This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
Let us Work Together for Unity
South Africa is a beautiful country. It is rich economically. But spiritually it is sick and ugly. Its spiritual sickness and ugliness is a result of the rabid racism, which is both legal and traditional, and dominates South African life.
South Africa is a country steeped in racism. Generation after generation has been so indoctrinated with it that it has seeped into their very bones. The people of South Africa may be divided into two major racial groups:
1.. The whites, who are made up mainly of the Afrikaners and English, a large sprinkling of Jews and Germans and a few Italians, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese and Greeks, etc.1
2.. The blacks, who are made up of Africans, Coloureds and Indians.
When it is opportune, the racist regime refers to the whites as one group; otherwise the Afrikaner is referred to as the volk (the Afrikaner chosen people). The Africans, who constitute the largest racial group in South Africa and who were once considered one group have since, for the purposes of political expediency, been separated into tribal-ethnic groups such as Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, etc. One of the arguments put forward by Nic Rhoodie in justifying white rule in South Africa is that the whites are numerically larger than any individual African tribe or the Coloured or the Indian group.2 He glosses over the fact that 'white' here is used as term that embraces different white 'tribes', any one of which is less than the Xhosa or Zulu tribes, and that the total number of whites is less than the African group itself and is still smaller when compared with the blacks as a whole.
Different Interpretations of Freedom
All people in South Africa want freedom but in the main the ideal of freedom as envisaged by the whites contradicts the ideal of freedom as envisaged by the blacks. What does freedom mean to South African whites? To the Afrikaner it means absolute political domination - naked power and essentially dominance over the blacks. This, they claim, is based on divine teaching. To obtain this political dominance over the blacks the Afrikaner requires and obtains the co-operation of the all whites in the country. But this forced co-operation with other white groups is frustrating to the Afrikaners, whose main desire is the domination of all groups in the country. They yearn to dominate the English because of their 'Boer War memories', and the inferiority complex the English gave them. They would kick out of the country all the 'honorary whites', as well as the other minority groups such as the Italians and the Portuguese. They would only welcome into the country the Nazis, who fled after the collapse of Hitler and whom many Afrikaners supported during the Second World War. The English and the Jews do not fear competing with blacks for economic positions. To them political freedom means getting rid of the prejudice-laden Afrikaner via the ballot box. This because the moment is drawing near when the social advantages of apartheid are outweighed by its economic disadvantages and by its political repercussions.
What does freedom mean to the blacks, who are denied a meaningful say in the governance of their country and who are subjected to laws of extreme humiliation and brutal oppression? It means the destruction of all racist laws, practices based on racial discrimination and their acceptance as full citizens of the country with all the democratic rights that go with it.
Because of the different aspirations of freedom by the different groups, freedom can only be obtained by one group at the expense of the other and therefore one has to choose which side one will support: the dominant white group, whose rule is based on racial oppression, or the oppressed group, whose rule will be a democratic one and race, creed and religion will not be criteria for citizenship.
The Pros and Cons of the Political Situation
How then is it possible to attain the goal of freedom as envisaged by the democratic forces in South Africa? There are many forces opposed to the goal of freedom:
Ø. The government's armed forces are well organised and highly trained using the most modern weapons for war and security. Its political police, known as the Special Branch (SB) and its police force are highly trained. All whites undergo compulsory military training.
Ø. The physical power of the white racist regime and its propaganda have succeeded in intimidating many blacks not only not to resist them, but to even support them in their racial oppression, as is the case with blacks serving in its police, army and navy. Government agents have resorted to terrorising, torturing, kidnapping and even murdering political opponents.
Ø. Government's internal security is tight. Anti-government suspects are banned, placed under house-arrest or banished; others are continually harassed and employers are often intimidated by the SB to dismiss any employee suspected of anti-government political activity. This makes it difficult to organise the people to resist the government.
Ø. South Africa is the world's largest producer of gold and as an industrialised country it has strong trade links with powerful and influential countries. This directly or indirectly stabilises and strengthens the government.
Ø. The whites fear losing their superior status vis-à-vis the blacks as well as their high standard of living, which is obtained at the expense of the Blacks. They have developed a phobia of being swamped by a vengeful and relentless black tide.
Ø. The government, through its Bantustan policy, the establishment of the Coloured Representative Council (CRC) for the Coloured group and the South African Indian Council for the Indian group, hopes to thwart the national struggle as well as reduce international pressure on it. It spends millions on local and international propaganda and makes a great play of its Bantustan policy, government institutions, 'mixed' sport and social amenities.
Ø. There is much disunity and suspicion among the anti-government forces. The methods and tactics employed by the different organisations often differ. Some are prepared only to work within the framework of the laws, others illegally but non-violently, whilst still others work legally and illegally, non-violently and violently, as it suits the moment.
Ø. Whites in South Africa have relatively free access to firearms, whereas blacks may only obtain these legally under the most stringent conditions.
Against these we should note the following forces in favour of freedom:
Ø. Because the whites are, relatively speaking, a small group and cannot trust the blacks so far as to give them military training en masse or put them into important security positions, the overall security arrangements fall on their own shoulders. They have an immense land border and a long coastline to guard, and all the countries bordering it are enemies of apartheid. In addition they must maintain internal security as well as keep the wheel of the economy turning. This, in the long run, will prove to be an unbearable strain on the forces available to the government.
Ø. Generations of blacks have been born into this racist environment. They have had to adjust their behaviour so as to minimise the impact of their humiliating social position and also, in some cases, to deceive themselves to believe that their dignity is not under perpetual assault. Thereby blacks have rationalised their non-opposition, and, in some cases, even collaborated with the government. The advent of organisations such as the South African Students Organisation (SASO) and the Black People's Convention (BPC) augurs well for the future. These organisations are largely made up of black youth - tomorrow's leaders - who refuse to passively accept the yoke of social inferiority. The students' strikes at the various universities in the face of physical attack and intimidatory measures have shown their determination and militancy.
Ø. It has been argued in certain quarters that it is wrong to stage trade boycotts against South Africa because it is the poor (that is, the blacks) who will suffer the most. This is true; when a country becomes impoverished it is always the poor who bear the brunt of the suffering. But we are used to suffering. We suffer every day and we are prepared for additional hardships for the cause of democracy.
Ø. Let South African whites look around at the rest of the independent countries bordering on our country. They will see that their fears of being swamped by the blacks are unfounded. In none of these countries have whites been 'kicked into the sea'. Of course, whites, like all other citizens, must obey the laws of the land, and failing to do so they must expect to be punished accordingly. In all these countries all citizens are needed to help build up the economy of their respective countries. This applies also to South African whites. Under a non-racial government their presence in helping to build South Africa into a leading nation in Africa and an influential nation in the world is important, because they hold the leading economic and skilled positions in the economy.
Ø. There is a strong likelihood that the Bantustan policy will rebound on itself. South Africa's border area will have increased. These Bantustan governments are going to continually 'blackmail' the South African government for further concessions both in land and economic aid, and these rural areas will prove an ideal training ground or areas of transit for anti-government guerrilla forces. The Bantustans occupy only 13 per cent of South Africa. These comprise largely rural areas and can never hope to support their population adequately. Further, the majority of the blacks still live in poverty-stricken locations situated in the 'white areas' and no 'uhuru'3 arrangements have been made for them. Therefore dissatisfaction and frustration can be expected to linger and grow.
Ø. In spite of the Bantustans, the majority of Africans will still live and work in the 'white areas'. The government's policy of 'separate but equal' national groups is meaningless to Coloureds and Indians.
Ø. The Bantustan governments and government institutions such as the CRC and the South African Indian Council may also be points of opposition and frustration to the government. Already an anti-government group, the Labour Party, has taken over power and commands more influence. This may well encourage it to take a more militant stand.
Ø. The government's local and international propaganda mean nothing to the dedicated freedom fighter as the government ignores the fundamentals. The fundamentals are the vote, equal opportunities based on merit for employment, equal pay for equal work, the right to belong to and form trade unions, equal educational facilities for all, the right to associate freely with others and free movement for all South Africans within its borders. Until the fundamentals are attained there will always be violent opposition to the government.
Ø. The internal forces ranged against the racist policies cover a wide front. They include the Progressive Party, various religious groups, the Christian Institute, the Institute of Race Relations, the Civil Rights League, the Black Sash, NUSAS, SASO, BPC, SANROC, the Liberal Party, ARM, NEUM, PAC, SWAPO of Namibia, the Congress Alliance, the SACP and Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), among others. The aims and activities of some of these organisations differ widely but they are all contributing to the eventual destruction of apartheid.
Ø. Increasingly militant organisations have come to accept that the only answer to apartheid is armed force. In the early 1960s the ARM and MK (the military wing of the ANC) launched the sabotage movement. The membership of ARM consists largely of liberals and MK is made up of members of the Congress Alliance and the SACP. Since then, MK and SWAPO have launched active guerrilla movements against the South African government.
Ø. The democratic forces are receiving increasing international support. Organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Council of Churches, the International Defence and Aid and the Anti-Apartheid Movement have consistently assisted us. So, too, have western, African, Asian and socialist governments. The African and socialist governments have also made available training facilities (military and otherwise) as well as arms to help prepare us for the military struggle. Through international organisations such as the UN and the OAU, and the ANC, PAC and SWAPO are succeeding in whipping up resistance to apartheid.
Ø. A small military victory against the oppressor will be small statistically but large politically. The whites have always beaten down the blacks when they dared to rise and tried to better their own living conditions. This was so because the whites had the arms and the military machine while the blacks had their labour power plus sticks and stones. Because the racist whites, based on their belief of racial superiority, consider it unthinkable that blacks can better the whites - and so do many blacks - a small military victory on the part of the blacks over the whites gives the blacks a tremendous morale boost and explodes the fallacy of racial superiority. The whites, in turn, suffer a morale decline and an increase in insecurity. They gaze at the blacks with whom they are forced to live and work and wonder how long these blacks will die for apartheid and how long they can still be trusted.
The Contribution of the Anti-Apartheid Whites
In the South African situation the overall majority of whites support the discriminatory policies of the government, as both the Nationalist Party and the United Party, are advocates of discrimination based on race. However, there is a courageous white group, albeit small, which has made a significant contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle. Members of this group are to be found in the arts like Breyten Breytenbach; in the churches we find such men as Canon Collins, Reverend Michael Scott and Reverend Ffrench Beytagh; in the SACP people such as Abraham (Bram) Fischer, Lionel Foreman and Joe Slovo and his wife Ruth First; in the COD Helen Joseph; in the Liberal Party people such as Alan Paton, Peter Brown, Randolph Vigne and Dot Cleminshaw in the Liberal Party; and we also have the support of members of the Institute of Race Relations, the Civil Rights League, the Black Sash, the Christian Institute and NUSAS. In addition, there are the illegal and violent organisations, Umkhonto weSizwe and the African Resistance Movement. The former has a number of white members in prison. They include Dennis Goldberg, David Kitson, and John Matthews, who are serving terms of life imprisonment, 20 and 15 years respectively. John Harris of the ARM paid with his life on the gallows for his opposition to apartheid, while a number of his fellow members such as Hugh Lewin, David Evans and Barauch Hirson were imprisoned.
Though South African whites and apartheid may be considered synonymous, this is not so. This small group of courageous South Africans makes the difference. The democratic forces are fighting all the forces that make possible and support apartheid, and not the white people of South Africa.
The Development of the Military Phase
Organisations opposed to apartheid have tried all possible methods to bring about a peaceful change. Such methods have ranged from prayer meetings to national strikes but all to no avail. Instead, in the early 1960s the iron fist of the 'master race' became more brutal.
Because of the futility of legal methods, which had largely been made illegal through bannings and new laws, organisations resorted to illegal methods such as slogan painting, illegal broadcasts and sabotage. By 1964 the Nat government had destroyed the sabotage movements and the supreme courts of the land had imposed vicious sentences on those found guilty of sabotage so as to intimidate others from adopting the same methods. The Nat government was riding high while the country cowered.
But far-sighted and responsible organisations had begun, since the early 1960s, to send their members for military training to countries that were prepared to offer this type of assistance, making arrangements with foreign governments for military and financial assistance, and for establishing offices in these countries. Large successes had been achieved in these efforts and a new phase of the struggle against racism was entered into - guerrilla warfare.
Since 1964, the dominant organisations in the field were the ANC with its military wing, MK, and SWAPO. These two organisations have consistently carried out political and military attacks against the racist regime. Both the ANC and SWAPO are members of an alliance, which includes Frelimo of Mozambique, MPLA of Angola and Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) of Rhodesia.
Namibia and Rhodesia
The situations in South Africa, Namibia and Rhodesia have many similarities. This is because we are all fighting minority racist governments. South African and Namibian freedom forces are fighting a common foe, the South African government. In Namibia, SWAPO is the dominant opposition force.
The Namibian situation differs from the South African situation in that the South African government has eventually recognised the right of Namibia to be an independent country, but one which it still desires to lead to 'responsible independence', that is, in which to establish a puppet government.
In Rhodesia the organisation in the field against the illegal Smith regime are ZAPU and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), both of which have come together under the African National Council and are waging a guerrilla war against the Smith regime.
The Fruits of Organised Violence.
Throughout human history man has used violence against man and it is usually the group or class that uses violence most effectively that is most successful in a violent conflict. Man's motive for violence may be broadly divided into two streams:
Ø. to enrich himself at the expense of his neighbour;
Ø. to free himself from the chains of oppression imposed on him by his fellow men.
Seldom has an oppressor restored to independence a servile and unprotesting victim, but history is full of revolts and revolutions in which the oppressed have risen against the oppressor.
Many nations have grown rich and powerful through the use of violence. They have done so through colonisation and the exploitation of these colonies for their own benefit. If we look at the world map we will see that since the Second World War numerous countries have attained their independence through violence. In Africa we have Algeria, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Angola. In Asia we may take as examples China, Korea and Vietnam. Cuba is a notable case in South America, where even at present guerrilla movements are operating in almost all the countries where the masses consider themselves oppressed. World-shaking violent revolutions have occurred in the United States of America (1776), France (1789), the Soviet Union (1917) and China (1949).
The white oppressors in South Africa, who use violence to maintain their doctrine of racial superiority and to improve themselves economically at the expense of their fellow black citizens, rationalise that South Africa is their country, that they are citizens of no other country and that therefore they will fight to death in defending their country, that is, their racist laws. The democratic forces in South Africa appreciate that South African whites are citizens of this country and embrace them as fellow and equal citizens - but not as superior citizens. If South African whites accept our standpoint then together we can build and defend our country if and when it is necessary.
When a successful revolution occurs as, for example, in Cuba and Algeria, those who believe in the overthrown regime had to either leave the country or comply with the laws of the new government in power. The same will apply in South Africa.
In Africa, three countries - Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa - are still fighting against oppressive governments. Some freedom movements in southern Africa have, after travelling the long and bitter road of non-violent struggle, turned to violence. History shows that organised violence, even though protracted, has been the key to freedom for many countries. It therefore seems that the freedom forces in southern Africa have at last firmly grasped the key that will make victory possible for them.
We Shall Win
Apartheid will be destroyed! But at what cost? In the first place it is the government that has the power to change the apartheid laws and bring about peace. It may do this simply by scrapping all discriminatory laws, or by calling a national convention of all the responsible leaders of the country to discuss a blueprint for a new South Africa.
Thus far the South African government has failed to use its power to bring about peace and therefore it must bear all the responsibility for past violence, suffering and death. In the future the violence will increase in intensity and scope. More and more of the government forces will be suffering and dying for a lost cause and all the more fear, horror and hatred will be unleashed within this country. For all this, the government must bear the full responsibility. Apartheid is a lost cause, as can clearly be seen by the retreat of the government from its stand in the early 1960s to the middle 1970s. In 1965 the defenders of apartheid were expected to die defending their country against 'mixed' sport and social amenities; in 1975 they are expected to die defending 'mixed' sport and social amenities. It can therefore be expected that the values the forces of apartheid are expected to die for in 1975 will be different to the values they will be expected to die for in 1985.
The most powerful force opposed to apartheid at present is the African National Congress. But it is relatively weak compared to the forces of the government. Therefore, looking at the situation solely from the view of the physical forces ranged against each other, the struggle will be a long, drawn-out one. But if we take into consideration the international pressures levelled on the apartheid government then the picture becomes much brighter.
There was a time when the South African government and its supporters spurned international opinion, but since the 1960s it has become more attentive. In the field of sport the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SANROC) and the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) have succeeded in preventing South Africa from participating in a number of international sporting events. Politically South Africa has also experienced the 'winds of change', which are mounting in intensity. South Africa was forced to leave the British Commonwealth, the ILO and other international organisations and therefore suffered a loss of political influence and trade advantages that it enjoyed as a member of these international bodies. South Africa was forced to introduce the concept of Bantustans to try and justify its unjustifiable policy of racial discrimination to the world - the very Bantustans that will contribute to the downfall of the government. With the formation of the OAU, more political pressure was brought to bear on South Africa. Some countries tried to get South Africa to change from its racial laws though political pressures, other have adopted trade boycotts and hostile stances towards the South African government.
But what may, perhaps, be considered as the most significant development is that because of its intransigent attitude towards and oppressive pressure on the people of South Africa, the government has forced the organisations fighting for freedom to adopt organised violence against it. In this sphere, governments supportive towards the freedom forces have generously come forward and offered money, military training and facilities, as well as arms to the freedom fighters, while also making their political channels available to these organisations.
This is a force that the South African government cannot stop indefinitely. Vietnam has shown the tremendous cost in money and manpower that is required to combat determined guerrillas. South Africa has neither that kind of money nor manpower. In addition South Africa has a tremendously long land and sea border to guard. Almost four-fifths of the population are opposed to the government, and it has to keep the wheel of the economy turning. All this will place an insupportable strain on it, which will not only crack the 'granite' wall but also destroy it. The democratic forces of South Africa are fighting a moral and just war.
Unity is the Key to Victory.
The Liberal Party of South Africa has been willing to work with all anti-apartheid organisations and has done so consistently. Its membership, when compared with organisations such as the ANC and PAC, is small, but its political role is large. It is true that it has been made legally ineffective by the passing of the Mixed Membership Law: it has officially disbanded. But the passing of a law or the disbanding of an organisation does not destroy the principle of men and women of calibre and character working together. If it cannot live on in the light of day then it must live clandestinely, nurturing itself until the moment once again dawns that will enable it to take its rightful place in society again. The Liberal Party of South Africa is not the first organisation to be cast outside the legal framework of society. In almost all societies where people have struggled for democracy the oppressor has used his power to destroy the organisations of the people. As a matter of fact, Christianity was built on the courage, resolution and idealism of those early Christians who lived clandestinely and who scurried from place to place for survival; those Christians who maintained their principles and beliefs irrespective of the legality or illegality of the matter. Therefore although the Liberal Party has been destroyed by the law, our principles of universal adult suffrage, equality before the law, the full respect for human dignity, that is, full democracy to be accorded to all South African citizens irrespective of race, colour or creed, are indestructible and these principles and beliefs will still live on long after apartheid has disappeared into the mists of time.
The Liberal Party was founded in 1953. It came into being for two main reasons: first. South African whites who were opposed to apartheid needed a political home; and secondly they wanted an organisation that would also be opposed to communism.
At the time such anti-apartheid whites felt that the Congress of Democrats (COD), which had also just come into existence earlier in 1953 and which was an all-white anti-apartheid body, was dominated by communists and hence the creation of the Liberal Party of South Africa with a qualified franchise. It may also be argued that the Congress structure, that is, the ANC, SAIC, CPC and COD constituting the Congress Alliance, did not meet the non-racial ideas of other anti-apartheid supporters. Be that as it may, by 1960 the Liberal Party had an unqualified franchise and was working in close harmony with the Congress Alliance.
The Liberal Party was one of the truly non-racial political organisations in South Africa. Its membership was based on calibre, character and merit and not on the basis of race as determined by the South African government.
The importance of the Liberal Party in the South African political context was that it provided one of few political homes for anti-apartheid whites. Within its ranks black and white were able to meet and discuss on a basis of equality; a unique occurrence within this racially compartmentalised land. And because of this non-racial policy it has been able to co-operate fully with the other anti-apartheid organisations. By 1959-1960 the Liberal Party began to engage in extra-parliamentary struggle, while continuing its parliamentary struggle. It engaged in protest meetings, marches and placard demonstrations, which it conducted alone or in conjunction with other organisations opposed to the government. It officially participated in the 1961 stay-at-home called by the Congress Alliance. Its official organ Contact was the only South African newspaper that reported the atrocities that occurred on Robben Island prison in the early 1960s, under the banner headline 'Devil's Island'. This report was based on affidavits sworn to largely by members of the PAC who had just been released. The government destroyed this organ of the Liberal Party by consistently banning every successive editor.
With the banning of the ANC and PAC, the Liberal Party stepped into the frontline and came under direct attack by the government. Its members were increasingly harassed by the Security Branch and were systematically banned. In 1963, the Liberal Party launched its 'sit-in demonstrations' campaign. This campaign had its successes, but it came to an end because of the persistent arrests of volunteers who participated. But the members of the LPSA have made and are making important contributions in organisations such as Defence and Aid, the Institute of Race Relations, the Civil Rights League, the local UN Association, NUSAS, the Black Sash, the now defunct Coloured Convention as well as in anti-apartheid organisations abroad and in welfare organisations such as SHAWCO3 and KUPAGANI.4
With the banning of the ANC and the PAC, the LPSA made available its public platforms to prominent members of these organisations, thus enabling these organisations to continue carrying their messages to the masses. It also did this for the Coloured Convention when the government banned its national meetings. Where necessary it also made its political and legal machinery available to members of these organisations.
Thus, as the struggle became more and more intense, the role of the LPSA became more and more militant and its co-operation with other anti-apartheid organisations deepened. There was a time when the LPSA was reluctant to work with the Congress Alliance because of the latter's communist membership and the willingness of the Congress Alliance to work with the SACP, but faced with the high calibre of the Congress Alliance and its members this reluctance eventually disappeared.
The aim of Liberals is to destroy apartheid. They have the respect and trust of both the ANC and the PAC. They must therefore use their good offices to bring these two major national organisations as well as others under one roof or at least to a greater degree of political co-operation. It is important that these organisations concentrate on fighting the government rather than trying to score political kudos and vie for the same sources of membership, thus giving the enemy a longer lease on life. In Mozambique, Frelimo was born as a result of a number of freedom organisations merging. In Rhodesia, ZAPU and ZANU have merged. Therefore it is also possible that it may happen here. The name of the new political organisation is not important. What is important is that we get our priorities straight, which means that our most important task is to destroy apartheid. That is why our respective organisations have come into being in the first place. And we will achieve that task easier and more speedily if we fight hand in hand rather than against each other.
What is the Price of Unity?
To speak of unity is one thing, but to actually achieve it is another. What, for example, can the Liberals concretely offer the new organisation? Will they, for example, embrace the principle of armed struggle? The actual participation or non-participation in violence is not necessarily an impediment to unity because a successful army is not only made up of its fighting soldiers, but also of its supporting forces made up of doctors, nurses, propaganda organs, cooks, transport drivers and factory workers. Thus, for those who do not desire to participate in violence there are many other important and necessary functions to fulfil in the struggle. What committees would Liberals expect to serve on in the new organisation? This would really depend on their positive contributions to the new organisation and the give and take and goodwill of the organisations that are prepared to merge their individual identities for the greater ideal.
The PAC has had a short and chequered legal career. It came into being in 1959, when it broke away from the ANC. It launched the 1960 anti-pass campaign that gave rise to Sharpeville and Langa riots. This campaign resulted in many of its members being arrested, and shortly afterwards it was banned. Thus the organisation hardly had time to consolidate itself before it was driven underground. Some of its members are known to have participated in guerrilla activities up north but its total membership and its future potential to the struggle may be difficult to estimate because of its internal divisions. But when it has settled its internal divisions and consolidated itself then it can be an important force in the fight against racism.
The dominant organisation in the national struggle against apartheid at present is the ANC and its military wing, MK. The ANC was founded in 1912 and has used the whole gamut of political weapons in the struggle. These political actions ranged from active co-operation with the government in power with the hope of winning concessions to national strikes in which all the people were asked to 'stay-at-home'. Its political maturity stood it in good stead when it was banned. It soon consolidated itself and brought into action its underground machinery.
In December 1961 the ANC announced its military wing, MK, by launching a sabotage campaign which the government succeeded in halting around 1964. But in the meantime, from the early 1960s, the ANC was already sending members for military training to other countries in Africa and socialist bloc. This has resulted in the ANC launching its guerrilla movement.
The ANC has gone from strength to strength. It has repeatedly carried the struggle to the government inside and outside the country. It has political offices in many countries and it has militant members, some of whom are highly trained in military and non-military fields.
Thus anybody contemplating a common organisation made up of the serious anti-apartheid organisations will have to take into account these cold, sober and objective facts. Determined Liberals may be the political catalyst that can bring this about. This is a worthy challenge and task as it is in line with the goal of destroying apartheid. And if they should succeed, then they would have made a valuable contribution in bringing about a speedier destruction to this curse of racism, which blights our beautiful but unhappy country.