Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #63) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #63)
Transcript: The University of Natal organised separate classes for its black students. In 1959 the white universities were prohibited by legislation from admitting black students. But the legislation could not rob our English universities of the honour of having taken the bold step to open their doors to black men in a country where racial prejudice has struck deep roots. They have produced teacher, doctors, lawyers and other trained men who today are providing leadership in various fields.
At the end of 1941 I lived again with Reverend Mabutho and then with Walter Sisulu in Orlando. But when I enrolled at Wits it was convenient for me to live in town. Festile arranged for me to stay free of charge at the headquarters of the Witswatersrand Native Labour Association, the distributing agency for mine labour on the Witswatersrand. The place also accomodated chiefs and other important visitors, and I had the privilege of meeting prominent people from all over South Africa. I well remember meeting Regent Mantsebo Mshweshwe from Basutoland. She was accompanied by Chiefs Lerothodi Mojela and Nkwebe Sempe, both of whom knew Sabata's father from Lovedale. For about an hour I seemed to be back in Thembuland as they gave me interesting accounts of him as a student and asked significant questions about the Transkei. Both were fluent in English and appeared better information on current topics than the average South African chief.
Then Regent Mantsebo spoke to me in Sesutho and realised that I could not speak the language. "What kind of lawyer will you be who cannot speak the language of his own people?" she asked. The question embarassed me and sobered me at one and the same time. I showed how sectarian and selfish and unprepared I still was for the simple task of serving my people. I was a stranger to my
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