Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #251) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #251)
Transcript: I have found that to be quite true. A few days after our arrests we were all moved to the Johannesburg prison, popularly known as the Fort. The Prison Rules and Regulations provide that searching shall be conducted in a seemly manner and as far as possible without injury to self respect and shall only serve the object of and be sufficiently thorough for detecting any unauthorised articles. A prisoner shall as far as possible not be stripped and searched in the presence and sight of other prisoners. But there has always been a vast difference between the legal rules and the actual practice of the Department of Prisons. Our complaint has been that our treatment does not even comply with the letter and spirit of their own Prisons Act and Regulations.
On admission we were stripped completely naked and lined up. There we stood for more than an hour shivering in the cool breeze and shy to look at one another. Priests, university lectureres, doctors, lawyers, prosperous business men looked far less impressive as they stood there in their birthday suits trying to cover up with bare hands those parts of their bodies which ought not to be seen by others. In spite of my anger at this humiliation I could not resist the temptation to laugh as I scrutinized the physical structures that surrounded me. Now I fully appreciated the truth of the statement that clothes make a man. I thought to myself that if a fine body was an essential element of a good leader few of us would qualify. Only a handful had the symmetrical build of Shaka and Moshweshwe in their younger days.
After standing there for what appeared to be life time a white doctor came and asked us whether we were all right and when nobody complained of any ailment he dismissed us. We were locked up in
Extent and Medium: 1 page