Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #506) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #506)
Transcript: Telegrams of encouragement poured in from many quarters, including, those from Chief Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, the Anti Apartheid Movement and the Cuban Youth movement. Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, where I had received military training, demanded my release, Joe Slovo was replaced by Bob Hepple, a member of the Congress of Democrats and in whom I had the fullest confidence. He was able and dedicated and this made the task of condicting the defence comparatively easy for me.
The prosecutor Bosch opened the proceedings and called witnesses for the State from all over the country including the Transkei and South West Africa, as Namibia was then known. Among the witnesses was Verwoerd's secretary who testified on the letter which I had written to the Prime Minister and in which I had advised him of the resolution adopted at the All In Conference held on the 25th March 1961, demanding the summoning of a National Convention by the government of all South Africans with a view to discussing a new constitution for the country. During cross examination I asked why Verwoerd had not replied to my letter. His answer was that the tone of the letter was aggressive and discourteous and for that reason the Prime Minister had ignored it. Asked to spell out to the court the aggressive and discourteous aspects of my letter he pointed out that although he was unable to cite any specific sentence as being objectionable, the tone of the letter as a whole was not calculated to obtain the friendly co operation of the Prime Minister. I dismissed the suggestion made by him, and yet upon reflection after the passage of many years, I think there might be some merit in his claim. In fact Dr Steyler, the then leader of the Progressive
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