Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #309) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #309)
Transcript: any dispute between a public body and our people. Once your opponent believes that you are powerless and cannot hit back he brushes aside all your logic and insists on his own terms.
The corporation knew quite well that they were dealing with a voteless community and based its whole strategy on the assumption that the people affected by the increase where too poor and weak to resist for any length of time the demands of such a wealthy and influential organisation. Inspired by this mistaken belief they rejected out of hand all these weighty considerations and insisted on payment of the new fare. At this point the dispute burst into flames. Under the leadership of the Bus Boycott Committee the people began to walk to work and back. Starting in the cold early hours of morning often at 3 and 4 a.m. thousands of workers, men, women and youth began their daily trek to the city. For many it entailed a walk of as much as ten miles each way, for almost all it meant a minimum daily total of 16 miles.
The government was no less wiser and no less inept than the corporation. As usual they dealt with the matter not on merit but mainly with thier eyes on the ballot box. A general election was due to be held in April 1958 and the government was not only determined to remain in power but was anxious to be returned with an even greater persentage poll than before. Ever since the Nationalists won the 1948 election they faced the embarrassing criticism that even with regard to whites they were a minority government, having polled only 36 37% of the total votes cast in that election as against the 50,36% for the United Party. Although the Nats increased their poll during the 1953 election they still mustered less votes than the United Party and they were not going to spoil their
Extent and Medium: 1 page