Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #559) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #559)
Transcript: They did not do so because of any change of heart but because the situation had completely slipped out of their hands. The protest from the masses of the people inside and outside the country was too strong for them to carry out their original intentions. Heads of State in Africa and Europe, including Emperor Haile Selassie, Leonid Brezhnev and Lord Home, several Commonwealth premiers, the United Nations Organisation and other world bodies, the Anti Apartheid Movement and other influential individuals and organisations asked or warned the government not to pass the death sentence, whilst dock workers in various parts of the world threatened not to handle South African goods. Towards the end of the proceedings Judge De Wet remarked to Bram Fischer that we had made a lot of propaganda in this case. That was his own way of acknowledging that as far as the issues before him were concernedwe had eclipsed the government.
Professor Gwendolyn Carter also involved herself fully with the campaign and Adlai Stevenson, the US representative at the UN assured her, in a letter which she passed on to our lawyers, that his government was against racial discrimination and would do everything in its power to prevent the passing of the death sentence. The British author and reporter for the London Observer, Tony Sampson, was in court one day as we came in. He was previously editor of Drum in South Africa and was well known to most of us. When we greated him he responded with the clenched fist salute. He was immediately called out rudely by the Security Branch and warned. He was also in contact with defence lawyers and made valuable suggestions to them. Above all the ANC and the CP abroad were campaigning in every part of the world mobilising support.
Extent and Medium: 1 page