Lord Joffe

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is Joel Joffe. For many years he was the chairman of Oxfam, before that he set up a hugely successful insurance company and most recently he's been campaigning for terminally ill people to have the right to die. But the career in which he has had the greatest impact is the one he was forced to give up more than 40 years ago - law.

In 1963, Joel Joffe was a young defence solicitor, so dismayed by the apartheid system of his native South Africa that he was on the brink of emigrating. Then he was asked to take over the defence of a group of ANC activists including Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Nelson Mandela.

The trial gripped the world and was all the more extraordinary because, far from aiming to secure his clients' freedom, Joel Joffe was simply fighting for them not to receive the death penalty. He tells Kirsty how, even in his prison clothes, Nelson Mandela was a figure of calm authority, who guided them through the trial.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Under Milk Wood by Richard Burton
Book: A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Luxury: Wind-up radio.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 2 Nov 2007 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterKirsty Young
Interviewed GuestJoel Goodman Joffe

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