Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #514) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #514)
Transcript: conditions in prison and suggested certain improvements.
As usual prison officials tried to exploit our political differences in the hope of creating further divisions and hositiliy. To members of the PAC they would condemn my organisation as a communist movement which was a danger to all the people of South Africa, black and white, whilst at the same time telling me that the PAC was a danger to them and me alike. But we ignored such attempts.
One day we were visited by the late Brigadier Coetzee from head office accompanied by the Commanding Officer, Col. Aucamp as he then was, and Chief Warder Brits. The Brigadier was generally considering a comparatively polished official but he asked me what tribe I belonged to. Unfortunately I was not in a good mood that day and i abruptly told him that I was an African and refused to answer any further questions on the matter, much to the embarressment of the Commanding Officer. After he had left Brits told me, "Mandela, you've made a very bad mistake today. That is one man you can't afford to offend". Two years later the Brigadier visited Robben Island and an official who accompanied him asked me the same question. Again my reply was identical to what I had told the Brigadier in Pretoria prison; only this time my tone was polite. He remembered the incident and laughed as the official tried in vain to establish my ethnic identity.
But to return to my days with Robert Sobukwe in Pretoria prison. One day towards the end of March or early April 1963 we heard that Potlako Leballo had announded from Basutoland that the
Extent and Medium: 1 page