Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #246) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #246)
Transcript: Whilst I was enjoying the workouts in the gymn, and together with my political colleagues formulating plans for resisting the whole policy of separate development as outlined in the Tomlinson Commission Report, the government was conspiring on how to crush the ANC and its allies. Ever since the government came into power we had given them no rest in spite of the wide arbitrary powers it enjoyed under the Suppression of Communism Act. Its attempts to immobilise us by means of restricting us in particular areas and forcing us to resign from our political organisations had failed. The Defiance Campaign, the anti Removal Campaigns, the Congress of the People, the Women's gigantic demonstration to Union Buildings on August 9th 1956 were organised under semi illegal conditions and the government was not certain what we would do next. The government felt it had to take even more drastic measures to crush us. In a massive countrywide police swoop it picked men and women under the charge of High Treason.
At dawn on December 5th, 1956 head constable Rousseau, who later became colonel and head of the Security Police in the Western Cape, and two other policemen searched my house, arrested and drove me to my office in the town. Rousseau was driving and I sat alongside him un handcuffed. Along the way he dropped the other two policemen, presumably for the purpose of arresting another political colleague and the two of us proceeded to town alone. For about 20 minutes or so we would have to travel through an uninhabited area and while travelling in this stretch I asked him why he was so confident as to drive me alone. "What would you do if I seized and overpowered you?" I asked. Rousseau:"You are playing with fire Mandela!" I replied, "Playing with fire is my game". Rousseau: "If you continue speaking like that I'll have to handcuff you". "And if I refuse, what will
Extent and Medium: 1 page