ANC leader Walter Sisulu is convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for contravening the unlawful Organisations Act

Walter Sisulu

Monday, 4 March 1963

On 04 March 1963, the African National Congress (ANC) leader, Walter Sisulu was sentenced to six years in prison for furthering the aims of the banned ANC and for organising the May 1961 stay-at-home protest. However, on 09 March 1963 he was released on R6000 bail. Sisulu’s conviction came almost three years after the government banned ANC, Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), South African Communist Party (SACP)and other liberation movements under the Unlawful Organisations Act.

The defiant Sisulu continued with the ANC underground work and less than five months after his release on bail he made a short broadcast from a secret ANC radio station. On 11 July of the same year the police raided the Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia and he was arrested with Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Ahmed Kathrada and others. They were charged in October 1963 and on 12 June 1964 the Rivonia Trialists were sentenced to life imprisonment for planning acts of sabotage against government.

• O’Malley P. ‘1963’from Nelson Mandela Foundation, [online], Available at[Accessed: 13 February 2012]
• African National Congress, ‘Walter Max Sisulu’, [online], Available at[Accessed: 13 February 2012]

Last updated : 27-Feb-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 01-Mar-2012

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