Chapter 10 of the unpublished autobiography written on Robben Island. It covers the period between 1956 and 1961 that had been omitted from earlier chapters.
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Title: The heat rises
Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #304)
Date Created: 1976
Transcript: Chapter 10: The heat rises
In sketching the progress of the Treason Trial we left out important events between 1956 and 1961 and without these the story of the struggle of the people of South Africa against oppression would not only be incomplete but many people would probably find it difficult to grasp clearly the reasons for the radical shift in the methods of struggle after May 1961.
In 1956 two black states in northern Africa, Morocco and Tunisia, became independent, increasing the number of independent African states to 5. But Morocco and Tunisia were French speaking countries and, like Egypt, too remote from us to give real momentum to our struggle. Ethiopia and Liberia, especially the former, had always been an inspiration to African national liberation movements, giving concrete proof that even in the capitalist era, with all its enormous resources for subjugating under developed countries, Africans could stoutly defend their independence and competently run their own affairs. Speeches by African nationalists have always proudly pointed to these countries to show that the ideas they were preaching were not utopian but capable of achievment in our own lifetime.
But the independence struggles of the people of Ethiopia and Liberia, as heroic as we have always considered them to be, lay in the distant past. True the former fought magnificently against Mussolini from the mid 1930s and stubbornly resisted Fascist aggression through full scale military operations and guerrilla warfare until the very moment of the liberation of the country during the