Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #431) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #431)
Transcript: block. A white policeman in charge of a force of African policemen stepped forward and searched the car and rounded off the operation by demanding my pass. I told him I had forgotten it at home and gave him a fictitious number. It worked.
One night I had to attend a meeting in a certain locality in town and a well known priest arranged with his friends to put me up for the night. Naturally he made no elaborate explanation as to who I really was. I must have looked repulsive in my shoddy outfit and with unkempt hair and beard. After the meeting a friend who also knew the family well, took me to their place. An elderly lady opened the door and when she saw me she was startled and said emphatically, "No. We don't want this man here", and disappeared, leaving my friend and me standing at the door.
I had a similar experience when I met a group of men in a certain house, also in the city. When I finished with them I was due to meet another one in the same house. While I was waiting a girl approached, hesitated somewhat and finally asked: "When will you leave? My mother is scared."
But we had many pleasant surprises when we realised that our cause had a wider support than we knew and when help came from unexpected quarters. People we had never suspected of any political convictions, to say nothing of associating themselves with an underground movement, offered all forms of assistance and used their own positions of influence to facilitate our work. Wealthy industrialists, high browed professional men and holy looking churchmen, factory workers, teachers and artisans, took many risks in their desire to help.
Extent and Medium: 1 page