Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #258) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #258)
Transcript: communictic a statement made by the anti communist Dr. Malan some years before he became premier of the country. But the highlight of the proceedings was when he described as communistic his own statement from an article he wrote in the 30s. He was asked whether he had ever been a communist to which he replied in the negative. When he was told that the statement was taken from his own writings he could only laugh embarrassingly. Vernon was ably assisted by advocate John Coaker who remained throughout the preparatory examination and whose quiet efficiency impressed us all. The preparatory examination lasted for the whole of 1957 and at the end of it Vernon announced that he would apply for our discharge. That brought Oswald Pirow Q.C. into the picture. He opposed our application and after quoting from several infammatory speeches by some of the accused he forcefully told the court that the police had unearthed a highly dangerous conspiracy to overthrow the State by violence and establish in its place a communist State. Suddenly the whole picnic atmosphere that had characterised the proceedings until then disappeared and the accused realised that we were facing a serious charge. We were all committed for trial in the Supreme Court.
However when it came to the Supreme Court trial which was held in a special court sitting at the Synagogue in Pretoria the Crown indicated only about 90 of the original 156 accused and dropped the charge against the remainder. And it divided the 90 accused into three groups. Only the first group of 30 were eventually tried at Pretoria. The main trial began at the Synagogue on Augest 1958.
Extent and Medium: 1 page