Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #373) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #373)
Transcript: Few things indicated just how naive and reckless the PAC could be as the promise to overthrow racial oppression within 4 years of their emergence. In their keenness to keep in line with the Pan African movement they blindly accepted schedules and datelines which were worked out not on the basis of our own situation, but on entirely different conditions in the rest of Africa where British, French and Belgian imperialist countries were already in full retreat and independence of the affected colonies was in sight.
In our country the position was quite different. There was a substantial and deeply entrenched white population which had no parent state to retreat to and which would be dislodged at a very high cost and only after the use of the most extreme measures of coercion. Already by the end of the 1950s many people felt that nothing short of that would remove the yolk of oppression from our necks. Yet not withstanding this and in spite of the gigantic task they had set for themselves, the PAC did not appear to have made any plans to prepare the people for that historic moment and we must assume that they thought that that moment would be brought about merely by going to jail and waiting there for the Nats to fall on their own.
With the declaration of martial law and the arrest of practically all our leading activist it became quite impossible to organise for June 26th. Looked at from the point of view of the PAC the campaign was a success because it put them in the limelight, made an impact on the youth and attracted the support of many national movements in Africa.
Extent and Medium: 1 page