I wish you to inform the Court that my absence, though deliberate, is not intended in any way to be disrespectful. Nor is it prompted by any fear of the punishment which might be inflicted on me.

Bram Fischer

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Abram Fischer, commonly known as Bram Fischer, (23 April 1908 Bloemfontein – 8 May 1975 Bloemfontein) was a South African lawyer of Afrikaner descent, notable for anti-apartheid activism and for the legal defence of anti-apartheid figures, including Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia Trial. Following the trial he was himself put on trial accused of furthering communism. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and diagnosed with cancer while in prison. He served eleven years and was released in 1975, crippled by the disease from which he died two weeks later. Wikipedia