Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #125) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #125)
Transcript: The Torch Commando took an even more surprising attitude for an organisation that was born of the struggle against apartheid and whose aim was the overthrow of the Nationalist Government. It strongly disassicated itself from the breaking of the laws of the country and urged us to give upour plans. The liberals alos came under heavy attack from the Nationalist Party who accused them of encouraging blacks to make extravagant demands that could never be won. I do not know to what extent this Nationalist Party propagandaactually influenced the attitude of liberals; but about September 1952 Reinaldt Jones and William Ballinger, both former senators representing Africans, tried to persuade us not to continue with the campaign on the grounds that we had many friends amongst the whites and that our action would alienate the support of such whites.
We appreciated their interest in our problems and the assistance they gave us from time to time and expressed the hope that we would continue to enjoy that support. But we regretted that we could not accept their advice and pointed out that as progressive as it was when compared with the racialist policies of the major white political parties in the country, liberalism was not a foundation on which we could build our plans. We attempted to show them that it fell far short of our immediate and long term objectives and that its weakness was fully exposed by the victory of the Nationalist Party, the most reactionary party in South Africa, and the systematic whittling away of the economic, political and social rights of the black man. We maintained that the campaign had given then the ideal opportunity of putting their ideas into practice and that they could now make the white public alive to the ugly racial clashes that would ultimately erupt as the National Party continued to provoke and drive the black man to desperation. The discussion was cordial but unproductive.
Extent and Medium: 1 page