Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #532) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Welcome to the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Project. Our aim is to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela. This is a work in progress. Here is a selection of materials arranged in exhibits for your enjoyment.
Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #532)
Transcript: The menacing shadow of the gallows stalked us in and outside the courtroom throughout that trial. In prison one lived in a pervading atmosphere of the death sentence. Prison officials, maliciously or otherwise, went out of their way to constantly cast such shadows in my path. Some of them may have done so without ulterior motives but at least one was inclined to gloat and taunt. One day Head Warder Schneppel (?) walked into my cell and woke me. "Mandela", he said, "you don't have to worry about sleep. You are going to sleep for a long, long time." Later I was to learn that many freedom fighters have had to endure similar taunts from the police and prison officials. Nonetheless I felt I could not leave Schneppel to savour his taunts with glee. "All of us", I retorted, "you inclined, must one day sleep for a long, long time."
At that time Zami was banned from meetings and confined to Johannesburg. She was unable to attend the first days of the trial. After several representations the Minister granted permission on condition that she did not wear her traditional dress. It is strange that such a reaction should have come from a member of a government that sought to teach our people respect for our culture. In taking this step the Nats expressed their true aim they were prepared to encourage African culture only if it served as an instrument for the propogation for seperate development; for the dismemberment of the African people, not for uniting them; for the maintainance of white supremacy and not for equal rights. What they would have liked done by those who were prepared to accept apartheid became dynamite in the hands of the government opponents. They probably had forgotten the impact made by those who appeared in traditional dress at my first trial. In the Rivonia
Extent and Medium: 1 page