Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #513) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #513)
Transcript: because the officials were not keen to see us together. In fact although we lived in single cells in one corridor at any given time, and were repeatedly transferred to other sections and back, the Commanding Officer always took the precaution that the two of us always occupied the most extreme cells with the rest of our fellow prisoners made to occupy cells in between.
On a few occasions, as we sewed vermin infested mailbags, we did discuss relatively unimportant matters but never really has the opportunity to settle down to the major ones. This was unfortunate because prison conditions have a sobering effect on practically every freedom fighter, polemics are tempered by the realities of the formidable problems we are able to see from behind the grim walls and the value of closing ranks is more readily acknowledged.
We differed sharply in our attitude to the actual conditions in prison. He carefully explained to me that the main object of his organisation in launching the 1960 campaign was to show Africans that oppression would be destroyed by means of positive action and now that they had done so their aim was to go out and carry on with the main fight against the enemy outside prison. I disagreed with him and pointed out that we were living under degrading conditions and political prisoners throughout the world always considered it their duty to fight for the improvement of conditions in jail. I conceded that these conditions would never change fundamentally until the entire policy of the country alters, but I argued that we could strive for limited improvements in the existing political framework. Although we did not have sufficient time to resolve the matter the two of us submitted a joint letter to the Commanding Officer in which we set out our complaints on our living
Extent and Medium: 1 page