While reading Part 5 of Long Walk to Freedom, one particular section really stood out to me. It was when defense attorney Vernon Berrange began to cross examine Professor Aaron Murray during Nelson Mandela’s trial for treason.
Aaron Murray was the head of the Political Science Department at the University of Cape Town and seemed to be very knowledgeable. Murray was read a number of passages and would then be asked if he thought those statements were to be that of communism thoughts. These passages had in fact been said by Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and himself. He believed all of the passages were communist and in regards to his own statement he described it as “communism straight from the shoulder” without knowing that the passage was in fact his own words. (Mandela 210)
This shows the naivety of some of the people in this trial and how it seems they were just out to get Nelson Mandela and his comrades just because they were black. Their actions were not those of communists but those of Civil Rights activists who were just trying to find some equality for their people. The idea of communism was so broadened that they forgot what communism actually meant.
Communism means a classless society in which everyone is equal regardless of jobs or how much work a man does to earn a living. That was obviously not the intentions of Mandela and his comrades, but there were some similarities, because of the strive for equality.
This can relate to South Africa today because of the racism towards blacks and how they insisted that they were communists. But in reality they never understood what there true intentions were. Or they just wanted a reason to throw them in jail which is most likely the true reason.