Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #562) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #562)
Transcript: Quite true, every patriot who raises his voice against oppression, whatever his colour and wherever in the world he may be, is a hero in the Socialist countries and we felt proud and honoured that they should join in the campaign to defend what we had done. But the truth was that the whole world regarded us in this light and Verwoerd and his government found themselves all alone in a hostile world. Hitler and Mussolini, the men the Nats tried to imitate in their relations with the blacks, had been destroyed by the people of the world and Salazar and Franco, the only remaining Fascists in Europe, did not have the courage to defend the actions of this government.
Several considerations influenced our decision not to appeal. The danger of a death sentence for sabotage had been averted in our case and an appeal involved the risk of the Appellate Division the country's highest court of appeal, holding that the death sentence should have been passed, which might adversely affect future cases. Moreover there was the strong feeling that in view of the bold and defiant line we had followed throughout the proceedings, a decision to appeal would have been an anti climax. There was also great pressure on the government demanding our release and it was felt that an appeal would be exploited by them to relieve the pressure by arguing that they could do nothing about the matter until the Appeal Court had given its decision, an attitude which would have been appreciated by mmany Western countries, organisations and individuals that were applying pressure at that time. The first was a wise decision and is by itself sufficient to explain our action in spite of the fact that it may have cost Ahmed Kathrada unnecessary incarceration and Andrew Mlangeni and Elias Motsoaledi a sentence of life imprisonment which the appeal court might have cut down considerably. Subsequent events have shown that we were mistaken on the
Extent and Medium: 1 page