Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #134) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Welcome to the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project. Our aim is to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela. This is a work in progress. Here is a selection of materials arranged in exhibits for your enjoyment.
Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #134)
Transcript: the oldest or one of the oldest amongst us. We were all poor men. He was a wealthy man with a flourishing practice, several shops and farms. It was even rumoured that he was the richest African in the country those days and it is never easy for such men to risk their wealth and go to prison. Whatever the reasons which may have made him renounce his political beliefs, to the masses of the people he was no longer fit to lead them and at the 1952 annual conference of the ANC in Johannesburg Chief A.J. Luthuli replaced him as president.
During the six months of the Campaign I travelled a great deal on the Witwatersrand, Durban and in the Eastern Cape. On one occasion I was sent to East London to settle a dispute there involving Alcot Gwentshe on the one side and the rest of the local leadership on the other. Earlier Alcot Gwentshe had given up a good job and gone to jail, and the organisation in the area was so good that at one time they sent in a batch of 500 volunteers. I found on the merits of the case that the masses of the people were fully behing Gwentshe. I had to find a compromise. It was a measure of his great influence in the area that soon after his conviction in the Defiance case he and his colleague Joseph Lengisi were deported to Mafeking.
About May 1952 J.B. Marks, one of the leading figures in the Campaign and president of the Tansvaal ANC, was banned under the Suppression of Communism Act and ordered to resign from the ANC and a host of other organisations. Reverend N. Thantsi of the American Methodist Episcopal Church acted as president until the next conference in October that year. My name was proposed for the presidency and was opposed by a group which called itself Bafabegiya (those who
Extent and Medium: 1 page