Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #201) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #201)
Transcript: My arrival coincided with the meeting of a special committee appointed to handle the whole question of the Transkei changing from the Bunga system tot the Bantu Authorities. For the greater part of their history the Transkeian Territories were treated as a separate administrative area and in due course even developed a system of local government which, despite its weaknesses and shortcomings and there were many was perhaps the most advanced to be found in any of the country's African areas.
Politically the Transkei had 26 magisterial districts with Mthatha as capital. By 1955 the Council system had existed in certain of these areas for about 61 years and from 1926 every district has its own Council, all of which were in 1932 federated into the United Transkei General Council (Bunga) with jurisdiction over the entire area and consisting of 108 members made up of the chief magistrate as chairman and 26 magistrates, all whites, and 81 African members. Each of the District Councils elected from its own members 3 representatives and the 3 Paramount Chiefs of Thembuland, Eastern and Western Pondoland were ex officio members. It is ironical that the Gcaleka chief, who is the traditional head of all the Xhosas (a district from the Tembus, Pondos, Pondomises, Bacas and Xesibes) on both sides of the Kei, and member of the most influential Royal Houses in the country, should have been denied by the government official recognition as Paramount Chief and ex officio member of the Bunga. The authorities have always been hard on the house of Gcaleka and that of his brother Rharhabe, because of their stubborn refusal to submit to foreign rule. Official policy has been to crush that Chieftency and to eliminate its influence
Extent and Medium: 1 page