page 234 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_234.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 8-234


Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_234.jpg]


  • 1976 - (Creation)

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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life. The ANC played no small part in helping to organise the conference. Both gatherings were representative but it shows how strong was the interest of the African people in the whole issue that the Conference was sponsored by churchmen who normally are cautious on matters of this nature.

A striking feature of the Commission is that although it was set up to investigate the socio economic development of the African people, not a single African sat on it. Not only was it all white in actual fact it was a Commission of Afrikaners. Of its 10 members only one had an English name and he came from the Department of Native Affairs. The exclusion of Africans was not due to lack of suitably qualified African economists, socioligists and other academically qualified men. By then we already had a handful of competend men who could serve on any such Commission. But the government was influenced in its choice not by the objective economic and social considerations but by its own political motives and schemes based on the sectarian interests of the Afrikaners in the country. The Nationalist government had already decided unilaterally to introduce the policy of separate development for the black and white races and now they wanted their own specialists to examine the practical problems relating to its implementation. Any assessment of the Tomlinson Commission Report must be made against the background of this fact which touches the nerve centre of any oppresive system. As a scheme devised by the rulers for the African people ints rationale was the grandiose plan of creating an African middle class in the hope that such a stratum would blunt the edge of the liberation struggle headed by the ANC. As such it was nonovel idea. In the history of colonialism, especially in the period when colonialism was forced into the defensive, such attempts have not been uncommon. Similarly motivated attempts

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