Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #114) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #114)
Transcript: demands and in particular our inherent right to be directly represented in parliament and other legislative bodies. We accused the government of continuing to insult and degrade us to refuse our co operation through its repressive policy of trusteeship, segregation and apartheid legislation. We pointed out that the result of this policy was a gradual worsening of our social, economic and political position and a rising tide of racial bitterness and tension. We called attention to the fact that the action we were planning was not against any national group but against unjust laws which kept vast sections of our people in perpetual subjugation and misery. Finally we told the government that we believed that the decision was in the interest of all groups and would inspire our people for ages.
Malan promptly replied to our letter and challenged the claim that we had an inherent right to be directly represented in parliament and other bodies on the ground that between Africans and whites there were differences that were permanent and not man made. He added that the whites also had an imherent right to take the necessary measures to preserve their identity as a separate community and made it clear that the government would under no circumstances entertain the idea of granting administrative, executive or legislative powers over the whites or within the white community, to Africans or other blacks. He dismissed our demand for the sharing of political power with the whites as no genuine offer of co operation but an attempt to supplant white rule. He maintained that the laws which we denounced as discriminatory were largely of a protective nature and that the Bantu Authorities Act was intended to give us the opportunity for enlightened administration of our own affairs in accordance with our own heritage and institutions adapted to modern conditions. The
Extent and Medium: 1 page