Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #91) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #91)
Transcript: The signing of the Pact was followed by a series of non racial campaigns, the first being the First Transvaal and Orange Free State Peoples Assembly for Votes for All whose aim was to campaign for the extension of the franchise to all black South Africans. The League welcomed the Pact as well as the principle of waging joint campaigns but took no part in the campaign for the Assembly. We felt that the campaign should be sponsored not by individuals, but by the political organisations themselves, in accordance with the spirit of the Pact. Although the campaign for the Assembly was announced by Dr. Xuma at a press conference over which I presided, I believed at the time that the Congress would run the campaign. The question of the machinery through which such a campaign would be conducted wa later debated and when the view that the political organisations should take control was defeated, the ANC withdrew its support, a decision which I fully supported.
The 1948 campaign precipitated a crisis in the Transvaal ANC when the executive committee passed a vote of no confidence in its president, C.S. Ramohanoe for issuing a press statement calling upon Africans in the province to take part in the campaign in defiance of the decision of his executive which was against such participation. At a special provincial conference called to settle the dispute, I moved the no confidence motion seconded by Oliver Tambo. The meeting broke up in disorder. In this regard duty conflicted with personal loyalty. The seriousness of Ramohanoe's mistake of flouting the decision of the executive was too obvious and I readily agreed to lead the attack. At the same time I knew throughout the dispute that we were condemning the action of a man whose integrity and devotion to the struggle could not be questioned, and who had sacrificed far more than we had done.
Extent and Medium: 1 page