Illingworth Cartoonist

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In December 1963 Nelson Mandela was tried in the Rivonia Trial. The Trial lasted until June 1964 where he was imprisoned for life narrowly avoiding being sentenced to death with seven others including Walter Sisulu, the leader of the ANC. Mandela was tried for “recruiting people for training and guerrilla warfare for the purpose of violent revolution”, when the police raided the MK’s headquarters and found links between Mandela and the recent sabotages on power stations.

The prosecution demanded that they should all be hanged but the amount of international interest forced the judge to pass life imprisonment on them all. The arrests managed to break down the MK and the ANC inside South Africa. In Source G the cartoonist, a man named Illingworth, has depicted Nelson Mandela being tied down by one finger with a police man a court judge and Verwoerd the most powerful Nationalist party Leader standing next to him.

Illingworth is trying to say that the system is not holding him down.

This is because in the source Mandela’s face is depicted as angry and as though the men tying him down are having no effect on him. It may also be that he is trying to say that the government think that they have felled a giant but really they are having no effect. This is because the characters standing next to Mandela are small compared to him and from their point of view it looks as though they have triumphed over Mandela.

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The Judge standing next to Mandela is holding a document that says “Mandela Judgement”.

The Verdict Political Cartoon

It is implied that the courts and government think that they are victorious over Mandela. At the time when this source was published Nelson Mandela and the ANC had organised many bomb attacks on power stations and oil refineries. They were trying to make South Africa ungovernable by disruption by these attacks. Illingworth is saying that the government have not stopped Mandela but only hindered him. I say this because the policeman in the source is tying down one of his fingers and this doesn’t seem to concern Mandela in the source because it is only one finger.

Another way in which this could be interpreted is that the figure of Mandela represents the whole of the Black Community against apartheid. If the finger is interpreted to represent Mandela it conveys the message that you can hold down one man but could never hold back the whole Black Community. Hendrik Verwoerd is in the cartoon because he is one of the leaders of the NP and by the time that the source was published he was one of the main influences behind the Nationalist Party, in the cartoon he is holding his head high and is smiling giving the impression that he is happy and proud that Nelson Mandela has been brought down.

Mandela is also pictured as young and strong in the image and this is to give the message that the youth of the ANC is the future and that Mandela and the ANC are strong and will resist. Illingworth would have thought this because he was British and the events in South Africa did not only appeal to the South Africans but to people all over the World because events such as the Sharpeville Massacre and the way the ANC were fighting against apartheid was something that would be put all over the news in other countries. In 1976 there were many anti-apartheid demonstrations in London because people knew what was going on.

There was also a growing population who were joining the ANC and many people who although did not join the ANC shared many of its ideas against apartheid so Illingworth was trying to say that the NP think that they have achieved more than they actually have. He probably also realised that he could stir up trouble in England since this is where the Source was printed and could get people to realise that the ANC was the right path to choose for the South Africans. He probably thought that if there was enough outside support then the NP would be forced to change it policies.

In 1973 the OAU (Organisation of African Unity) was formed and provided a strong opposition to apartheid this was important because after so much suppression the black community was finally trying to retaliate and this is one of the points in the cartoon. That even though Mandela has been brought down the black community is still strong and there is still a strong opposition towards apartheid. Another reason why the cartoonist may have held this view is because he has seen what has happened in other countries such as those that have had their independence and were now doing well for themselves.

The cartoonist may also be ridiculing the NP because South Africa had only recently left the Common Wealth which gave them international standing. He may be pointing out that under the NP South Africa is not doing well and if under the ANC then it will become better. In conclusion Illingworth’s view of the verdict is that even though Mandela has been put in prison the ANC and the Black Community can not be held down. He thinks this because he is a British supporter of apartheid and wants to see the end of racial discrimination in South Africa.

Illingworth’s view is that Nelson Mandela should not be in prison but that it does not make much difference because the opposition is so strong against the government that even if Mandela is in prison they can still carry out the resistance without him. Through the Source he is trying to say that the government think that they have crushed their opposition by arresting and trying Mandela but Illingworth probably thought this was untrue and that the Black Community and the opposition to apartheid would still go on even though Mandela was not there to organise it.

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Illingworth Cartoonist. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Illingworth Cartoonist
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