Nelson Mandela. Conversations with Myself, London: Macmillan Publisher, 2010
* 1918, Mvezo, Umtata (Cape Province), † 2013, Houghton, Johannesburg
Charge: Sabotage, involvement in planning armed action
Prison: Robben Island, Kroonstad Prison, Victor Verster Prison (South Africa) (Map)
"It was by chance, for example, that in the final months we stumbled across the archive kept by former warder Jack Swart, who was with Mandela during the last fourteen months of his incarceration in Victor Verster Prison. Also late in the game, the National Intelligence Agency disclosed to us the existence of a small Mandela collection, most of which was made available to the team. The Agency's caginess suggests the possibility of further disclosures.
While all the Mandela private archive was considered for this project, the final selection drew most heavily on four particular parts. Firstly: the prison letters. Some of the most poignant and painful writings are to be found in two hard covered exercise books in which Mandela carefully drafted copies of letters he subsequently sent through the prison censors of Robben Island. They date from 1969 to 1971 and cover the very worst time of his imprisonment. Stolen from his cell by the authorities in 1971, they were returned to him by a former security policeman in 2004. Throughout his time in prison Mandela was never sure whether his correspondence would reach its destination due to the actions of what he called 'those remorseless fates', the censors. His prison files in the National Archives contain numbers letters the authorities wouldn't post. They are kept together with copies they made of every letter they did post.'
from introduction by Verne Harris, Project Leader, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and Dialogue, August 2010, p. xviii-xix