The African National Congress of South Africa brings you this urgent call to unity and mass action, by political prisoners on Robben Island to all patriots of our motherland. Nelson Mandela and hundreds of our comrades have been in the racist regime's prisons for more than 17 years. This message by Nelson Mandela addressed to the struggling masses of our country was written to deal with the present crisis gripping our enemy and in the aftermath of the Soweto uprisings. It was smuggled out of Robben Island under very difficult conditions, and has taken over two years to reach us. Nonetheless, we believe the message remains fresh and valid and should be presented to our people. His call to unity and mass action is of particular importance in this Year of the Charter, the 25th anniversary of the Freedom Charter. The ANC urges you to respond to this call and make 1980 a year of united mass action.

The letter referred to here was dated 11 October 1978.