Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #297) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #297)
Transcript: act of duty and solidarity caused quite a storm in the Treason Trial Defence Fund. The press published our act of solidarity and followed up with a letter by Dr. Hellman objecting to such action by us and pointing out that our homage to Patrice Lumumba was making the Fund's difficult task even more difficult. But this incident was fortunately smoothed out. We, who were on trial for our political views, could not agree to alter our views and actions. We appreciated the magnificent work of the Fund, but to acquice to such pressures would be to conduct ourselves dishonestly. This was something that organisers of the Fund had to recognise and accept. That Dr. Hellman and others we shared her disquiet did so is a measure of their willingness to respect our views. The Treason Trial Defence Fund became the basis for the subsequent Defence and Aid Fund which was established after the Treason Trial to assist political trialists and prisoners in the ensuing period of savage repression that the Nationalist government unleashed against the liberation movement. The sensitivity of the Nationalists to such acts of solidarity can be measured by the fact that they banned the Defence and Aid Fund and made it a criminal offence for anyone in the country to continue this function.
Mrs. Pillay comes from a family of staunch Congressites. Her brother, the late T.N.(Roy) Naidoo, was an official of the Transval Indian Congress and Mrs. Pillay herself has been to prison on several occasions in the course of Congress campaigns. The lunch which she provided for us became an institution in Pretoria. Throughout the State of Emergency she provided out of her own funds daily lunch to all detainees, whatever their colour or political affiliations in the liberation movement. She supplied me similarly throughout my 1962 trial in Pretoria and continued this practice throughout the operation of the 90 Day detention law and no doubt continues to do so even
Extent and Medium: 1 page