page 343 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_343.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 10-343

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_343.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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its personnel was drawn exclusively from the most backward section of the white population and consisted of men who were indoctrinated from early childhood with racial hatred, who were corrupt and who connived at the excesses they were supposed to curb. The main culrits were prominent farmers all or most of whom were members of the Nationalist Party and who enjoyed government support. Except in unavoidable cases the government took no action against those involved and in spite of persistent demands for investigations made by all sections of the population the Nats did nothing to remove the conditions. Finally, the Congresses appealed to the people and called for a boycott of potatoes.

The boycott was planned to be launched by Chief Luthuli but as he was banned immediately before this, the task passed on to Deputy President, Oliver Tambo, who formally announced it at a packed meeting of the Congresses at the Gandhi Hall in Johannesburg. The spirit was high and the mood militant. The campaign caught on and rapidly spread throughout the country. The biggest meeting in the history of the Congress movement attended by 60,000 people some put it even higher than that was held at Curries Fountain in Durban on a Friday night and addressed by Robert Resha, Monty Naicker, Masabalala Yengwa and Vera Poonen. The following two days Robert Resha addressed record meetings in Pietermaritzburg and Ladysmith which were attended by people from the cities and rural areas. Similar meetings were held in the Cape and Orange Free State and in almost all the towns and in some of the rural areas potatoes disappeared from the family table.

To call on the people to boycott potatoes was to ask them to pay a heavy price for potatoes are

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