Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #9) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #9)
Transcript: But whether my father's actual relationship to his monarchs and his ability to influence policy entitled him to be styled premier may be contested by orthodox political scientist. Certainly, if we are guided by the precise political concepts of Westminster, there is some merit in the view that, judged strictly, neither my father, Nqgengelele nor Mnyamana could in any sense be described as premiers. As a rule a premier is the leader of a definite political party with a specific name and a distinct policy on questions of national importance. He is the head of government, appoints members to his cabinet and presides at cabinet meetings. He makes major policy statements and exercises general supervision over government. It would be easy to show that my father was leader of no political party and head of no government, that Amaphakathi (Counsellors) were not formally appointed, but automatically became such because they were the king's own close relatives, influential chiefs or men who had risen to that position through sheer personal ability; that both Dalindyebo and his son, Jongilizwe, had many brothers and uncles who were senior in status to my father; that there was a couple of educated men in the Thembu Court who were more useful to the community than my father could ever hope to be, and that he neither made policy statements nor exercises any general supervisory powers on government. But grave errors will be made if we examine these notions formally and not in substance, for even though in advanced societies such concepts may take specific forms, in less developed ones we may be influenced by substantially similar though not identical standards. The central point in this regard is that the office of premier is part and parcel of the machinery of government. The head of state normally relies on advice of some particular person whose judgement is sound and trustworthy, and who commands the
Extent and Medium: 1 page