Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #585) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #585)
Transcript: 9. Denis Brutus and George Peake who were already here on our arrival and who joined us in this section right from the day we arrived here briefed us on the political situation here. (d) the Congress movement asked me to explain our policy to the MLF on prison conditions and our attitude to the prison authorities along the lines indicated in the preceeding chapter. We did the same when members of the PAC and Liberal Party as well as Louis arrived here. (a) Zeph explained the attitude of the PAC and distinguished between their approach on the matter of prisoners in 1960 1963 and now. He pointed out that now they were prepared to fight for improvement in prison conditions. (b) The NLF group were with the exception of Don Davis all young in their 20s or early 30s. They were established in 1962 and lacked experience of having worked in a mass movement. Throughout they tended to look at problems from an individualistic point of view and not from that of prisoners as a whole. For example unilateral declarations to Col. Prinsloo that he would not sign undertakings re abuse of studies. Mlamli was also prone to this tendency and was the first to sign the declaration before we had discussed the matter as a group. Neville was also impetuous and his actions contributed to a great deal of tension. Repeatedly refused instructions given by fellow prisoners. Would not speak on our behalf when requested. (c) But Neville was a capable man with a lot of initiative and had numerous discussions with him on a variety of issues mainly political. We discussed the national question together continuously for 3 months. He always welcomed such political discussions and expressed his views frankly. These sessions became a link between us and brought us closer to each other. (Neville expressed his views frankly and fearlessly however controversial the issue might be. He was short with a small built and my height tended to irritate
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