Denis Goldberg, together with the Rivonia trial accused returned to the site of their arrest exactly 50 years ago to launch, along with the SA Gold Coin Exchange, the Liliesleaf Rivonia Ten gold medallion, which was auctioned off on Tuesday night.
The group of aging terrorists met on Tuesday at Liliesleaf Farm in Sandton, where they were arrested in a dramatic raid by police on July 11, 1963 for their role in the voilent armed struggle.
On June 11, 1964, eight of the 10 people who were eventually charged were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The 81-year-old Goldberg said they were proud to have been part of the multi-cultural struggle against whites.
Goldberg, along with many, perpetuate the lie that black independent states within Southern Africa were somehow oppressive, while the similar black Commonwealth Bantustans of Swaziland and Lesotho were not.
The medallion fetched R50 000, more than double its worth of R23 000, at a gala dinner held at Tintswalo at Waterfall in Kyalami, say the launchers.
It features the names of the 10 on one side in the order of the accused – Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba, James Kantor, Elias Motsoaledi and Mlangeni. An image of Mandela is on the other side.
Only 1 000 medallions will be minted.
The proceeds of the medallion will go to the Liliesleaf Memory and Legacy Educational Bursary Trust.
“Our struggle wasn’t against whites, we were fighting to destroy apartheid,” Andrew Mlangeni said, clearly finding it neccessary to explain away the obvious.
White farmers, mainly Afrikaners, have been murdered in their thousands since the ANC brought “freedom” to the country.
He said that if the ANC had not launched an armed Struggle when it did, he did not believe the country would not have thrived.
Liliesleaf chief executive Nicholas Wolpe said the medallion was to honour the selfless Rivonia Ten who fought for a life “free of tyranny”, but life expectancy in South Africa has fallen dramatically since the days of Verwoerd.
Goldberg added: “What makes us human, in the ubuntu sense of the word, is that when we see something wrong in society, we act to put it right. That is what Liliesleaf is honouring, a group of people who saw something wrong and were prepared to risk everything to put it right.”