page 275 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_275.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 9-275

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_275.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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by producing evidents. We had not anticipated such a reaction and had collected no vermin to prove our case. When we failed to comply with his demand he accused us of having brought the vermin from our homes and threatened to prosecute us for making false complaints. We caleld his bluff and pointing to the blood marks on the walls and the filthy blankets and mats, asked whether these things also came from our homes. He walked away.

Later the cells were painted and fumigated and we were supplied with new blankets and mats as well as sanitary pails with tight fitting lids. We were also allowed to stay out in the yard for the greater part of the day. Those of us who were involved in the Treason Trial were provided with a large cell which we used for consultations and where the record of the proceedings was kept. Brighter globes were installed and there was a general improvement in our living conditions.

At Pretoria local prison the black male detainees included those appearing in the Treason Trial. The trialists and non trialists were all accommodated together but in obesiance to the dictates of racism the prison authorities insisted on separating the black detainees by accommodating Africans apart from Coloureds and Indians. It was bad enough that we were separated from our white colleagues but this further separation which had no legal sanction whatever was to our minds carrying matters beyond madness and the authorities faced a chorus of protests from all the black detainees. The inflexibility of red tape is proverbial, but when combined with the small mindedness of racism it becomes truly ridiculous and we had a difficult time trying to get the authorities to understand our demand to be accommodated together. Eventually the authorities yielded a little by allowing the

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