Bram Fischer

Jean van de Velde

On 11 July 1963, the South African police raided the Liliesleaf farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Ten activists were arrested who would later stand trial in the Rivonia case. Lawyer Bram Fischer was a regular guest at the farm, but he happened to not be present at the time of the raid. This is why he was able to defend the activists, including Nelson Mandela, in court.

Apartheid in South Africa was at its height when the ten men in Rivonia were arrested. They faced charges of conspiracy, conspiring to perform acts of violence against the South African state, and more. Bram Fischer was closely connected to the group and took upon himself the role of leading attorney for the defence of the group. In filming a reconstruction of the trial, director Jean van de Velde focuses on the story of Bram Fischer, played by Peter Paul Muller. Fischer passionately committed himself to ending apartheid and took substantial risks in the process.

Text: Dirk van der Straaten


Jean van de Velde
Richard Claus, Michael Auret
Country of production
Netherlands, The, South Africa, Germany
124 minutes
Spoken language
Afrikaans, English
Production company
Richard Claus & Co
Dutch distributor
September Film Distribution