Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #496) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #496)
Transcript: parcel but checked myself for I knew that the preceeding events had aroused her deepest affections and that the gesture was her way of expressing her love and pledging her solidarity for me. We hurriedly discussed family matters and I assured her that the strenght and justice of our cause, support, loyalty and solidarity of our friends, and above all her love and devotion would see me through me sentence. We embraced and clung to each other as if to hold back the moment of parting. The warrant officer in charge of the cells was not unfriendly he allowed me to accompany Zami to the main gate in the basement from where I watched her disappearing around the corner.
I was taken to the Johannesburg Fort, again in a sealed van. Cheering crowds had gathered at the exit of the basement shouting "Amandla" and banging their fists on the sides of the van as it crawled out of the basement.
The Commanding Officer of the FOrt at the time was Col. Minnaar, who was a widely travelled and polished Afrikaner and who was considered to be a liberal person by his own kith and kin. He placed me in the prison hospital explaining that it was the best place for me where I would be provided with a bed and table. It was a fine gesture on his part though I suspected that the real reason for his generosity was that security wise the hospital was the safest place in which to keep me. Four gates had to be unlocked before one could reach "freedom" and behind the solid hospital walls was an impregnable bulwark on which there was an armed guard 24 hours of the day. Behind this bulwark was the women's prison, also surrounded by massive walls. Any attempts to rescue me from that side would be even more difficult.
Extent and Medium: 1 page