Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #407) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #407)
Transcript: in Kimberley had already been deported to Basotholand. Joe Mathews who was practising as an attorney in Durban when martial law was declared also fled there. Both were present when we met Ntsu who invited us to hold the proposed conference in Maseru. We thanked him for his kind gesture but were unable to accept his invitation as final arrangements had already been made to hold it at Pietermaritzburg.
In the meantime Z.B. Molete was touring South Africa, in the course of which he released a press statement announcing the withdrawal of the PAC from the All In National Action Council. As far as I can recall now no official explanation was given to us on the matter, except that we assumed that considerable pressure was put on him by members of his organisation to pull out. But once they had done so, the Liberal Party and the Institute of Race Relations follows suite on the ground that the African people were no longer united on the question. But Julius Mali had an independent mind and remained chairman of the Council in spite of the withdrawal of his organisation. A strong delegation from the Brakpan branch of his party however did also attend the Pietermaritzburg Conference. But from now on the task of organisaing that Conference fell solely on the Congress movement. My ban was due to expire shortly before the Conference and I was scheduled to be the main speaker but we kept the matter secret.
No less than 1,500 delegates from all walks of life attended the Conference and crowds milled around the hall. The Congress movement in Pietermaritzburg and especially Harry Gwala, Chota Motala, Archie Gumede and Mandla Sithole, arranged for the accommodation of delegates. The
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