Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #350) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #350)
Transcript: It was no accident that the police force in Durban was not called out timeously to curb the rioting. For prompt action by the police could have brought the situation under control on the very first night. It was no accident that some of the leading white firms especially let their African workers off early and provided them with transport to go out into the Indian areas. Instances of whites actually egging the Africans on against the Indians were widespread. The authorities intervened effectively only after most damage was done, and then they turned their guns mercilessly against the Africans. The rioting was eventually drowned in a river of blood.
The most significant development from the riots was the strengthening of the unity between Africans and Indians that had been steadily growing since the Xuma Naicker Dadoo Pact in 1947. During the riots leaders of the two Congresses, including Drs. Xuma and Naicker, and others together toured the affected areas in efforts to restore peace and calm.
Because of the wave of criticism against the racial policies of the Nats as well as the irresponsible manner in which the police handled the riots, the Nats felt obliged to appoint a commission (on which no black man was appointed). The Congresses decided to make joint representation before the commission. They aimed to adduce evidence to show that there was no inherent hostility between the African and Indian people, and to put the blame squarely where it belonged. An exhaustive joint memorandum was prepared and Congress workers were assigned to gather evidence in support of the contention. The Johannesburg lawyer Advocate George Lowen was briefed by the Congresses to present their case. But from the outset Dr. Lowen was met with
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