Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #233) - 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 #233)
Transcript: There were about 400 African delegates attending the October Conference in Bloemfontein as against 800 at the Volkskongres and some may argue that the number of delegates at the former conference proves that only a small percentage rejected the policy of separate development and that the bulk of the African people favoured or were at most indifferent to it. But when one takes into account the obstacles the African delegates had to overcome to reach Bloemfontein, one must concede that the attendence indicated wide and deep concern amongst the Africans about the Report. African delegates, the majority of whom were workers had to obtain leave of absence from white employers, most of whom were usually not sympathetic on such issues. They had to get passes to leave their areas and travel to Bloemfontein as well as passes to enter the township where the Conference was held. In addition financial and transport difficulties cut down the number of those who would otherwise have attended. The delegates to the Volkskongres had no such difficulties. Most of them were probably independent business or professional men who had no travel restrictions whatsoever, who either belonged to wealthy organisations or had enough money to travel on their own to the Volkskongres. Above all, it should be born in mind that the IDAMF Conference was a conference of the oppressed whereas the Volkskongres was a meeting of the ruling whites and backed by the ruling Nationalist Party. Quite apart from the disabilities I have mentioned the government had been systematically banning leading members and activists of the liberation movement. In the best of circumstances for an oppressed people to organise a conference of 400 delegates is a remarkable event. What is even more remarkable about the IDAMF Conference was its breadth for it succeeded in drawing 400 African delegates from every walk of
Extent and Medium: 1 page