On Sunday, February 26, 2012, Flyleaf Books held a book reading by former Chapel Hill Mayor Ken Broun. His new book, Saving Nelson Mandela, is now in bookstores.

I did not know about Ken Broun’s 25-year-history with South Africa, prior to hearing about this book. I am constantly in awe of the amazing caliber of people we have in this great community of ours! It turns out that in 1986, as a UNC Law School professor who often taught trial advocacy, Broun was asked to travel to South Africa to teach through the Black Lawyers Association of South Africa. He has been doing this on a regular basis ever since for 25 years. At the time, only a small fraction of South African lawyers were black, and the majority of those had completed their degree via correspondence. Many of the people that Ken met and taught are now South Africans leaders.

This book is the result of five years of research on the pivotal Rivonia trial in 1963-1964. A death sentence was expected for the accusations of sabotage, but Nelson Mandela’s life was spared. He and others on trial were sentenced to life in prison instead. Broun was able to discuss this amazingly complicated trial with three of the defense lawyers, Joel Joffe, George Bizos and Arthur Chaskalson.

If you know of another fascinating Chapel Hill/ Carrboro resident with an interesting story to tell, please let me know at kpophoto@chapelboro.com! In the meantime, enjoy reading Saving Nelson Mandela- The Rivonia Trial and the Fate of South Africa by Kenneth S. Broun.