Visnews filmed Pretoria Jan 19 when the South African treason trial of 30 of 91 persons accused was to be resumed on a fresh indictment.
SV. Mr. A.M.Kathrada.
CU. Ditto talking to man.
LV. Queue of people waiting.
SV. Matt Spengler (Chief of Political Police) arriving.
CU. Matt Spengler talking to man.
SV. Chief Lithuli talks to man. Mrs. Ruth Slove (previously accused).
CU. Chief Lithuli.
LV. People leaving court.
SV. Bishop of Jo'burg R.A.Reeves talking with man.
CU. Bishop talking with Lithuli.
LV. Police Van.
LV. Accused men crossing road.
LV. Accused men walk towards.
SV. Accused men putting thumbs up sign.
SV. Helen Joseph and Leon Levy.
LV. Serving food.
SV. People eating.
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Background: Visnews filmed Pretoria Jan 19 when the South African treason trial of 30 of 91 persons accused was to be resumed on a fresh indictment.
When the judges took their seats only nine of the accused were present. The Attorney-General of the Transvaal informed the court that a bus had failed to pick up the other 21. He contended however that the should have appeared before the court as it was not the function of the Crown to bring them.
The court adjourned until the afternoon when all the accused were present. In support of an application by the defence to have the trial transfered to Johannesburg, defendant Helen Joseph said that the journey each day from and to Johannesburg cause strain and hardship to the accused and hampered consultations with their counsel.
Opposing this affidavit the deputy police commissioner for the Witwatersrand expressed the fear of demonstrations if the trial were held in Johannesburg.
No decision had been reached when the hearing was adjourned until Jan 20.
The charge against the 30 accused - arrested 5 Dec 1956 and later - is high treason and can carry the death penalty. Alternative charges of offences under the Suspension of Communism Act were dropped by the prosecution after attacks on the indictment by the defence.
A further 61 accused will go on trial April 30. Charges against 63 persons have been dropped.