About this site

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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Black People's Convention

During 1972, a congress of Africans held at Edendale near, Pietermaritzburg decided to promote Black solidarity and to foster the philosophy of Black consciousness.

A first national congress of a newly-formed Black People's Convention was held at Hammanskraal during December of that year, and was attended by some 200 African, Indian, and Coloured delegates and observers. The main theme was that Blacks were becoming ever more determined to chart their own; future and find solutions to their own problems. A series of resolutions was passed: inter alia, opposition was expressed to foreign investment which supported the economic system of I White South Africa and exploited Black workers, and to multinational sport as then advocated by the Government.

During 1973 all the office-bearers except one were served With banning orders.

In 1974, when Portugal granted independence to Mozam-tyque, the BPC and Saso planned pro-Frelimo rallies to be held at the end of September. The Minister of Justice prohibited any ^.meetings to be held anywhere in the country by or on behalf f .Of'these organisations during the period 24 September to 20 ^October. Members of the organisations in Durban and at the ^University of the North defied the ban and did attempt to convene meetings. Numbers of them were arrested and detained under ^the security laws. The trial of some of them, still in progress the time of writing, is described in a subsequent chapter. k,

More than a hundred delegates attended an annual con-Iference of the BPC which was held in King William's Town in ipecember 1975. Among resolutions passed were the following.1 (a) Mr. Vorster's detente was rejected as a move designed to split the OAU and to buy time for the entrenchment of the position of White oppressors in SA.

(li) The MPLA was recognised as the legitimate government of Angola.

(C) The Muzorewa wing of the Rhodesian ANC was recognised, ', and Mr. Nkomo was urged to stop dividing the people. (d) Transkeian independence was dismissed as a manoeuvre to give credibility to apartheid.

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