Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #260) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #260)
Transcript: Finally the government made sure that we should not find it at all easy to prepare our defence by subjecting us to unnecessary financial and physical strain. Although all the accused as well as our defence team stayed in Johannesburg and although the preparatory examination was held there and a suitable court was available for the trial also to be held there, the proceedings were shifted to Pretoria, 36 miles away. This meant travelling 72 miles daily and reaching the courtroom hardly fresh enough to follow the proceedings as diligently as one ought to. Nevertheless we were encouraged by the knowledge that we were defended by one of the best teams of lawyers in the country, led by advocate I.A.Maisels Q.C. and assisted by advocates Bram Fischer Q.C., Rex Welsh Q.C., Vernon Berrange, G.Nicholas, S. Kentridge, Tony O'Dowd and Chris Plewman, all instructed by Parkington of Messrs A. Livingston and Company. We were also strengthened by the flood of good wishes and solidarity that came from the country and all over the world.
The first barrister we had engaged to lead the defence team was Advocate Rosenberg Q.C. Unfortunately he laid down conditions we could not accept. Important political trials do not involve merely the ascertainment of legal rules and their application to the evidence before the court. In such cases what is on trila is not only the accused and their beliefs but the judges as well.
Where, as in our country, white politicians have persistently assailed the white public with the threat of the Black Peril, the poisoning of wells, communist conspiracies and Russian submarines lurking in our territorial waters, it takes strong white judges to be guided purely by rules of law in
Extent and Medium: 1 page