Oliver Tambo at Mandela and Tambo

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Oliver Tambo is seen here in his office at Mandela and Tambo.  Although there were other black South African lawyers, at the time, Mandela and Tambo had the only black-owned-and-operated law firm in the country.

While researching his book, Playing the Enemy, John Carlin interviewed Adelaide Tambo (Oliver Tambo's widow).  FRONTLINE has placed that interview online, and the following is an excerpt from it:

. . . they each had an office at the whole floor of offices, Mandela & Tambo, at 25 Fox Street, Chancellor House. They were a practice that was politically linked, because they defended our people who were in difficulties.

Of course, like all lawyers they charged fees, but no one was turned away at Mandela & Tambo, because they did not have money. Those were the days of pettiness of the regime.

Africans were carrying passes, and they were arrested at every little excuse, by the police. The office was always full of people who came there to ask for help. But, of course, they dealt with many other cases, civil cases, and people came with other problems. Divorce cases, violence, where people were stabbed or people were shot dead. Things like that. A lot of cases went there.

Media Credits

Image of Oliver Tambo, online courtesy ANC (African National Congress).

Quoted passage of John Carlin's interview with Adelaide Tambo, online courtesy FRONTLINE.


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"Oliver Tambo at Mandela and Tambo" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 20, 2020.
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