Nelson Mandela

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27th January, 1971…

Dear Miss Goolagong,

It has been reported that you are considering going to South Africa and it is on this matter that I have been instructed to write to you. You have already achieved a splendid reputation as a tennis player, and we wish you even greater successes in the future…

You cannot be unaware, however, that the structure of South African tennis is racialist, and that thousands of non-white South Africans, natives of the country, are excluded from the ‘national’ body which has invited you and they will be denied participation in the ‘national’ events in which you take part…

This letter to Aboriginal superstar of 1970s tennis, Evonne Goolagong, was written by Dennis Brutus (1924 – 2009). Brutus was a South African of African and European ancestry.  A poet, academic and anti-apartheid campaigner, he was one of the founders of SAN-ROC, (South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee.)…

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