Nelson Mandela's first ever TV interview in 1961

Nelson Mandela speaks to Brian Widlake. Credit: ITV News

Nelson Mandela's first ever television interview was given to ITN reporter Brian Widlake in May 1961.

Widlake had arranged to meet Mandela in his hideout as the activist, then aged 42, was on the run from South African police.

Widlake: What is it that the African really wants?

Mandela: "The Africans require - want - the franchise, on the basis of One Man One Vote. They want political independence."

Widlake: Do you see Africans being able to develop in this country without the Europeans being pushed out?

Mandela: "We have made it very clear in our policy that South Africa is a country of many races.

"There is room for all the various races in this country."

Widlake: Are there many educated Africans inside Africa?

Mandela: "Yes, we have a large number of Africans who are educated, who are taking part in the political struggles of the African people.

"The question of education has nothing to do with the question of the vote. On numerous occasions it has been proved in history that people can enjoy the vote even if they have no education.

"Of course we desire education and we think it is a good thing, but you don't have to have education in order to know that you want certain fundamental rights, you have got aspirations, you have got acclaims. It has nothing to do with education whatsoever."

Nelson Mandela speaks to Brian Widlake. Credit: ITV News

Widlake: Are you planning any more campaigns of non cooperation?

Mandela: "Yes. The resolution makes provision for a campaign of non-cooperation with the government and we are presently starting plans to implement this aspect of the resolution."

Brian Widlake listens to Nelson Mandela. Credit: ITV News

Widlake: If Dr Verwoerd's government doesn't give you the kind of concessions that you want some time soon, is there any likelihood of violence?

Mandela: "There are many people who feel that the reaction of the government to our stay at home, ordering a general mobilisation, arming the white community, arresting ten thousands of Africans.

"This show of force throughout the country, notwithstanding our clear declaration that this campaign is being run on peaceful and nonviolent lines, closes a chapter as far as out methods of political struggle are concerned.

"There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and nonviolence against a government whose reply is only savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people.

"I think the time has come for us to consider, in the light of our experiences in this stay at home, whether the methods which we have applied so far are adequate."

Nelson Mandela speaks to Brian Widlake. Credit: ITV News

The following year, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison, where he would spend 27 years of his life.