Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #528) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #528)
Transcript: him a somewhat difficult companion to live with for many men. But then we all have our faults, some big, some small and some that never become apparent because the conditions for their manifestation never cut a swathe through one's life. And communal living in the difficult and tension ridden conditions of prison are never easy. John Kgaitsiwe, an executive member of SACTU, and member of the ANC. He had left South Africa illegally for Prague where he served on the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) for a while on behalf of SACTU. On his return he was arrested and sentenced for leaving the country illegally. A gentle colleague, ever zealous to minister to the needs of his colleagues. Aaron Molete, a prominent member of the ANC in Soweto, employee of "New Age", sentenced for CP propaganda material. A quite, humble man, determined and very devoted to the struggle. I never said goodbye to them. Nor the others. The grapevine told me of so many others incarcerated on the Island. I had not even seen them.
I have never been able to ascertain why after just 2 weeks on Robben Island I was transferred back to Pretoria. But i do know that the Department of Prisons released a press statement claiming that I had been removed for my own safety because PAC prisoners on the Island intented to assault me. This was a blatant falsehood because the only group of PAC prisoners with whom I had contact on the Island were my nephew and his friends with whom I was on the best terms. And subsequent meetings with various members of the PAC convinced me that the authorities fabricated this story perhaps to cover their own reasons, perhaps as part of a deliberate design to forment and fan animosities between members of the PAC and ANC both inside and outside prison. The transfer certainly had no connection with the fact that I was subsequently charged in the Rivonia Trial
Extent and Medium: 1 page