page 334 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_334.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 10-334

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_334.jpg]

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  • 1976 - (Creation)

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page

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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was in flames and pass issuing teams were being rebuffed in practically every village.

The women of the Eastern CApe were the last to take this insult lying down. Government officials who arrived to issue passes found the place deserted with only pickets in the neighbourhood and those few women who had the temerity to attempt to take these documents paid very dearly for their mistake. Under the leadership of treason trialist Frances Baard and Florence Matomela, the women of Port Elizabeth showed a high standard of organisation and unity and a whole diabolical scheme was for some time completely paralyzed.

In October the same year demonstrations began on the Witwatersrand and especially in Johannesburrg where large batches of women gathered at the Central Pass Office, dispersed those who had come to collect passes, chased away the clerks, brought the work in that office to a standstill and forced the government to bring hundreds of policemen to the centre of the city. About 2,000 women from the city's township were arrested and no less than 750 of these came from Alexandra township.

In Natal the demonstrations were led mainly by Dr. Margaret Chueme and Dorothy Nyembe, another old stalwart and treason trialist who is presently serving a sentence of 15 years under the Terrorist Act and took a different form. They were directed not only against passes but included a host of other measures. Dipping tanks were smashed or filles with stones, fences and installations of so called betterment schemes were pulled down, beer halls were raided by women carrying sticks

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