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British Library Sound Archive Untitled United Kingdom
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Rivonia Trial, South Africa, 1963-4: Nelson Mandela Dictabelt Dubbings

Dubbings of seven dictabelts loaned by the National Archives of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, of court recordings made at the Court of Justice in Pretoria on 20 April 1964. The blue 'dictabelts' are a type of audio recording, developed by the Dictaphone company, which was mainly used in offices between the 1940s and the 1960s. The short broad plastic belts were capable of being flattened and posted but could not be wiped and reused. It appears that the whole Rivonia Trial was recorded on dictabelts in line with normal court procedure at the time. These dubbings comprise only the opening of the defence case by Defence Counsel Bram Fischer, followed by interjections from Justice Quartus de Wet and Prosecutor Percy Yutar, then a three-hour speech by Accused Number One (Nelson Mandela). Extracts from the recordings have been published by SABC entitled 'The voice of Nelson Mandela: extracts from famous speeches', SABC/EMI, 2002 (EMI 724353736521; NSA shelfmark 1CD0189137).

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