Long Walk- Part 5- Jail Conditions

During my reading of Part 5 of Long Walk to Freedom, the conditions and the ways the prisoners were treated stuck out to me. Mandela was arrested for treason and was therefore imprisoned with 144 other people.

Although our U.S. Constitution does not apply to South Africa, there were many amendments that resonated with me that South Africa had violated. For example, on page 205, they were released on bail. The bail amounts were different for whites, Indians, and Africans which applies to the amendment of excessive bail.

On page 217, during 1958 was South Africa’s general election, but there was discrimination in this election. Of the population of South Africa, all three million whites could vote, but none of the thirteen million Africans could vote. This relates to discrimination based on color.

Also, Mandela was arrested without a warrant, which violates the United States’ Fourth Amendment. Lastly, throughout the entire section 5, the conditions in the jails are not livable for humans.

“It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones — and South Africa treated its imprisoned African citizens like animals”.

Although South Africa abides by its own Constitution, there are certain rights that all citizens of the world should have such as equality and not be subject to demeaning conditions in jails.


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