Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #188) - 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 #188)
Transcript: doors to organising African mineworkers were closed by making it illegal to organise them. Thereby SACTU was prevented access to one of the biggest sections of the African workers. But SACTU had a greater potential than all the other workers co ordinating bodies in the country. Of even greater importance, its emergence gave us an organisation which could concentrate on the task of organising the most militant section of the oppressed people and lent terrific power to the blows of the Congresses. From 1955 we were always confident that every campaign would receive the solid backing of an ever growing section of the workers.
The organisational structure of the Congress movement was influenced by existing conditions in the country and we have consistently refused all attempts to rush us to forms of arganisation which are ahead of the people's thinking. At the same time we have always been on the lookout for opportunities where non racial patterns of organisation can be developed and SACTU is one example of this vigilance.
The South African Women's Federation formed in 1955 is yet another illustration of our attempt to encourage, through an appropriate organisational structure the flow of ideas in the liberation movement towards a South Africa free from all forms of racial thinking. Under the leadership of Lilian Ngoyi and Helen Joseph, president and secretary respectively, it grew so rapidly that on August 9th 1956 it organised a gigantic demonstration of 20,000 women of all races who gathered at Union Buildings, Pretoria, to protest against the extension of passes to African women, against race classification, against permits for Indians to cross provincial boundaries and identify
Extent and Medium: 1 page