Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #250) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #250)
Transcript: whole Crown case, as the State then was, rested upon the Freedom Charter. They alleged the existence of a conspiracy to overthrow the State by violence and to replace it with a Soviet type of State. The Charter was a public document which contained democratic principles of government recognised throughout the civilized world and the Nationalist Party had even been among the organisations invited to take part in the machinery that was set up to prepare for the Congress of the People. Conspirators act secretly for an unlawful purpose. If we intended working together with the ruling party in formulating the principles that would form the basis of a new South Africa, against whom was the alleged conspiracy directed?
In addition the police files were full of evidence showing non violent and peaceful methods of struggle to which the organisations were committed at the time, evidence which was readily admitted by many Crown witnesses who had watched the activities of the Congress movement for a long time and who knew our policy quite well. I have always believed that the government had hoped to secure a conviction on a charge of treason only be packing the Special Court that would try us with hand picked judges who would use the courtroom for the purpose of giving effect to political decisions taken beforehand by Nationalist politicians. The Nationalist government had done precisely this in the case of the removal of the Coloureds from the common voters roll. Through a special court packed with "reliable " judges they had hoped to put us on ice for many years.
Someone once said that no one knows that kind of government it is who has never been in its jails.
Extent and Medium: 1 page