Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #152) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #152)
Transcript: years later.
During the 11 months in which I was Transval President, I worked closely with my predecessor J.B. Marks and frequently consulted him on many problems. On some occasions we arranged for him to attend Executive meetings. It was correct that I should give him the full opportunity of taking part in the affairs of the Transvaal for he was the man we all regarded as the head of the province.
My ban drove me from the centre of the struggle to the sidelines and although I was often consulted and could influence the directions of events, I could do so only from a distance and when expressly asked. No longer was I vital organ of the body the heart or the backbone. Now I was like a severed limb or one of the several walking sticks used as occasion demanded. Not even the most disciplined activist would like to be used as a rubber stamp, and to advise when not requested can hurt and offend. Even freedom fighters striving for a new social order must respect the law. It is not only the instrument the oppressor uses to enforce his policy, but a means of regulating our own relations and activities. Once a man is ordered to resign from a legal organisation and members properly appoint another in his place, the former ceases to hold that position and can no longer wield the authority he once possessed, however highly placed he might have been before he was banned. Strictly speaking there is no right of interference even when things are going wrong.
The purpose of those bans was, and still is, to deprive the organisations of the services of their most active and experienced functionaries who could build the machinery of the organisation and hold
Extent and Medium: 1 page