South Africa Then There Was One

Then There Was One Mandela remains in jail while his colleagues go free

In the ranks of South Africa's antiapartheid struggle, Walter Sisulu is second only to his fellow prisoner and best friend, Nelson Mandela. A quarter- century ago, Sisulu and several other underground leaders of the African National Congress were captured on a farm in the Johannesburg suburb of Rivonia. Along with Mandela, they were sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted in the Rivonia trial on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government.

Rumors swirled for years that Pretoria was about to free the Rivonia prisoners, but many seasons of hard labor in the limestone quarries on Robben Island taught Sisulu, now...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!