Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #386) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #386)
Transcript: (Retain or omit?: the majority of the speeches were made by men who were ignorant of AFrican problems and aspirations, who obtained their information mainly from press reports, chiefs and headmen, police files and informers, who have never spoken directly to African leaders and who have never made any systematic study of our problems. The most typical example of this ignorance was the man who was in charge of the government department dealing with Bantu Administration. His speech was ridiculous, full of hypocricy and contradictions and at times based on pure fiction.
He claimed that God had given a divine task to every nation in the world, which dared not be destroyed or denied by anyone, yet the Bill he was piloting at the time he preached this sermon sought to further deny us the right to decide our future. His statement that whites had never and would never accept the principle of African political representation was to say at least grossly inaccurate and in conflict not only with the history of non racial societies throughout the world but with our own history. From 1853 to 1936 Cape Africans enjoyed qualified franchise rights and those who qualified were put on a common voters roll with the whites. In 1936 Hertzog altered this system of political representation by means of an act which was passed by more than two thirds of the members of both Houses of parliament sitting together. In terms of the new law Cape Africans would be represented in the House of Assembly by three whites and by four whites in the Senate and two whites in the Provincial Council. White South Africa accepted this system until the Nats abolished it in 1960. Yet De Wet Nel had the temerity to tell the House that whites had never accepted the principle of African representation.
Extent and Medium: 1 page