Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #392) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #392)
Transcript: denounced the government's aim of developing an African middle class who will paradise in the Bantustans and pointed out that a nation was not made up of traders, businessmen and civil servants. 80% or more of the African people were semi skilled and unskilled workers and peasants. He criticised the government scheme of establishing industries on the borders of the Bantustans as depending upon the immoral use of migrant labour. He also cr;iticised the abolition of African parliamentary representation and its replacement with Bantu Authorities which excluded two thirds of our people in the socalled white areas, and amongst whom were the most educated and politically advanced section. He went on to show that the system of Bantu Authorities made the chief and his councillors absolutely dictators and ended his article by making the point that the government plans were completely unacceptable because they gave us neither freedom in the socalled white areas nor independence in what they regard as our areas.
Although many parliamentarians displayed ignorance and fooled around in discussing the African problems, in this particular debate there were quite a few who spoke some sense and who even made what I consider fundamental observations. The Nat, J.E. Potgieter, declared: "We do not regard politics as the science of government but as the most important sphere for determining all other spheres of your national life".
Potgieter was dead right and the history of mankind owes much to this basic fact and that is why men are ready even to give up their lives for the right to shape their own lives. That is why the black people of our country have fought for so long and stubbornly for one man one vote.
Extent and Medium: 1 page