Prisoner 913 discussion on Kaya FM 95.9
New light has been cast on the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years in jail. The information comes from a secret archive of documents accumulated for over a decade while Mandela was in jail by a senior National Party minister, Kobie Coetzee. Coetzee was the Justice and Prisons minister and had easy access to Mandela. He was intimately involved in discussions about Mandela’s release, and over the last 10 years of the ANC leader’s incarceration, Coetzee accumulated a wealth of information. Coetzee died before he could hand over the archive as he had promised to academic Jan-Ad Stemmet. More than 10 years after Coetzee’s death, the archive ended up at the University of the Free State where Stemmet finally got to see what it contained. He teamed up with veteran journalist Riaan de Villiers and, after accessing the vast number of documents in the Coetzee archive, they wrote an intriguing book about the release of the man referred to as Prisoner 913 – Nelson Mandela’s official prison number, different to his Robben Island number of 46664. David O’Sullivan spoke to Riaan de Villiers about the book Prisoner 913.
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