Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #94) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #94)
Transcript: for difficult times joined the hard core in the crusade against apartheid. The Assembly held its congress in Johannesburg a few days before the Nationalist Government came to power. The Convention followed two years thereafter and was the first important Transvaal mass campaign to be organised against the policy of the new government. Africans, Coloureds, Indians and whites jointly protested against the Supression of Communism Act, which was thenbefore parliament, and against the gagging of Sam Kahn, a member of the Central Committee of the CP, who also represented the Cape Africans in parliament. Although the ANC had taken part in the preliminary discussions on the idea of holding the Convention and although the Convention was opened by Dr. Moroka, president of the ANC, the ANC itself refused to have anything to do with the affair, again on the ground that it was sponsored by individuals and not by the organisations.
Hardly two months after the holding of the Convention the Freedom Day Strike was held on the 1st May 1950. This was also a Transvaal strike and was again organised on the same lines as the Assembly and the Convention and sparked off the same disputes and recrimination. We also felt that the organisers of the strike were trying to undermine the decision of the ANC to hold a National Day of Protest during 1950, and we felt it would be better to concentrate our efforts for a year on one campaign. Ahmed Kathrada was then barely twenty one and like all youth, keen to flex his muscles. One day he confronted me with the charge that the League did not want to work with other groups and threatened that he and his colleagues had decided to challenge us by appealing directly for co operation to the masses of the African people. Although the threat angered me it had a hollow ring and was never carried out. Today it is one of the episodes we recall with amusement.
Extent and Medium: 1 page