Welcome to the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project. Our aim is to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela. This is a work in progress. Here is a selection of materials arranged in exhibits for your enjoyment.
Transcript: Chapter 4: Days of Commitment
In South Africa the worst forms of racialism are practiced and white supremacy is rigidly maintained by law and tradition and the black man suffers numerous indignities in his daily life. A white skin is the qualification to political rights, economic power, social status and to a free and full life. The colour bar is the South African way of life.
The country's population in 1946 was 11,415,925 consisting of 7,830,559 Africans, 928,062 Coloureds and 285,200 Asians a majority of 9,043,881 blacks as against a minority of 2,372,044 whites. In addition, the blacks provided, as they still do, the labour force essential for industry, commerce, communications and agriculture and yet only whites have voting rights, can be members of parliament, the provincial councils and local authorities. Judges, magistrates, registrars and clerks of court, senior army and police officers are invariably whites and blacks have until recently been totally barred from serving in the army. But in the early 60s a Coloured army corps was established, followed in the 70s by one for Asians. In the Bantustans a police force that is officered by Africans is in the process of formation and there are parallel developments for Colouredsand Asians in their respective areas, whilst the threat of guerilla warfare has forced the government to abandon the established policy and to send black men to fight against their own brothers on the country's borders.
But these are innovations which have not changed the basic policy of the country in which whites