sergeant... we will no longer run to the quarry.

But we will walk.

We are awaiting your orders, Sergeant.


[chains clanking]

[door opens]

You got what you wanted.

I'm being sent away.

I wish you well, Warder Van Rensburg.

I wish you well.

Prisoner: [coughing]

I am so sorry about your son.

That was one of the worst days, when they told me about his passing and I couldn't comfort you.

It is difficult for me to believe that...

I will never see him again.

The order is so wrong with everything.

A son is not supposed to go before his father.

I read the Bible.

I read the Bible four times, from cover to cover.

I did not know it was possible.

But with all those hours, and... and days, and... and no one to talk to.

I am so sorry that I have been so powerless to... help you.

The girls send their love.

I miss them so much.

Are you all right, Zami?

You must not worry about me.

They can never hurt me again.

They've made me stronger.

Zami, my love...

Much stronger.

Merry Christmas!

Joe: Ho, ho, ho!

Ruth and Joe. Welcome.

Adelaide, it's so good to see you. [kisses]

Every time I visit, you're out.

Oh, they keep me so busy at that Whittington Hospital.

My lovely wife is modest.

My darlings.

Look at you, you're so big.

Adelaide, put your feet up, my dear. You've earned it.

Besides, I'm known to be a master chef, amongst other things.

My beautiful wife?

Not very modest.

All: [laughing]

Why should she be?

Her writings will have a great impact on our cause.

You think my writing's good, wait till you try my roast potatoes.


She's not lying.

Prisoner: [coughing]


Walter: [laughing]

What do you say now, chaps? Huh?

Walter: [laughing]

Long pants, huh?

Go ahead, Govan! Let's hear it, huh?

Sure, it means admitting Nelson's strategy works.

But at least your legs will be warmer, eh?

Okay, okay, okay.

Madiba, you win.

I still disagree with most of your methods, but, uh, you're right about one thing.

If we're going to survive on this island, we have to stay united.

All: [laughing]


I used to be impatient with my tailor if I had to wait three weeks for a suit.

Now I have waited three years for a pair of White man's pants.

I could not be happier.

Walter: [chuckles]

Ruth: [laughing]

Dinner is served.

That smells great, Auntie Ruth.

All: [laughing]

Go now. Don't forget the extra chair.

Were you expecting another guest?

We always put a chair for Uncle Nelson.

Before we serve the food, a prayer.

Dear Lord, we thank you for our many blessings: for family, and friends, and the beautiful Christmas dinner we are about to eat.

And we thank you for watching over our brothers so far away on Robben Island.


All: Amen.

Let us eat, huh?


I am starving.

You are always starving. [chuckles]
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