About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Pan Africanist Congress Of Azania (PAC)

In the 1950s a small group within the ANC opposed the multi-racialism of the Congress Alliance* and began calling themselves Africanists. They feared that the liberation struggle would be taken over by white and Indian communists and rejected the aspects of the Freedom Charter* that protected minority interests rather than those of Africans throughout the continent. In 1958 men of the ANCYL* who espoused this Africanist political ideology, broke away and in 1959, under the leadership of Robert Sobukwe they formed the PAC. It advocated mass action, strikes, boycotts and civil disobedience and in 1960 played a leading part in the anti-pass law campaign that boiled over into the Sharpeville massacre. Shortly afterwards the PAC was banned and Sobukwe was imprisoned. The PAC leadership went underground, set up its structures in Tanzania and formed Poqo.* an underground military organization to promote change by violence. Due to internal rivalries and inefficiency the PAC was unable to achieve the same prestige nor impose the same pressure on the government.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.