Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #151) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #151)
Transcript: move freely, commune with myself and plan treason without fear of the law.
Perhaps this feeling is due to the fact that the history of that province bears in many respects the imprint of General De Wet, the gifted Boer commander who outclassed the British in many engagements during the last days of the Anglo Boer war. He would certainly have been my hero if he had been a true patriot fighting for the rights of all South Africans,black and white. Nevertheless a visit to the Free State always refreshes me and this is exactly how I felt on the 3rd September 1953 as I drove to and from the court in the little dorp of Villiers. As I reached my office I found the police waiting and they immediately served me with an order under the Suppression of Communism Act requiring me to resign from the ANC and other organisations, restricting me to the Johannesburg district and prohibiting me from attending gatherings for 2 years. That ended a period of 9 years during which I had been a lawful member of the ANC. I was also ordered to resign from the Peace Council of South Africa of which I was vice president.
The Transval Conference of the ANC was due to be held the next month and when I received the ban I had already completed the draft of my presidential address. In due course it was approved by the Executive and read to the Conference by Andrew Kunene, a member of the Executive. It is now known as "No Easy Walk to Freedom". I kept in touch with the Executive through John Motshabi who, as full time secretary, was the brick on which everything rested. He worked dhard and for long hours often without pay and at one time his health broke down through sheer strain. But when he recovered he joined us again, working as hard as before and was still active when I last saw him 8
Extent and Medium: 1 page