Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #66) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #66)
Transcript: the country in those days. But it soon became clear why he took such pains to stress this warning. One of the members of our staff was Gaur Radebe, the clerk in charge of the African side of the business, and an influential man in the community. A leader of the African National Congress, a member of the Johannesburg District Committee of the Communist Party and of the Advisory Board in Western Native Township, his views were the exact opposite of those held by Mr. Sidelsky.
Gaur Radebe argued that education was essential to the advancement of the African people and that it was quite correct to stress its importance. But at the same time he pointed out that in seeking solutions on questions of this kind we should be guided by the lessons of history and by our own conditions. He argued that no nation had ever been freed through education alone, that history taught that oppressed people are liberated by conquering political power through their own independent mass organisations. Turning to South Africa he cited the poverty of the African, the absence of schools and the small number of African teachers produced by the existing schools, and asked where the money would come from to educate the masses of the people, build the required schools and train the teachers needed for such an ambitious progrramme. Finally, he held that the policy put forward by the African National Congress was the only solution for the country's problems. At other times Gaur would make jokes which would be received with glum expressions. He once told my principal and partners: "You people came all the way from Europe, took our land and enslaved us. Look now, there you sit like a lord whilst my Chief runs around on errands. One day we will catch all of you and dump you into the sea."
Extent and Medium: 1 page