page 223 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_223.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 7-223


Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_223.jpg]


  • 1976 - (Creation)

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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But even of the first occasion I had heard him speak at the Jordans I gained the impression that Tabata regarded the ANC, and not the government, as his greatest enemy in this country, and he spat out all his venom on us. Betweeen 1948 and 1955 I read many of his speeches and articles and found them incompatible with the spirit of unity. Throughout he remained essentially sectarian, pompous and cynical and his views were often couched in intemperate and provocative language. I finally came to the regrettable conclusion that all talk of unity from him was mere lip service to a popular demand from a man whose vision was obscured by his hostility to the ANC and who was ever ready to support any new organisation that came up, however reactionary it might be, if it was also against the ANC. Unfortunately this sustained sneering ultimately blurred the initial image I had of the man and although I still respected and even admired him for the wealth of information he carried in his head, I completely ruled him out as a man who could help unite the people of South Africa. Accordingly when I returned to Cape Town in 1955 I thought I should devote all my attention to ANC work and was not very keen to resume discussions with him. Nevertheless I intended seeing him and the Jordans purely as friends, but the heavy programme prepared for me did not allow for this.

During my first visit I was in the city one afternoon when I saw a report in the "Cape Argus" that Mahatma Gandhi had been assassinated. That was a great shock to me because, although the world associated the Mahatma with distant India, he was always close to us, not just because he consistently supported our struggle at the height of his political career, but because he was one of the pioneers of South Africa's liberation movement. He cut his political teeth in South Africa and

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