Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #92) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #92)
Transcript: The 1947 Pact ushered in a new formula in the struggle to unite the people of South Africa. But in the history of the ANC it is the year 1949 which constitutes a landmark and in which a serious effort was made to turn the ANC into a mass organisation relying primarily on its own strength and ready to meet new challenges. That year the annual conference decided to use new forms of struggle and adopted a programme of action which made the boycott, strike, stay at home, passive resistance, protest demonstration and other forms of mass action its principal weapons. A Counsil of Action was set up and charged with the task of implementing the programme. Militant mass action was not unknown in the ANC, and in the course of its long history there has been plenty of fireworks and enormous sacrifices were made then which many of us today would find difficult to attempt. But such bold demonstrations reflected flashes of temper and spurts of militancy from men whose policy was to keep their activities within the law.
But now we faced a new situation in the country. In May 1948 the Nationalist Party had shocked South Africa and the world by winning the general election in spite of the fact that it admired Hitler and had prayed for a Nazi victory during the Second World War. For a long time before the election it clamoured for a tougher line towards the black people and had fought the election on the slogan "Die Kaffer op sy plek en die Indier uit die land!" (The kaffir in his place and the Indian out of the country.) As a government they immediately applied apartheid the total separation of the races the most ruthless policy in the history of the country. With the rise of the Nationalist to power the atmosphere of crisis hung upon South Africa and we realised that ours would thenceforth be a land
Extent and Medium: 1 page