The State vs. Nelson Mandela

Pages: 312
Subject: History
Imprint: Oneworld

The State vs. Nelson Mandela

The Trial that Changed South Africa

Joel Joffe

In The State vs. Nelson Mandela, Joel Joffe, the Instructing Attorney of the defendants at the time, gives a blow-by-blow account of the most important trial in South Africa's history.
9781780745800 (17 Oct 2014)
RRP £10.99 / US$16.99

The Book

The only account of this seminal trial, written by Mandela's defence lawyer and with a new foreword by Denis Goldberg, accused alongside Mandela and sentenced to life imprisonment.

On 11 July 1963, police raided Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia near Johannesburg, arresting alleged members of the high command of the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Together with the already imprisoned Nelson Mandela, they were put on trial and charged with conspiring to overthrow the apartheid government by violent revolution. Their expected punishment was death. In this compelling book, their defence attorney, Joel Joffe, gives a blow-by-blow account of the most important trial in South Africa's history, vividly portraying the characters of those involved, and exposing the astonishing bigotry and rampant discrimination faced by the accused, as well as showing their incredible courage under fire.

Additional Information

Subject History
Pages 312
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Lord Joel Joffe CBE is a crossbench peer in the House of Lords. He has previously served as Chairperson of Oxfam and worked as a human-rights lawyer.


‘Everyone interested in Nelson Mandela's life and South Africa's transition to democracy should read this book.'

- Arthur Chaskalson – Chief Justice of South Africa, 2001-2005

'Joffe devotes considerable care to his account of the trial and those who conducted it, crafting a dramatic indictment of apartheid justice.'

- Publishing News