The sad news today reminded me that I analysed the speech Mandela made on April 20 1964 from the dock at the opening of his trial on charges of sabotage at the Supreme Court of South Africa in Pretoria. I compared it with a speech made by Emmeline Pankhurst and I discovered similarities and differences in the way they addressed their audiences. Both were clear that their campaigns were taking actions which were against the law of their respective countries. But while Emmeline tried to engage her sympathetic audience at a personal level, Mandela's speech was quite different. He knew that he did not have a sympathetic audience, so he did not try to engage with them. Instead, his remarks, which were very formal and rehearsed, addressed the world, speaking of vision and hope for the future. But he also found time to refer to his 'proudly felt African background’.
He was already a statesman.