Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #393) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #393)
Transcript: De Villiers Graaf made the profound statement: "The real crux of the African problem was the vast numbers who had lost their tribal affiliation. The greatest demand for political expression came from the most evolved section of the African population, the section which had been longest in contact with civilisation, the section which included professionals, lawyers, doctors, clergymen, teachers, many skilled workmen".
But in the debate on the Promotion of Bantu Self Government Bill the average white parliamentarian looked at all African problems from the point of view of the whites and not of the Africans. The primary concern of all speakers both from the ruling and opposition parties, including De Villiers Graaf and J.E. Potgieter, was the best formula to save white supremacy and the profound observations mentioned earlier must be seen in this context.
As Chief Luthuli pointed out, Africans did not want the partition of South Africa and we have constantly fought against all attempts to fragment our country ever since the passing of the Bantu Authorities Act in 1951. But the granting of self government to the Bantustans was a radical change in the policy of men who had repeatedly stressed that Africans would be under white rule for centuries to come. This change was not due to the generosity of the Nats. It was most certainly a measure of the strength of our movement. The programme of development envisaged under the Bill was in all respects diametrically opposed to almost every demand set out in the Freedom Charter. Nonetheless it was an ackonwledgement that our struggle for self determination was perfectly just
Extent and Medium: 1 page