Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #323) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #323)
Transcript: The same year a special conference of the ANC in Orlando ratified the Freedom Charter. Although the whole idea had originated from the ANC, and although its National Executive had approved the actual draft, the Charter had not been formally adopted by the organisation as a whole. There was not sufficient time to deal with it at the annual conference in December 1955 and it was decided to hold a special conference for the purpose.
The conference of the Natal ANC had recommended several amendements to the document, including the clause on the nationalisation of the mines, banks and monopoly industry. They regarded this particular clause as a radical departure from the principle of private enterprise and feared that it would alienate the support of a substantial section of our members. But as a result of the disruptive activities of a small clique at the conference, the Natal delegation not to raise the matter at all. Later during the year we discussed the matter informally and at length with the treason trialists from that province and the need for this particular clause was widely appreciated.
Finally 1957 was the year when the ANC adopted a new constitution, popularly known as the Oliver Tambo constitution, and which eliminated the outdated features of its structure and streamlined the entire machinery. The first constitution was cumbersome and lengthy and ran into 26 pages of 166 clauses. It reflected the social composition of the organisation when it was formed and which, in spite of its sophisticated leadership of middle class intellectuals was dominated at the mass level by traditional elements, and which was largely modelled on the British Parliament. The
Extent and Medium: 1 page