Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #333) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #333)
Transcript: have fared better and the women cautioned and discharged if he were the cringing type or supporter of apartheid. But as many of us already knew, he was a fearless fighter and turned the courtroom into a battleground between the forces of freedom and those of reaction.
From the outset he met with open hostility from the police, the prosecutor and the magistrate and, on the instruction of the latter official, he was ultimately manhandled and bundled out of court. Finally the women were found guilty and in my opinion given a harsh sentence for what was essentially a petty technical offence.
That incident lit a flame and served as a source of inspiration to the women in their struggle against these relics of feudal oppression in our country. The anger of the people had been smouldering quietly ever since it became known that the Nats were planning this humiliation for our women. That anger now burst into the open and rapidly spread to other areas. One of the freedom songs which the women used to whip up enthusiasm for the demonstrations centred around the Winberg court incident and expressly mentioned names of the lawyers involved namely, Lukele, Tambo, Nokwe and Mandela.
From Winberg the scene shifted to the south eastern Transvaal, especially Standerton, Heidelberg, Balfour and other dorps where hundreds of women refused to take passes. Oliver Tambo ably defended most of these cases and as a prominent official of the ANC worked closely with local branches in the areas and with Mrs. Meloa, the organiser of the League. By 1958 the entire region
Extent and Medium: 1 page