Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #42) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #42)
Transcript: my stand he would reluctantly be compelled to expel me. I was shaken and spent a restless night. I wavered and did not make up my mind until the very moment when the principal asked for my decision. My personal interests conflicted with my duty to my fellow students and throughout I was inclined to the view that it could be foolish for me to jeopardize my career for some abstract principle to the body of students. I was still in this state of indecision when I reached the principal's office the next morning. But when he questioned me I told him I would not serve on the SRC and expected him to carry out his threat. Contrary to my expectations he then gave me the last chance and told me that I was free to return the following year provided I was willing to serve on the SRC. This is a revealing incident for it showed that in spite of the fact that we enjoyed more privileges in comparison with high school students the Fort Hare authorities still exercide tight controll over studetns affairs. Normally a university student should be perfectly free to decide whether he should accept or decline an election to a student body and the matter ought to have been left there. Nevertheless when I reported the affair to the Regent he was furious and told me bluntly that I would return and obey the principal's instructions. It would have been costly for me to argue with the Regent and for the moment I was content to let the matter rest there. But life has its own way of forcing decisions on those who hesitate. Another matter completely unrelated to my studies forced my hand. Early in 1941 the Regent told Justice and me that he feared that he would not live long and that he had decided to arrange marriages for us before he died. He indicated the girls he had in mind as our respective wives. Justice was to marry almost immediately and I was to do so as soon I had completed my degree. Meanwhile lobola would be paid by the community as far as Justice was concerned; mine would come from his personal herd. In taking this decision the Regent was acting
Extent and Medium: 1 page