Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #157) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #157)
Transcript: prosecution. Accounts given by the individuals involved and by the press on the questions asked by the screening officials to determine a person's domicile at the interrogations were unbelievable. It was said that people were asked, amongst other things, whether they knew where Dr. Xuma's house was situated, a particular Chinese who ran a gambling school in the area, a certain shebeen queen or the number of large rocks at a specified sport in the township. People failed to qualify, it was alleged, simply because they could not answer these questions.
The ANC, the Ratepayers Association under the leadership of Dr. Xuma, continued to agitate against the scheme right up to the day in 1955 when the removals started. The operations began from the eastern side of the township and the night before the ANC evacuated several families to pre arranged accomodation in the interior in an effort to help them evade removal. Such tactics lasted for a few weeks. But the scope of this strategy was limited by lack of necessary resources. We had no transport, houses, lands, funds and army, the only things that could enable us continue the struggle once the enemy had started to move the people by force and to demolish their homes. After a few weeks we were forced to abandon the plan and resistance collapsed.
Throughout this period I visited Sophiatown regularly, meeting the local leadership and dicussing plans. As D Day approached I was daily and witnessed the first removals. Oliver Tambo and I also featured in our professional capacity, acting for those who were being endorsed out of the area or prosecuted.
Extent and Medium: 1 page