Item 1520 - Introductory remarks by Nelson Mandela when he addressed a press conference for representatives of South Africa's alternative media at his Soweto Home

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ZA COM MR-S-1520


Introductory remarks by Nelson Mandela when he addressed a press conference for representatives of South Africa's alternative media at his Soweto Home


  • 1990-02-15 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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Press Conference for representatives of South Africa's Alternative Media

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  • English

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I made a request to the National Reception Committee to meet you so that I should have the opportunity of thanking you from the bottom of my heart for the stand that you have taken.
It has been a very valuable contribution to the struggle in this country for change and peace. Forthright views from the press are always important because a good press is a good opinion-maker in any society.
One of the tragedies of this country has been the suppression of the press. The courageous stand which all of you took is to a very large extent responsible for the changes that are taking place today.
You have influenced not only the conventional press because your views which reflect the ideas for which we are fighting and the way in which you have projected these ideas has actually. compelled the conventional press to give publicity to the same views because that is the only way in which they can remain in the growing black market of this country.
The alternative press has always had a direct influence on government. As a prisoner I was able to assess this very well.
Many of you will have seen the article by Max du Preez (editor of Die Vrye Weekblad) in which he published a letter to me in his publication and sketched his background. I immediately responded and I handed the letter to the authorities.
That letter was referred to the head office. They came back to me to say you can't send out this letter in this form. I said well these are my views and suggestions were made as to what I should That letter is still with the authorities.
I also wrote to you Ameen (Akhalwaya, editor of The Indicator), when I first read articles in The Indicator and I pointed out that I have always been fascinated to see your articles and the stand that you have taken.
And now that you had established your own newspaper I thought it was proper that I write to you and to give you ideas about the paper. That letter was treated in the same way that I had to give it up. I wanted you to see what I wrote from prison.
Therefore I am very grateful that I've had this opportunity of talking directly to you and complementing you for your marvellous stand.

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation. Accessioned on 23/02/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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