page 287 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_287.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 9-287

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_287.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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fellow accused and myself, these remarks amounted to contempt of court and asked that the matter be investigated with a view of instituting criminal proceedings against the culprit concerned.

As students we were taught that South Africa was a democratic country in which the rule of law applied and where all persons, irrespective of their social status or official position, are subject to the ordinary law of the land. I sincerely believed this to be true and tried to plan my life on this assumption. But experience ultimately removed the scales from my eyes and I realised that there was a wide gap between the theory we were taught in the lecture room and law as it functions in society. In actual practice law is nothing but organised force used by the ruling class to shape the social order in a way favourable to itself. In our country it is the instrument employed by the ruling white minority to maintain their dominance over the blacks; where there is a clash of interests the law favours the whites and is more harshly applied to blacks. In cases such as ours the temptation is always strong to administer justice secretly and to refrain from taking any measures which are likely to undermine the position of the dominant group. The culprit against whom we complained was the son of a senior cabinet minister, and, as we expected, the authorities did nothing about the matter.

In the meantime we decided to modify our tactics. After Helen Joseph had been cross examined and re examined, accused number three, Ahmed Kathadra, opened his case by calling Moulvi Cachalia, a member of the executive committee of the South African Indian Congress and a detainee. He was a man of considerable experience and he and Moses Kotane had attended the 1955 Bangdung Conference as observers on behalf of the ANC and the SAIC. Although he could

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