Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #41) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #41)
Transcript: until the College authorities accepted our demand for improvement of the diet and the increase of the powers of the SRC. The total number of students at the time was a little over a hundred and only about twenty five attended the election meeting. It was this tiny minority that elected me and my five colleagues. We met the same day and unanimously tendered our resignations on the ground that, taking into account all the circumstances, we did not enjoy the confidence and support of the majority of the students. The principal changed his strategy and ordered that the elections should now be held in the dining hall at supper time the next day. It was a shrewd move on his part because all the students would then be present irrespective of their motives for being in the hall. The elections were held as ordered, and the same six were again returned by the same twenty five. We again met to consider our position, but this time we differed sharply. My five colleagues were influenced by the technical point that we had been elected at a meeting in which all the students were present and argued that it would be morally incorrect to say that we did not enjoy the confidence of the students. They accordingly suggested we should now accept the office. On the other hand I pointed out that the starting point in deciding on our line of action was the boycott resolution which we had freely and fully supported. I argued that our first duty was to ensure that that resolution was put into effect and that it would be shocking if we allowed a well thought out decidsion to be frustrated by our adverseries on technical grounds. I was unable to persuade my colleagues and I accordingly resigned for the second time. The principal called me to his office and at first discussed the matter with me earnestly and calmly. I stuck to my decision but he was patient and asked me to sleep over the matter and tell him my final decision the next day. He warned me that he could not allow any of his students to act irresponsibly and threatened that if I insisted on
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