Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #108) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #108)
Transcript: communities was a logical step for men whose political careers were built up on the propaganda of the "Black Peril", who wanted to save white supremacy at all costs and who regarded every black man as a political enemy waiting for an opportunity to slash the throat of every white man.
At that time the only statutory body through which the African could voice their grievances was the Native Representative Council which had a total of twenty two members consisting of six whites appointed by the government and sixteen Africans. Four of the sixteen Afircans were nominated by the government, the remaining twelve were elected indirectly by electoral colleges whose voting units were made up of the local councils, Chiefs, electoral committees, municipal "Native" advisory boards, and in the case of the Transkeian Territories, members of the Transkeian Territories General Council (Bunga). In effect the elections were remote from the ordinary African and were the business of a tiny handful. Thus by 1950 three million whites were represented in parliament by no less than 150 members elected directly by individual voters, whereas 8 million Africans were allowed a purely advisory council with only 12 "elected". In spite of this gross disparity and its lack of power, the Native Representative Coucil at least enabled Africans from all over the country and irrespective of their ethnic origins to come together and present their grievances to the government as a national group. The existence of such country wide statutory bodies, in spite of their powerlessness, could be exploited by African Nationalists in their task of nation building in so far as they made it possible for the Africans outside the liberation movement to dicuss their problems as Africans and not as Batswana, Vendas or Zulus. But in 1951 the government introduced a pyramid of ethnic institutions built around the Chief and his council in place of the NRC.
Extent and Medium: 1 page