page 328 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_328.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 10-328

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_328.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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their immediate or long term problems.
But this is neither a question of principle nor wishful thinking but of necessity and should be governed strictly by actual conditions. The real issue is whether the use of force will advance or retard the struggle. If the use of force on a given occasion will harm the cause then we must avoid it by all means. But if it will advance it then it must be used whether or not the majority agrees with us. In our case we have to contend with a brutal regime which invariably uses force to break our strikes and to drive the people from their homes to work and to allow ourselves to be crippled by lofty principles unrelated to the circumstances would be fatal.

Our house assistant at the time of the strike was Ida Mthimkhulu, a Sotho speaking lady of about the same age as myself and whom I fondly called Kgaitsedi (sister). She was more a member of the family than an employee and completely ran the house, sat with us at table and even sent me on errands. She was off on Thursday and Saturday afternoons and did not work at all on Sundays.

As I was driving her to her house a few days before the strike I requested her to attend to a family matter which meant she would have to report for work during the three days of the strike. She angrily burst out: "You know very ell I won't do that. I'm not working on those days". "Why not?" I asked, quite surprised. "Have you forgotten that I am a worker. We will be on strike on those days", she told me.

I immediately realised my mistake. Her 12 year old son, seeing my embarrasment, tried to pull me

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