Poptartology: The struggle gets digital

2013-07-10 15:20

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If you’re interested in history being kept alive and you’re a Twitter type, you should be following @RivoniaRaid this week.

It’s a blow by blow account of the Lilliesleaf raid that led to the Rivonia Trial – that’s all over your radar because it’s the 50th anniversary of the nation-shaping events this year.

The clever feed offers a timeline of events that read like a political thriller.

Follow the villainous and cunning Lieutenant Willie van Wyk, fellow police and informants as they search for Walter Sisulu. Buy a dodgy Kombi with activist Denis Goldberg. Meet with the ANC secretariat at Liliesleaf to discuss Operation Mayibuye. Check out Ahmed Kathrada disguised as Pedro Perreira, a questionable Portuguese character. Yup, the handle tweets picture links too.

Picture: Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand/@RivoniaRaid

Where we’re at right now, Van Wyk is wondering whether to raid in a laundry van or a hearse.

The peppy history lesson is the brainchild of Talk Radio 702. Read some of the history behind the project over here.

More online action can be found over at the Daily Maverick, where photographer Greg Marinovich tells the tale of staying with his gran– who he called Baba – on the farm right next to the ANC base.

It contains this “aw sweet” moment: “Lilliesleaf and our driveways ran along their common fence to the street where milk in glass bottles was delivered in little white battery-powered carts. Mandela, ever the gentleman, could not resist bringing the milk down to my gran, who was rather charmed by the gesture.”

And while you’re at it, read one of the most famous speeches in South African history. The Mandela Centre of Memory has made Nelson Mandela’s closing “I am prepared to die” speech available from the trial.

By the way, they also have a searchable Rivonia Trial database of epic proportion.

To get a clearer picture of these days of cloaks and daggers, check out the first TV interview with Mandela, shot by ITN in 1961, just a year before his arrest in 1962.


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