Sequel to Long Walk to Freedom - Revision 4.3 - Chapter 2 Page 1

The Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation
Johannesburg, South Africa

This item consists of 6 pages, numbered 2 - 7, and is an edited version of Item 6. There are some handwritten additions. It is not clear if this version was written first or if this is one of the later versions.

This is page 1 of 6 typed pages, numbered 2 - 7, and is an edited version of Item 4-2. There are some handwritten additions and edits.


  • Title: Sequel to Long Walk to Freedom - Revision 4.3 - Chapter 2 Page 1
  • Date: 1985/2002
  • Original Language: English
  • Transcript:
    My comrades in prison were men of honesty and principle. Bearing in mind how some revolutionaries elsewhere in the world had betrayed struggle on the eve of victory or soon thereafter, they were suspicious of individual initiative. If my comrades had known beforehand about my plan to talk to the government, their concern about one man who was isolated from them doing so would have been understandable. The headquarters of the organisation was in Zambia, where the leaders who conducted the struggle were stationed. Only they and they alone and not a prisoner, knew the strategic moment to make the move. The ANC never deviated from the principle that liberation of our country would ultimately be brought about through dialogue and negotiation. Neverthess I approached government without even telling my fellow prisoners. It was during these talks that Dr. Neil Barnard, head of the apartheid Intelligence Service, proposed that their team had decided to start confidential discussions with Thabo Mbeki, adding that from their sources, he was one person who was in favour of negotiations. I objected to this proposal on the ground that such talks could never be secret, seeing that they would take place in a foreign country, I pointed out that they should contact the President or the Secretary General of the ANC, Oliver Tambo or Alfred Nzo respectively. In added that to start such unauthorised talks might ruin the future of a talented young man's political career. I thought that Barnard had accepted my advice. I was therefore shocked when I later discovered that Barnard had ignored my advice and contacted Thabo Mbeki. But the latter was wise enough and refused to engage in clandestine talks without the consent of the organisation. He reported to the President who authorised him and his friend, Jacob Zuma, to meet Barnard. A dark cloud was hanging over South Africa, which threatened to block and even reverse all the gains South Africans had made in regard to the county's peaceful transformation. 2
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  • Type: Book
  • Repository: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
  • Reference code: 4.3, 1
  • Origination: Mandela, Nelson
  • Originals location: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
  • Immediate source of acquisition or transfer: Donation of the Office of Nelson Mandela
  • Finding aids: Finding aid available
  • Extent and Medium: 6 typed pages, 1 typed page
  • Creator: Mandela, Nelson
  • Conditions governing reproduction: Copyright held by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
  • Conditions governing access: Access by permission of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
  • Collection: Sequel to Long Walk to Freedom
  • Chapter revision: 4.3
  • Chapter: 2
  • Book: Sequel to Long Walk to Freedom
  • Alternate forms available: All chapters have been scanned and saved on disk: NMF DOCS 0019

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