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Archive: The first legal photo of Mandela in 22 years

Staff Reporter

Everyone knows his name and what he stands for. But almost no-one knows what Nelson Mandela looks like.

(Courtesy of the Minister of Information)

Everyone knows his name and what he stands for. But almost no-one knows what Nelson Mandela looks like.

This is because it has been illegal to photograph him or to reprint an old photograph of him for the 22 years he has been a prisoner of the state.

Until this week, that is.

The photograph taken before Mandela was imprisoned for sabotage in 1964, was reproduced this week by the Bureau of Information in 'heir new propaganda booklet, "Talking to the ANC".

It is the first time since 1964 that it has been legal in this country to publish a photograph of South Africa's most famous political prisoner, the leader of the banned African National Congress and by most accounts the most popular leader among blacks.

It is only legal because permission was given by the Department of Prisons. All other pictures, drawings or representations of the man are still illegal.

The controversial Bureau of Information booklet is intended to show South Africans that it is folly to talk of negotiation with the ANC.

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