Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #534) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #534)
Transcript: 1914 Rebellion). The court was packed not only with spectators but with representatives of foreign governments and other VIPs. Top police officers were also in court and they had a tight cordon of policemen lined up between the accused and the spectators in an attempt to create an atmosphere that this was an extraordinary trial requiring the utmost vigilance on their part. As each accused walked up to the dock from the court cells there was a warder in front of him and one behind. To enhance the drama the State had made arrangements to broadcast live the opening address of the prosecutor Dr. Percy Yutar. For this purpose microphones were installed on his table as well as before the judge. The defence lawyers immediately stole the initiative by making an application to the court for the removal of the microphones on the grounds, inter alia, that the proposed broadcast was not in uniformity with the dignity of the court. In spite of Yutar's strong plea for their retention the judge ordered that the instruments be removed. The defence went on to strike the second blow when counsels Bram Fischer and Dr. George Lwen launched a formidable attack on the indictment and had it thrown out. But this was only a temporary victory and all the accused were re arrested even before the presiding judge had left his seat. It was nevertheless a blow to a government which saw in this case not only an opportunity to remove from the scene influential figures in the liberation movement but which they hoped would pave the way for those stooges who were prepared to operate the machinery of oppression. Through this case it also hoped to rally the whites behind itself so that from now on the Nats would be regarded as the saviours of white South Africa. A new indictment was soon framed and we were again brought before the judge. Although the trial was being held in Pretoria, which is 36 miles from Johannesburg where most of our relatives and our people lived, large crowds once again gathered inside and outside the court. This did not suit
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