page 159 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_159.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 6-159

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_159.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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Among the leading members of the ANC branch in that area were Patrick Molaoa who subsequently lost his life in the fighting in Rhodesia in 1967, Kate Molale and Joe Modise. Stephen Segale and David Mahopo from that branch played a leading role in organising resistance to Bantu Authorities in certain rural areas. The campaign was one of the quickest and most effective ways of educating the mass of the people as to who their friends were and who the enemy was, and few issues in the country ever brought together on the same platform and against the government black and white, believers and non believers, landlord and tenant as the fight to save the western areas of Sophiatown, Martindale and Newclare.

Of the mistakes we made the most obvious was to run the campaign on the slogan "Over our Dead Bodies", which raised the false hope that we could ultimately resort to armed force if the government persisted in carrying out the removal. This theme was distinctly pronounced in many of our speeches and the people were told to resist with their lives, if need be. Jonas Matlou, one of the leading men in the area, addressing a meeting made what amounted to a call for physical resistance. Dr. Xuma, an otherwise cautious man, could not resist the temptation of reminding the residents of Sophiatown of the electrifying slogan used to rally people to war in the old days: "Zemk' inkomo magwalandini!" (The enemy has captured the cattle, you cowards!)

Tension mounted as removal day approached and we were hard pressed even by our own loyal supporters to arm the people, barricade the streets and fight it out with the government. The pressure became all the heavier when two of our prominent ex servicemen who had fought in the

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