Allegations of engagement in disruptive activity and blasphemy that were widely disseminated in the Sudanese press and subsequent incidents against Sudanese Marxists led the formidable Abdel Khaliq Mahgoub to stand trial before a military court that was hurriedly put together by the administration of General Ibrahim Abboud and in which he opted to take the stand in defending himself.
This testimony is Mahgoub's explication of why and how he became a Marxist. The statement also powerfully reflects Mahgoub's frustration with the utter bankruptcy of the nationalist discourse, which he saw as unable to produce systematic visions on political transformation. While never losing sight of imperialism, Mahgoub rejected the idea of the struggle as a mere fight against colonizers, an idea that he rejected as not only reductive but intrinsically incapable of coming to terms with the meanings of national liberation. This text draws attention to the importance of the independent application of Marxism as an approach to development, rather than as a fixed or absolute text, and speaks poignantly to colonialism and post-independence politics and decadence and the major stumbling blocks on the path to emancipatory politics. The testimony was formulated around philosophical and practical elements in Mahgoub's thought. Political theory, democratic rights, Marxism's consistency, Islam, and tradition are all addressed.