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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Report on the ANC National Consultative Conference

December 1990

On Negotiations and Suspension of Armed Actions

Preamble noting that:

1.. Negotiations is only one form of struggle towards the transfer of power to the people for the creation of a non-racial, unitary and nonsexist South Africa.

2.. Conference supports and endorses the negotiations strategy outlined in the Harare Declaration.

3.. That the international community has committed itself to supporting the broad principles, procedures and processes laid down in the Harare Declaration, through the relevant resolutions of the Organisation of African Unity, the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations.

. Further noting that

4.. The regime has not yet removed obstacles contained in the Harare Declaration; namely

Ø. Unconditional release of all political prisoners

Ø. Unconditional return of exiles

Ø. Repeal of all security and repressive legislation

Ø. Termination of all political trials

5.. Consequently the regime has failed and/or neglected to create a climate conducive to peaceful negotiation for a new constitution.

6.. The current endemic violence creates further obstacles to the creation of a climate conducive to peaceful negotiation.

7.. This violence is part of a deliberate attempt by the state and its allies to destabilize the ANC and to sow terror and chaos amongst our people; and believing that whilst the Harare Declaration remains our lodestar, it is not a dogma.

We therefore resolve:

1.. To mandate the NEC to proceed with talks and invest them with discretionary powers, within the stated policies of the organisation, and without any secrecy and confidentiality, in the execution of their tasks with a view to creating a climate conducive to peaceful negotiations.

. Further resolve that:

2.. In the execution of these tasks the NEC should regularly consult with ANC membership in all regions, on all major issues.

3.. Appropriate mechanisms be set up for such consultations and communication with the membership, by the end of 1991.

4.. The NEC involves in the negotiation its revolutionary allies.

5.. That a comprehensive negotiating team composed of chief negotiators, working groups, researchers be created as a matter or extreme urgency and that such teams include a fair representation of women.

. And further resolve that:

6.. The NEC serve notice on the regime that unless all the obstacles are removed on or before the 30th April 1991, the ANC shall consider the suspension of the whole negotiation process.  Prior to this date the ANC shall engage in a programme of mass action and all other actions, to achieve our objectives as quickly as possible.  In the light of the endemic violence and the slaughter of innocent people by the regime and its allies we:

6.1. Reaffirm our right and duty as a people to defend ourselves with any means at our disposal.

6.2. We hereby serve notice on the regime that unless it ends this carnage, the ANC will find it difficult, if not impossible to adhere to the agreements entered into with the government, especially paragraph 3 of the Pretoria Minute pertaining to armed action and related activities.

Lastly conference resolved:

1.. To mandate the NEC to take active steps to create people's defence units as a matter of extreme urgency for the defence of our people.

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