Circumstances

Nelson Mandela delivered the speech “I Am Prepared to Die” on 20th of April, 1964, at the opening of his defence trial in Rivonia. After forming the armed wing of the African National Congress, a nationalist party in South Africa, he was accused of treason and sabotage by the South African State.

Many of the circumstances of the speech are presented by the speaker himself during the speech.

Starting in 1948, the South African Government created the apartheid regime, which was a system of racial segregation between blacks and whites, and which discriminated against the black population - politically, economically and socially.

This system was implemented gradually by adopting different racially biased laws, many of which the speaker mentions in his speech: “During the Defiance Campaign, the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed. These Statutes provided harsher penalties for offences committed by way of protests against laws.”

Furthermore, the speaker describes how the apartheid regime affected the lives of black South Africans. They were separated from their familie...

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