On a freezing winter’s night, a few hours before dawn on 12 May 1969, security police stormed the Soweto home of Winnie Mandela and detained her in the presence of her two young daughters, then aged eight and ten. Rounded up in a group of other anti-apartheid activists, she was taken away. This was the start for Winnie Mandela of a 491-day period of detention and two trials. Forty-one years after her release on 14 September 1970, Greta Soggot handed her a stack of papers that included a journal and notes that she had written in detention. 491 Days: Prisoner number 1323/69 shares with the world Winnie Mandela’s moving and compelling journal, as well as some of the letters written between affected parties at the time. Readers gain insight into the brutality she experienced, her depths of despair, resilience and defiance under extreme pressure.