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Friday, March 1, 2024

Nelson Mandela, saved by Jaja Wachuku

There are heroic people who can never be forgotten for their good deeds and saviour complex in Africa history. One of such is the Jaja Wachuku heroic acts towards Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela became more revolutionary while in prison as he was feared more by the government. He rendered a three-hour speech at his trial in Rivonia, where he proclaimed he was prepared to die for a good cause. He was found guilty at the trial and was sentenced to death in 1964.


Jaja Wachuku, a prominent Nigerian politician at the time intercepted the court judgement; by inviting the British High Commissioner and the United States Ambassador, Joseph Palmer II, to Lagos. He urged them to intercede with their governments not to impose the death penalty on Nelson Mandela and twelve others.

Wachuku employed the same diplomacy with the US Secretary of State, Dean Rusk and British Foreign Secretary Lord Home.

After Jaja Wachuku’s intervention; the death sentence of Nelson Mandela and twelve other South African Politicians was changed to 27 years and eight months life imprisonment.

On the 11th of February, 1990, Mandela was released by President F. W. de Klerk

The University of North Carolina; the Chapel Hill Henry Brandis Professor of Law Emeritus shed more light on Jaja Wachuku humane; and successful diplomatic efforts to save Mandela and others from the death penalty at the Rivonia Trial. The heroic event was published in books. The first published book was written by Kenneth S. Broun titled; ‘Saving Nelson Mandela: The Rivonia Trial and the Fate of South Africa’

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