Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #517) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #517)
Transcript: just been convicted by a Pretoria magistrate for refusing to vacate his premises from an area which had been proclaimed white in terms of the Group Areas Act. The prison clothes seemed even more humiliating on such a dignified, respected and aged person. The fact that he was barefooted, despite his acute arthritic condition and which the prison authorities were aware of for he had been imprisoned during Martial Law in 1960 made me extremely uncomfortable in my sandals.
At this stage I suffered a blackout. I fell on the conrete floor and sustained a deep cut just above the left eye which needed three stiches. The doctor later ascertained the cause of the blackout an overdose of my treatment. As a result he cancelled the treatment and prescribed a special diet. On the same day Zami visited me for the first time since my conviction. I managed to assure her that all was well with me. However rumour had it that my health had broken down. In fact I keep myself fit through physical exercises despite the rigours of prison life for a black man in a South African prison.
Among the other prisoners of whom I managed to get a glimpse were Benny Turok and Harold Strachan. They had been kept at Pretoria Central Prison but were transferred to a different section of the Pretoria Local Prison in 1963. I used to stand on a rolled sisal mat and a bundle of blankets to reach up to the little window of my cell through which I could look down onto the exercise yard two floors below. I used to try to attract their attention by droppiing pebbles from my window while they were exercising and though they looked in the direction of my cell I do not know whether they recognised me. But it always gave me pleasure to see them in spite of the glaring contrast between
Extent and Medium: 1 page