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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.



6 March 1990


Kay/Norman from Carl

1.. Masha and I have been trying to dissuade Theo from his stated intentions since he came back from Jessy and seemed to have cooled a bit.

1.1. We think it is possible for him to change his mind even though he still maintains he is retiring.

1.2. We do not know how you have dealt with the matter but we have speculated on the likelihood that you may have given the task of resolving the matter to X and or Sipho.  This is his guess as well.  This will not be good enough.

1.3. Thus far there has been no contact between him and X because Theo is still at Lobby and will only be leaving for Jessy tomorrow or Thursday 08/02.

2.. Masha and I have agreed to communicate with you to ask that Theo's decision not be accepted.

2.1. We therefore suggest that the best way a crisis can be averted is to at least begin to give an indication that concrete attention has been given to some of the main problems that have resulted in his decision.

2.2. In this regard, we hope that you used the recent presence of GM and HG at HQ to iron out some of the thorny issues raised in his communication.  This, we think, can be his only consolation, because he maintains he knows you have not even addressed the matter by confronting the issues but are relying on X intervening.  This, he told us, will not help change his mind.

2.3. Theo reported to me that he has made Gemma privy to his decision.  Please ask Gemma also to try to persuade him against the decision.

2.4. The matter deserves the swiftest attention and resolution.  If there are not positive steps taken urgently then the comrade will leave.  I need not say that Vula would be doomed if that were to happen.

3.. Although Masha and I profoundly and vehemently disagree with the step he has decided to take and we think it cannot be justified by any means, we agree with all his criticisms and observations made in his letter to the NEC.

4.. I need also not say that although Theo is here and I began drafting this comm in his presence he is not aware of it and its dispatch.  Masha and I decided to communicate without his knowledge to try to let you help us solve the problem

4.1. I do not, however intend to open a separate comm and the response to this comm may well land with him.

5.. Please furnish us with further briefing about the recent meetings involving Sipho.  You have no idea how bewildering the situation is becoming for some key activists with all the briefing that we get from newspapers and all the press statements made by ANC officials.

5.1. One would have thought this would be the time when comm between HQ and its underground structures would be at its most dynamic because of the speed of events and the urgency with which we have to wrestle with emergent problems.

End Kay/Norman


1.. Can you now send precise date of arrival of Daniel as Carl will also have to proceed to Jessy for his reception etc.  Provide contact arrangements as well.

2.. We hope the rest of the money is coming this week.

For Pete

Please pass on to JZ this s.o.s. for Phillips funds.  He is desperate and has been urging me to get word from JZ about the funds for his outfit.

That's all.




The following was adopted at recent NEC meeting at which Sipho was present.  More to come later.


1.0. Introduction

1.1. The conditions are now ripe for the development of the ANC into a mass vanguard movement.

1.2. Such an ANC must be a solid and democratic organization based firmly on the ground through its regional and branch formations.  It should also operate on a consistently democratic basis and serve as an important example, in this regard, to other democratic forces.  It must also, at all its structural levels, express the social composition of the forces of our revolution.  The ANC must redress the organizational weaknesses manifested in mass organization in the recent past – in particular that of failing to organize adequately in the rural areas.

1.3. To achieve the tasks set out in 1.2 the ANC will be required to address the following problematic areas:

1.3.1. avoid over-concentrating the resources and decision-making process for a region in one town.

1.3.2. the composition of the Interim Leadership Core (ILC) must reflect gender, generational, sectoral, racial and regional considerations.  The present proposal from the ILC is almost purely African, make and weighted heavily to Johannesburg.

2.0. The leadership organs

2.1. The Interim Leadership Core (ILC)

2.1.1. The ILC will consist of 3 plus 1 from each of the regions, plus heads of departments at HQ, plus these NEC members who are going in.

2.1.2. Shall plan and direct – under the NEC – the operations of the legal ANC;

2.1.3. Shall set up interim regional committees throughout the country with the full participation of the respective regions;

2.1.4. Shall have its national headquarters in Johannesburg with offices which accommodate the five national offices/departments.  These offices shall be located separately from that of the PWV area.

2.2. Regional Committees

2.2.1. Shall be set up on an interim basis pending regional conferences.  Details on zones/branches to be left to RC's in consultation with the ILC.

3.0. National structures

In line with urgent organizational priorities the following organs shall come into existence:

Office of the National Organiser

Dept of Information and Publicity

National Political Education Committee

National Finance Control Committee

Administrative Secretariat

The heads of all these departments shall be members of the ILC.

3.1. Office of the National Organiser

3.1.1. This structure shall be key to the development of the ANC.

3.1.2. Senior cadres shall be appointed to work in this structure.

3.2. Department of Information and Publicity

3.2.1. Shall be responsible for publicity and propaganda work;

3.2.2. Specialised sub-committees shall deal with the two tasks;

3.2.3. People with special skills in media work shall be appointed to this structure.

3.2.4. Shall consider the launching of an ANC-allied daily newspaper with other democratic forces.

3.2.5. Shall work to transform Mayibuye into an ANC weekly.

3.3. National Political Education Committee

3.3.1. Shall draft syllabi, produce and distribute political education resources;

3.3.2. Shall assist in the establishment of regional political education structures.

3.4. National Finance Control Committee

3.4.1. Shall monitor the receipt, allocation and spending of funds;

3.4.2. Shall be composed of politically senior cadres with a financial feel;

3.4.3. Shall have under it two following bodies:  Treasury and Fund Raising Committee:

3.4.3a. Treasury:

1.. Shall consist of full-time staff responsible for the day-to-day financial affairs of the ANC.

2.. Staff members shall have the qualifications necessary for the keeping of accurate and financial accounts as well as a proven track record of integrity and political commitment.

3.4.3b. Fund Raising Committee:  Shall have a national character composed of a 4 person team which is financially and politically trustworthy and possessing fund-raising skills.

3.5. Administrative Secretariat:

3.5.1. Shall be headed by an Administrative Secretary;

3.5.2. Its tasks shall include:

-. staff supervision;

-. assist in ensuring the all-round security of the office, leadership & personnel.

-. Intra-movement communications, including a permanent courier service with Lusaka.

NB:  All the departments/committees will work under the guidance of the ILC, which in turn will operate under direction of the NEC.

4.. ANC Regional Divisions

The question of the regional division of the ANC is a complex one, and needs to be carefully considered.  The question of whether we should revert to the old provincial structures, or have regions without provinces will require a decision at Conference.  At the moment the principal task is to ensure strong ANC organization in all regions.

4.1. Should we copy UDF or COSATU?

The Cosatu and UDF regional divisions are as follows:

Cosatu. UDF

Highveld. N. Transvaal

N. Transvaal. S. Transvaal

Witwatersrand. Orange Free State

W. Transvaal. W. Cape

OFS/N Cape. E. Cape

W. Cape. Border

E. Cape. Natal

S Natal. N Natal

We believe that both of these regionalization structures are more realistic than an old 4 provinces approach.  However, while basing ourselves somewhat on these approaches, we should also adjust the ANC regions to accord with the character and strategic tasks of a mass ANC.

4.2. Proposed ANC regions

The country should be divided into regions.  Regions should themselves, in accordance with the realities, further create sub-regions, zones and branches.  The country should be divided into the following regions (14):

Region. Regional HQ

Western Cape. Cape Town

Northern Cape. Kimberley

Eastern Cape. Port Elizabeth

Border. East London

Transkei. Umtata

Southern Natal. Durban

Midlands. Pietermaritzburg

Northern Natal. Empangeni

Northern Orange Free State. Welkom

Southern Orange Free State. Bloemfontein

Northern Transvaal. Pietersburg

PWV. Johannesburg

Western Transvaal. Rustenburg

Eastern Transvaal. Nelspruit

5.0. Membership

5.1. Shall be open to all South Africans above the age of eighteen (18) who accept the policies of the ANC;

5.2. Members shall actively involve themselves in the political life of the ANC;

5.3. Members shall pay a subscription fee calculated as a percentage of their income;

5.4. Non-earning members shall pay a nominal fee.

6.0. Sectoral Organisations

6.1. There shall be at least three sectoral structures of the ANC: pioneers, Youth League and Women's League.

6.2. Membership of the Women's League shall be open to all women above the age of 18 who shall be members of the ANC;

6.3. The Youth League shall consist of persons from the age of 14, members will be entitled to full ANC membership from the age of 18;

6.4. Details of the two leagues should be worked out by their respective sections;

6.5. The pioneers will be open to those aged 7-13 years.

7.0. ANC Constitution

The NEC should urgently mandate the Legal Department to work out an interim constitution on the basis of the 1958 constitution and the 1985 NCC II documents.  This interim constitution shall be operational until the 1990 National Conference is held.

8.0. UDF and Affiliates

8.1. In working out the relationship between the ANC and the UDF we should take note of the following:

-. that the building of the ANC shall not be possible without the active involvement of comrades of the UDF;

-. that as ANC structures are strengthening UDF structures will inevitably get bypassed by present UDF affiliates and allies in favour of the ANC.

8.2. We shall have to consider the future of the UDF affiliates under two categories:

-. political groupings such as the NIC, TIC, JODAC, should phase out and their members join the ANC on an individual basis.  This should be realized in consultation with and within these organizations.

-. Sectoral organizations such as civics, professional bodies, business, student, sports and cultural organizations must be strengthened.

The issue of structured coordination between them must receive consideration.

8.3. We thus envisage a process whereby the UDF's character will change.

9.0. Alliances

The following alliances will have to be developed:

-. the revolutionary alliance of the ANC-SACP-COSATU;

-. a broad patriotic front consisting of both CDF forces and those with whom we are in agreement on tactical issues.

10.. Security

We need to pay considerable attention to this area.




The following are some points that arose at a subcommittee meeting on retailer- building.  Please give us your input and recommendations.

1.. The retailer must take up the legal space and aim to open up that space defiantly.

2.. The retailer organization will operate at the legal and the clandestine level.

3.. However, beyond the self-evident necessity for the underground as a reserve or holding operation, we are not clear on exactly what the underground will do.

4.. The underground and the overt organization will be linked at the national level only (at this stage).

5.. Probation rules should be suspended to draw in the tried and tested members of the TUM and the other organizations of MDM asap.

6.. Recommendations for the national core which will be mandated to build the retailer: Theo, Marsha, Daniel, Carl, R. Mhlaba, Kathy, A. Mhlangu, Chris Dlamini and CC members.

7.. The core together with the centre will work out perspectives, plans, organizational guidelines.

8.. Reinforcements from the outside who will be full time organizers/staff.  Recommendations are : Jeremy, Goldberg, Raphael, Geraldine, Isaac, Mzasla, Van Zijl (propaganda).  Both Essop and Bobby have applied to work as full time functionaries of the retailer.

John here:

Ø. Comrades, I have done my best to secure your money.  We too are in a dire situation.  Every time we raise it with Mike we just get told there's a financial crisis at the moment.  The last I heard was that Miles – our money-may was in Tunisia looking for money.

Ø. Theo suggests you both (Carl/Marsha) visit Jessy on the 16th so as to meet up with Daniel.  (Note from John:  have had no confirmation from Daniel that his engagement is definitely for 16th but that is date he is booked for.)



1.. At meeting of the ZOPC today a number of reports on developments with regard to the organization of the ANC were tabled.

2.. There was concern and disappointment about the following actions of Comrade Harry Gwala:

2.1. He has through Linda Zama made contact with a number of activists including a member of the APC of one of the areas in Durban and want to work with the ANC and to ask them to attend a meeting in Pietermaritzburg on the 17 March 1990.

2.2. He has sent a message to the UDF and COSATU that delegations from these structures should also attend the above meeting.

2.3. He has requested the executive committee of the NIC to attend a meeting with him in PM. on Thursday 15 March.

3.. The above developments are completely contrary to a briefing that the DPC had received on the organization of the ANC internally.  The DPC was informed that Natal would be divided into three regions, and that each region would have an "IRC" appointed to take charge of the organizing process.

4.. The ZOPC firmly believes that these initiatives by Comrade Gwala are not constructive and could exacerbate problems in the ranks of the movement in this region.

5.. The DPC has not been briefed about the decisions of the NEC in respect of the person/s charged with organizing this region.  Nonetheless, the partiality of Comrade Gwala in this region leaves us in doubt about his suitability as the sole leadership figure in this region.

6.. The ZOPC urges both HQ and Comrade Sisulu to intervene urgently.  The above approach must be stopped immediately.  The possible damage to the creation of a positive foundation for the building of the ANC is a matter of grave concern.

7.. As an alternative, the DPC suggests the following approach:

7.1. That the building of the ANC must not be handled by an individual, but by a collective which enjoys sufficient legitimacy in the region to unite all the forces in the region and start the process of eliminating all forms of factionalism;

7.2. That the division of Natal into three regions is respected in this process and that the process is launched separately in each region.

7.3. The DPC has already communicated its recommendations on the comrades who should constitute the regional committee.

7.4. Once this collective has been appointed in each region, it is suggested that the following procedure is followed:

(a). a meeting of all organizations, sectors, individuals likely to have an interest in the building of the ANC is convened by the UDF;

(b). this meeting should be addressed by Comrade Sisulu and members of his committee;

(c). Comrade Sisulu introduces the regional committee to the meeting and briefs the gathering, in outline, on the procedure to the pursued by the regional structure and the contributions that the people present can make to the process.

(d). the regional committee should immediately appoint organizers from the region who will first be trained and briefed about their tasks.  Appropriate consultations should the place both with the underground, where it exists, and with the UDF before the appointment of the organizers.

(e). Comrade Sisulu must also lay the basis at this meeting for greater unity among members of the ANC and call for all forms of sectarianism and factionalism to stop.

8.. The ZOPC is in the process of formulating more detailed proposals on the organizing process.  This will be submitted shortly.

9.. The DPC emphasizes the urgency of the above.  We must urge that HQ responds to this communication as soon as possible in order that we may correctly respond to the initiatives taken by comrade Gwala.

10.. We are anxious that the building of the ANC starts on a correct and positive basis.


R16MAR 1990 BOOK No. 1

HG confronted by Slovo and Nzo

This message I sent to Theo Thursday.  He asked me to send it to you:

Mike forgot to send off details re Danny's contact:

Recognition signals for Daniel:  Daniel will display Time magazine, Newsweek and British Economist on table and read Citizen.  Theo's person will carry a Citizen.


1a.. I've no idea where figure of 3 members of ILC core comes from.  It was never mentioned and I can only assume that it was a typing error.

1b.. HG was ill and was not at Mike's during Sipho's trip.

1c.. Both Norman and Kay spent 5 sessions confronting HG in the presence of X.  It was not possible at the NEC discussion at which he was present to take the matter further since it could not be done without spelling out the fact about the whole Vula project including the identification of Theo.  The same applied to HG.

1d.. The ultimate decision about the future of MDM organizations was contained in the NEC document and not in the Selebe interview.

1e.. We have been trying to get a copy of the NEC minutes when Sipho was present and we hope to forward these to you in next few days.

1f.. Have had no word from Daniel since he left for Fatman.

Carl from John:

Hope you got TV msg tht Daniel has postponed his engagement to next week 23rd.  This means meeting will be next day.  Maatla



1.. Apologies for poor responses.  I've been out a lot and have been quite busy here at Mike's.

11.. On finances: our repeated requests to Miles when he was here was not successful because there was no money.  Have asked John to check with Miles again he may have returned from a trip to raise funds.  (From John: Miles is back, seeing him on Monday.  Hope to get 50K pounds.   Please advise where I should deposit whatever I get.  Usual banker?)

111.. Re Rosemary Katz:  Haven't been able to get clarity on this because Garth is away and will be returning at end of month.

1V.. Umseb:  Rory is here in Mike's.  Will send Umseb with him and other items.

V.. Carl:  Your note "perspective for the new challenges" received 14.3.90 is indeed welcome.  There has been much discussion by the senior leadership on the underground.  This input helps us to grapple with the problem.

V1.. Had a discussion with Kay today (17th) and he asked me to send you reports:

(a). The decision to send in our delegation on 11 April was taken in Stockholm when Sipho was there.  It was agreed that the regime and ourselves will release the info to the press simultaneously on Friday 16th at 15.00 hrs South African time.  I can get no explanation as to why only the regime's release was publicized.

(b). Comrade Zuma and Mana will be flying to South Africa on Wednesday (21/3).  They'll be joined by person from inside and constitute the preparatory committee.  They'll make the preparations for the setting up of the working groups and the agenda for the discussions of the 11th.  Comrade Zuma will return on Sat 24th to report to the NEC.

(c). The groups to reinforce the interim leadership leaves here on Sunday 25th.  They are: Steve T, Reg September, Henry Makgoti, Peter Mayibuye, Gill Marcus.  They'll be accompanied by Zuma.

(d). Members of the working groups might leave on the 25th.  There are 2 groups.

(e). A group of 12 will be going in on the 25th or shortly thereafter to secure the leadership.




At present, the C.C. feels that even under the open conditions, membership of the party should be of a higher order than that.  Prospective members could apply – but would be subject to certain criteria which look at levels of commitment, contribution to the struggle etc in deciding whether or not to accept the applicants.

6.. Conclusion.

Under present conditions.  We need to retain our underground structures, maintain a low physical profile but a high media profile.

We need to constantly review the situation in order to timeously decide when to emerge fully.  Even at this point it may be necessary to maintain the core of an underground network.  We need to fight to defend our alliance with the ANC on all fronts.

Our people need to devote a lot of their energy to ensuring that the ANC emerges in the best possible way.

We need to create opportunities for people who want to show their support to do so.  Even if they can't join.  Here we would consider the formation of a support network – "Friends of the SACP" (or some such).  People could be mobilized to march, to run campaigns etc under some such banner ("Friends of the SACP").  Public forums could be held which discuss aspects of socialism and SACP policy – also under some such structure.  In this way people could participate even if they can't join.  Party organs would need to actively take into account views expressed at such forums so that such people feel that they do have an influence on Party policy even if they can't join.  Party organs also need to create the possibility for members of the public to write articles, letters etc, to them.  We need to create new innovative ways for people to participate under these conditions.  End of CC report.

For Kay from Marsha and Carl re proposals of subcommittee on retailer building.

1.. Party will be main target of attack in any backlash.

1.1. Party will be principal focus of security establishment in the immediate period of open activity of lib movement.

1.2. Actual organizational potential for the Party should not be estimated by the frequency of our flag at rallies and speeches in favour of socialism as would the potential for the ANC.

1.3. The Party should, however, by all means set up office and begin to work legally.

1.4. But most Party cadres should throw all their weight behind the ANC's campaign.

1.5. There should never appear even a semblance of a quarrel between the Party and the ANC.  Many people who will join the ANC will come bent on destroying the alliance between the two and should never be given room to manoeuvre .

1.6. Most Party cadres would have to remain unknown as Party members and operating in the ANC.

2.. On the recommendations of the National core, we feel Cde HG and GM should be included.  But the core should not be very large.  We therefore would suggest the above two plus: Theo, Marsha, Daniel, R. Mhlaba, Kathy and Chris Dlamini.  We have no problems with the other proposals you sent .


For John from Carl

For some reason, we are not to use our usual banker.  Here are the details of the account where you have to deposit the 50,000:  Creditor: Pitszu; A/C no.: 400071 (four zero zero zero seven one); Habibsons Bank Ltd, 55-56 St James St, London, SW 1A 1LA.

I hope you will be depositing the money immediately.  Please inform me as soon as you are ready to deposit so I can get confirmation from the banker about the exchange and then inform you to deposit.

End of it all.

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