Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #210) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #210)
Transcript: My initial argument was built on the premise that Africans were capable of determing their own future and that no racial group, the Nationalist Party included, has any right to decide for us. Any so called solution forcibly imposed on us, as was the case with the Bantu Authorities, could never succeed. But the central point I kept on hammering over and over again that night was the obvious fact that more Africans were already living in so called white areas and outside the Reserves, that apartheid offered no solution whatsoever for this section, that Bantu Authorities would affect not only a minority in the Reserves which would continue to shrink as economic factors drove more and more people to the urban areas and that, in any event the actual area covered by the new system was no less than 13% of the country too small to constitute a solution.
I added that since 1910 when the Union of South Africa was formed, African leaders throughout the country had worked for the unity of all our people, an objective which was being gradually accomplished and which was not just a utopian dream but a concrete ideal reflecting the direction of economic forces. African unity was a development that conflicted with the existence of white supremacy and, once it had been fully achieved, radical oppression would tumble down. By breaking up Africans into several small ethnic units through a system of Bantu Authorities the Nationalist government hoped to forestall that danger. I concluded by stressing that leadership in all fields, especially in politics, should be based on merit and not on birth or social status and that the principle of the masses of the people electing their won representatives to the organs of government was the basis of democracy which had already taken root amongst Africans and that a change now
Extent and Medium: 1 page