Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #286) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #286)
Transcript: prison and in the van there were small conferences and whisperings whilst others sat with sullen faces. On our arrival in prison they demanded a meeting that evening and I called the men together. J. Nkampeni led the attack: "Madiba (which is one of my clan names), I want you to tell us why you drove away our lawyers?" I assured him that I appreciated his concern about the whole matter but I reminded him that the lawyers were not driven away by any individual, their withdrawal having been fully thrashed out and expressly approved by all of us including himself. He brushed me aside and asked: "What did we know about court procedure? We relied on you lawyers."
Discussion continued and it became clear that there was a substantial section among us that shared Nkampeni's misgivings. We warned against the danger of dismay and panicing from what was hardly a set back. We stressed that in a case like ours we should expect difficulties and meet them bravely when they come. We assured them that, taking into account all the circumstances, we were doing well and that there was no need for concern. As we were pressed for time we appealed to them to accept this explanation and closed the meeting.
Duma and I made several court applications relating mainly to the conditions under which we prepared for trial and the specific issues that arose in the course of the trial. Although newspapers were strictly forbidden we were reasonably informed and on one occasion we became aware of a statement by a certain advocate Louw, son of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eric Louw. He was reported as having said that people would be shocked by disclosures that would be made at our trial. I formally drew attention of the court to these remarks and submitted that in the opinion of my
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