The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African National Archives will on July 18 launch Nelson Mandela’s letters and correspondence which he received while incarcerated for 27 years in a book.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation on Monday said the publication would coincide with what would have been Mandela’s centenary. The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela would be “the first, and only, authorized and authenticated collection of correspondence.” The foundation said in the letters Mandela never lost hope.

“During his incarceration, Mandela would pen a multitude of letters to loved ones, compatriots, prison authorities and government officials. At first he was only allowed to write and receive one letter of five hundred words every six months,” said the Nelson Mandela Foundation in a statement.

Mandela’s letters were censored by his jailers. The foundation said the correspondences will show Mandela’s defiance and resilience despite his imprisonment.

They also said Mandela and six others were “dehumanized” with harsh conditions.

The letters were written in chronological order from 1962 to 1990 when he served in various prisons.

The statement also said, “the book covers every aspect of life behind bars for the future South African leader. It provides new insight into how Mandela maintained his inner spirits while living in almost complete isolation. It also shows how he engaged with an outside world that became increasingly outraged by his plight, as his imprisonment dragged into its fourth decade.”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation stated that the book shows that Mandela was a devoted husband and abiding friend. The book also shows that Mandela was a dedicated student who did law while behind bars. Enditem


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