Treason Trial Halts - Nelson Mandela, Aziz Pahad and Winnie Mandela outside the court. October 13, 1958 - the mild, cloudy Pretoria morning on which the most sensational of things happened for the 91 men and women of all races facing a charge of high treason. Mr Pirow, leader of the Crown team at the trial, rose to his feet, touched a colleague who was still addressing the court, and brought the microphone to his mouth. "Your Lordship, I withdraw the indictment against the accused," he said in his hoarse voice. The height of the trial's drama had come. Up in the packed non-white gallery, black faces lit up and swung round to take swift looks at the judges, still wondering if they had heard right. Out in the street, where spectators and photographers were pressing on the accused, shouts of "Africa" rang high and firm, victory handshakes spelled the day's relief.
(Photograph by Drum photographer © Baileys Archive