Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #147) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #147)
Transcript: like Patrick Duncan who had actually defied only a year before, were frightened away and decided instead to form another organisation which would be avowedly anti communist. This is how the Liberal Party came into existence. Though, like SACOD, the Liberal Party was decidedly anti apartheid, its outlook was marred by a certain hesitancy in grasping the nature of the struggle that was being waged and a reluctance to align themselves unreservedly with the struggle of the balck man against national oppression and for complete racial equality. As a result, while SACPO and SACOD became members of the Congress Alliance and adopted the Freedom Charter as their basic policy when the Charter was drawn up in 1955, the Liberal Party which was born in the same year as SACOD, stayed out of the Alliance and as it happened did not associate itself with the Freedom Charter.
The policy of the Liberal Party differed with that of SACOD in three main aspects. In spite of the fact that South African whites automatically aquire voting rights on reaching the age of 21 (since reduced to 18 ?), and irrespective of education or property qualifications, the Liberal Party nevertheless favoured a qualified franchise for the blacks and demanded the extension of the vote only to those Africans, Coloureds and Indians who had passed Standard VIII. Secondly they bound themselves to use only constitutional means of struggle. Finally the Liberal Party did not like the structure of the Congress Alliance in which they argued people were organised on racial lines in conformity with government policy. Consequently, although the initiative in establishing the organisation came from its white members, and in spite of their commanding position as a group in the determination of policy and of practical problems, the Party was a mixed one open to all groups
Extent and Medium: 1 page