Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #430) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #430)
Transcript: Zami brought my air gun from home and Arthur and I spent our free time at target practice and hunting doves on the farm. One day as I aimed at a sparrow perched high on a tree, Arthur's wife Hazel remarked that I would never hit any bird. She had hardly finished the sentence when the sparrow fell dead on the ground. As I bragged about the incident their younger son Paul, then about 5 years old, was upset and asked: "David, why did you kill it? Its mother will miss it." He was more humane than his father, mother and me put together.
Wild stories have been told or written about my underground experiences some of which were entirely incorrect whilst others were an exaggeration of what actually happened. I still remember "Time" magazine carrying the story that I slipped through a police cordon into my legal offices disguised as a delivery boy. In actual fact my practice was closed before I went underground.
A popular story was that on one occasion my car had stopped at a traffic light next to that of Col. Spengler, then chief of the Witswaterrand Security Branch. This was also untrue. All that happened was that while waiting against the traffic lights, Spengler drove past me along a cross street but his car was moving too fast for him to see me.
I had several narrow shaves from the police and the worst of these took place on a Friday, a few days before the May 1961 strike. That evening I had to meet the Soweto region of the ANC and, to avoid the usuak police road blocks on weekends, I entered Soweto through Kliptown on the southern end. But as I went around a ben I drove straight into what I was trying to avoid a road
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