Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #544) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #544)
Transcript: Our was a poltiical trial par excellence and political issues dominated it from beginning to end. It was not only a judicial examination in which the judge tried to determine questions of law and fact but a continuation of the anti apartheid struggle that was raging fiercely here at home and for which South Africa was being bombarded by democratic forces in every part of the world.
In this context we were right in the front line and our whole bearing and tactics were influenced partly by this fact and the knowledge that history was on our side. Moreover to anticipate accurately the line your opponent will take in dealing with you is frustrating to him, for such anticipation is equivalent to taking over his weapons and using them against him.
The State had hoped to pin on us he label of irresponsible and untruthful agitators who were out to murder all and sundry including the aged and children and who would rape women when operations started. But the fact was that men who were facing a capital offence showed more respect for truth than their opponents and destroyed all prospect of the enemy exploiting the case to his advantage.
The first defence witness was Walter Sisulu. He had to bear the brunt of the cross examination the prosecution had prepared for me. In his characteristic calm and collected manner he withstood what was perhaps the severst barrage of questions to be put to the accused. Always a dependable representative of the movement he explained our policy in simple and clear terms. He admitted that
Extent and Medium: 1 page