Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #495) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #495)
Transcript: The following day I appeared before a senior magistrate for formal remand. I had appeared before him on numerous occasions in my professional capacity and he knew me quite well. On such occasions one is easily flattered by otherwise insignificant incidents. The court room was full of attorneys and spectotors most of whom nodded to me warmly. I was quite used to the idea of appearing in court as an accused person and the presence of my professional colleagues and members of the public encouraged me. Zami, sullen and worried, was present. Perhaps she was thinking of the many months and even years of rigid and humiliating life of a young and inexperienced woman in a wild city like Johannesburg without a husband. The only consolation I could offer her was a hearty nod and a broad smile as I descended the steps which led to the basement of the court. The case was remanded.
The magistrate appeared to be shy and uneasy and I cannot recall him looking directly at me during the brief proceedings. This encouraged me and I realised that even as an accused in the court of the oppressor I had an important role to play; that I represented the great ideals of democracy, truth and justice against the evil of racial oppression which was condemned not only by my people but by the entire world; but we could carry the fight even within the fortress of the enemy and finally disappear into prisons, but leaving behind us service and loyalty to the cause.
A short while thereafter Zami came to see me in the cells below. She brought me new pair of pyjamas and an expensive gown. Prison is no place for waring new clothes. I hesitated to accept the
Extent and Medium: 1 page