Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #199) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #199)
Transcript: like these are typical of all colonial and semi colonial countries where the towns, streets, parks, buildings, railway stations, airports, dams and other public places bear the names of people from the imperial countries and not those of the indigenous population and other opponents of racial oppression. On merit men like Dr. John Dube, Professor Jabavu, Dr. Abdurahman, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Andrews and Revered Michael Scott deserve as much, if not more, honour than Sir Theophilous Shepstone, after whom the former port was named, and a host of other white public men who have been similarly honoured.
Port St Johns is an even more sad commentary on the mentality of those responsible for the naming of the country's towns and shows that South Africa is prepared to honour other imperialist countries rather than its distinguished black citizens. The name commemorates the Sao Joao, a portugese ship that was wrecked near the mouth of the Mzimvubu in 1552. On principle there is nothing wrong in giving recognition to the many links between our history and that of Portugal. The human lives that were lost when the ship went down, the hardships suffered by the survivors as they travelled through the country to Delago Bay and the fact that some of them remained behind and lived among the Africans, deserves some form of permanent recognition and in the ordinary course the name Port St. Johns would be quite appropriate. We condemn the practice because, in this particular instance, the commemoration is part of a deliberate policy of discriminating against black people in South Africa.
Far from improving this position, white South Africa seems to be going from bad to worse. Names
Extent and Medium: 1 page