Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #537) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #537)
Transcript: keenly to the drama that was unfolding. In tendering bold and unusual pleas we were giving expression to our deepest convictions and not merely attempting to make an impression. What was uppermost in our minds was that the movement should emerge stronger from the conflict a duty we owed to our families, our people and to posterity.
Right from the beginning of the consultations with the defence team we heard rumours that some of the MK men had broken down in detention and would be giving evidence for the State. One of these was Patrick Mthembu, a member of the Transval Region Command of MK, a man I had known since the early 50s. A key figure in the Transvaal ANC he had been one of our first men to be sent out to the People's Republic of China for military training. The other was Bruno Mtolo, a member of the Natal Region Command. Although he was not so well known to me I had met him in August 1962 when I addressed the members of that command on my return from abroad. I did not rule out the possibility of even senior members of the organisation breaking down ddunder police torture but I trusted Mthembu and received the rumours with reservation. And although when he did give evidence he said nothing particularly damaging I could not believe my eyes when I saw him take the witness stand against his former colleagues. There are men who I would never like to see on the side of the enemy, however innocous their activity might be and until the moment when he entered the court I kept on hoping that the rumour might be untrue.
Before the case began we wondered what evidence the State would lead to prove my guilt and although I had met Mtolo the defence lawyers did not seem unduly worried about any evidence that
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