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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Freedom Fighter No. 2

THE BANTU LAWS AMENDMENT BILL – THE BEGINNING OF THE END

The Bantu Laws Amendment Bill is an act of desperation and fear. In the short run, it gives the Government massive powers over 7,000,000 Africans in the so-called "White" areas.

In the long run, it will hasten the downfall of apartheid and the coming revolution.

The Bill is not designed to kick all Africans out of "White" areas; it is a control measure. Nationalists depend 100 on cheap Black labour for their mines, farms and factories. They cannot remove all Africans to the reserves.

THE WHITE STATE WOULD COLLAPSE:     This Bill was born in fear - fear of the people. The Nationalists say it will make the White man safe. The U.P. condemn it because they say it will not make the White man safe.

The first action when this Bill is law will be to expel a host of 'undesirable' Africans - banned people, trade

THE BANTU BILL MEANS DISASTER

Ø     All Africans become foreigners in "White" areas.

Ø     *We are robbed of our last remaining rights, formerly Africans born in urban areas or who worked there for 15 years had a legal right to be there.  This is gone.

Ø     If an official finds you "in any way undesirable", he can endorse you out.

Ø     Influx control offenders will be sent to forced labour camps called "aid centres".  Either you do the work a "peace officer" enforces (e.g. farm labour in Bethal) or you are endorsed out.

Ø     Families are broken, old people thrown out of town to die in the reserves.

Unionists, any militant opponent.  Deputy-Bantu Minister M.C. Botha says he wants to crush "members and office-bearers of the A.N.C." The Department of Information Digest says the clause giving powers to cancel service contracts, and so deprive any African of his job and make him liable for deportation is directed against "Bantu with subversive political aims".

Many non-political people will also be endorsed out. Children of 15 will be torn from their families and put in forced labour camps. The aim of the Bill is to forge a docile labour force, to expel freedom-fighters, to turn the whole country into homeless, migratory labourers, living in compounds, deprived of families.

The bill is the second leg of Verwoerd's apartheid programme. The other leg is the Bantustans.

Verwoerd hopes the Bantustans will give him the excuse to suppress Africans in the "White" areas. One leg is designed to conceal the other.

BUT BOTH LEGS WILL KICK AGAIN!

Bantustans will goad the peasants to revolt. Bantu Laws will goad the workers to revolt. Border industries bring exploitation to the reserves; but they also bring the very thing the government wants to avoid – industry organizes the workers, teaches them how to band together, act together, fight together.

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In the reserves, the people are learning to fight the government.  In the towns, deprived of our homes, of our jobs, of our families, we too will fight.  Starve in the towns or in the reserves!  Never!  We have survived so much oppression and injustice.  We will fight back.

The government cannot destroy 13 million Africans – but we will destroy them!

Learn the ways of resistance!  Prepare to fight back!  Work with the men in the reserves!  Srike the White supremacists wherever and whenever you can!

WE WILL DESTROY WHITE SUPREMACY AND APARTHEID

WE, THE PEOPLE, CANNOT BE DESTROYED!

VERWOERD'S LAST STAND

Like all bankrupt policies of the Nationalist Government, Verwoerd's master plan, the Bantustan policy, is grinding to a halt.  The failure of Bantustans is of the same nature as all Nationalist plans – it was doomed to failure, because it was conceived in contempt of the people, and the people in turn have shown their contempt for it.

** The people of the Transkie have decided the merits of apartheid – THEY HAVE REJECTED IT OUTRIGHT.  Chief Victor Poto's policies are as yet vague, but his candidates won a decisive victory over Matanzima and his fellow stooges in the popular elections – simply because they stood against apartheid.

The apartheid stooges have won a majority in the Transkei Assembly simply because many of the chiefs (who have a majority) are afraid to put trust in their people, and have been bought by their people's oppressors.  THEY WILL BE DEALT WITH BY THE PEOPLE WHOM THEY HAVE BETRAYED.

** The Zulu people, represented by chief Gatsha Buthelezi, have refused to submit to the jackboot demands of the Nationalists.  They demand a national referendum of the Zulu nation to decide whether they will choose to accept Verwoerd's plan or not.  THE NATIONALISTS MAY HAVE THE FORCES OF THE WHITE POLICE STATE BEHIND THEM, BUT THEY WILL FIND THAT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE IS INDOMITABLE.

** The Nationalists are finding it impossible to persuade the people of South West Africa to agree to the enforcement of total apartheid in the territory.  The Namas, the Hereros, the Damaras, the Rhobothers, none of these are fooled by Nationalist divide-and-rule tactics.  Yet ANOTHER FAILURE FOR THE APARTHEID STATE.

What does this all add up to.

It shows that a vital cog in the machine of apartheid is wearing down.  Soon the whole machine will come crashing down – Bantustans, economic oppression, control by the Government over the lives of millions of people – all this will come tumbling about the ears of the oppressors.

VERWOERD HAS SIGNED HIS OWN DEATH WARRANT – BANTUSTANS, THE BANTU LAWS BILL, SOUTH WEST AFRICA – ALL THESE MAKEHIS DOWNFALL IMMINENT.  AND THE PEOPLE MUST BE READY TO DEAL THE DEATH-BLOW TO APARTHEID WHEN THE TIME COMES.

THE TIME IS NEAR!

ORGANISE!  STRUGGLE!  WIN!

THE WORLD STRIKES AGAINST

APARTHEID

World action against apartheid continues to mount, as people everywhere realize that protests are not enough – action must follow words.

Ø     Fifty delegates recently met in Ghana in a three-day militant Anti-Apartheid Conference.  John Tettigah, Ghana's Trade Union Congress Secretary-General, called on South African freedom fighters to wage guerilla war against the brutal White regime.  The great Cuban and Chinese revolutions, he said, were worthy precedents.  Ghana's Labour Minister Ownsu Afriyie, spoke of the "great leap forward in the anti-apartheid struggle".

Ø     In Paris, ANC leader Robert Rosha, said Umkhonto we Sizwe was carrying on sabotage .  Many more acts of sabotage were carried out than the newspapers reported, he said.

Ø     Hundreds marched silently through Manchester on the 16th March to commemorate the fourth anniversary of Sharpeville.  The marchers attended an anti-South African rally afterwards which condemned the racial policies of the S.A. government.

Ø     African states are demanding the expulsion of South Africa from World Health Organisation.

Ø     Aberdeen's (Scotland) labour-controlled Town Council is adhering to its decision to boycott S.A. goods despite pleas by business and industrial firms.

Ø     A three-day anti-apartheid conference in Accra was attended by 200 workers from 47 countries, who sent a memorandum to U Thant, Secretary-General of the United Nations, demanding the expulsion of South Africa.  In a 10-point  appeal, the conference called for an intensification of the worker's struggle against the S.A. regime, complete isolation of S.A. from the rest of the world; political and material support for S.A. workers; the commemoration of 7th February each year as an international day of solidarity with S.A. workers.

Ø     400 delegates will attend a gigantic international conference to study economic sanctions against South Africa in London, from April 14-17.  Seven heads of State have agreed to be patrons.  The conference will examine every aspect of Western capitalist trade financing apartheid.  It will recommend practical measures.

SACTU - THEIR FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT.

THE APARTHEID STATE IS GOING ALL OUT TO CRUSH THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS, THE ORGANISATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN WORKERS.

Nearly every senior Sactu official has been arrested for 90 days, banned, or sentenced to long terms of imprisonment by Verwoerd's rubber-stamp courts. Rank-and-file union members are interrogated by the Gestapo-like Special Branch, arrested for "pass offences", and intimidated by police and police stooges.

The Nationalist Government's method is obvious. They are scared to ban Sactu, because they know they will be faced with a great tide of indignation from the workers in South Africa and increasing pressure from labour organisations and organisations overseas. So instead they try to be less obvious.

Ø     Sactu's former National President, Leon Levy, was arrested for 90 days, subsequently allowed to leave the country.

Ø     His successor, S. Dhlamini, of Natal, was arrested for 90 days, subsequently kept in prison awaiting trial.

Ø     Vice-President of Sactu, Mrs Vicla Hashe, banned and confined to the area in which she lives.

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Ø     Sactu's assistant secretary, Mrs. Phyllis Altman, served with a vicious banning order.

Ø     Mark Shope, former General Secretary, banned and forced to resign from Trade Unions.

Ø     Sactu's Assistant General Secretary of only a few months, Mr. Edward Davoren, was arrested and deported to Britain.  A British citizen, Mr Davoren had been involved in trade union work overseas.  He was detained by the Special Branch and threatened with deportation, but immediately went back to work.  He was subsequently arrested and deported to England.

With the top officials removed, the Government moved in on the local executives. By the end of 1963, about 50 of Sactu's officials had been jailed or banned, or put under house arrest. Some examples: John Gaetsewe, put under a 24-hour house-arrest order immediately on his release from jail; Melville Fletcher, banned, now awaiting trial for "breaking" his banning order; Cennick Ndblovu and Billy Nair, leading Sactu officials in Natal, have recently been sentenced to twenty years imprisonment by an apartheid court; and Uriah Maleka of Johannesburg, arrested, released, then re-arrested.

BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT IS DETERMINED TO DESTROY FREE TRADE UNIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA, they will not tolerate any trade unions (whose aim is to fight for better conditions for workers and defend their rights) except the all-White 'Bonds' that are organised and run by government stooges.

BECAUSE BY FIRST DESTROYING SACTU, BANNING AND IMPRISONING ALL SACTU OFFICIALS, IT WILL BE EASIER TO DESTROY LESS MILITANT TRADE UNIONS.

The T.U.C. should read history. They will be the next to go unless they openly co-operate with the Nats. This is what happens always - first the attack on the most militant and outspoken opponents; the more timid stand aside, hoping the government will leave them alone. But when the vanguard has gone, then the attack spreads.

In the political field, this is what happened - first the Communist Party was outlawed. Then the attack spread to all liberal and progressive parties. First New Age was banned and Spark destroyed. Now they will silence all anti-apartheid papers.

SACTU STANDS FOR FRE TRADE UNIONS. SACTU DEFENDS THE UNITY OF ALL 'WORKERS. SACTU KNOWS THAT ONLY BY NON-RACIAL UNITED STRUGGLE CAN THE PEOPLE WIN BETTER CONDITIONS. All people, all workers, all trade unionists, should now rally to defend and assist Sactu.

We call on the S.A. Trade Union Council, Fofatusa, and all who maintain they stand for free trade unions, to rally now to support and defend SACTU. Those who do not - we will know them for what they are.

THE INDIAN PEOPLE - ATTACK AND COUNTER-ATTACK.

The Nationalist regime has launched an all-out attack on the Indian people. The attack, in the Transvaal, has three prongs. First, against the whole people, second against the merchant class; third, against the people's militant political organisation - the Indian Congress.

The Group Areas Act has wounded the whole people. Dispossessed of their homes and moved by force to distant racial ghettoes, Indians are being kicked out of the districts they have lived in since the last century. Ventersdorp's 15 Indian families will be forced to leave their homes by April. In Johannesburg, more and more people are being forced to leave for Lenz. They are told to build new homes there without electricity, where the roads are rutted and pot-holed, travelling 40 miles to and from work every day.

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The Group Areas Act also threatens the merchant class, until now the most important influence in the Transvaal Indian community. Indian businessmen are forced to move, and are ruined; White businessmen take over their custom. The Government replies by saying Indians can trade in their own areas - and buy in each others shops.

With the Indian Congress, the Government and the police have been shrewd. Rather than cause a sensation by banning the Congress, the Government has tried to cripple it by banning the leading members, Instead of hitting a people's organisation on the head, they drain its blood. They have used the same technique against SACTU (50 activists banned), first used to break "Spark", After shoving the Indian people around - wrecking their livelihood and banning their real leaders the Government has flung down the most blatant insult of all: the National Indian Council, an advisory body of 21 hand-picked stooges, all appointed by Minister Willie Maree.  Maree formed the council to give his decrees a veil of democracy. But the people are not deceived.

The Government's strong-arm campaign has had an effect, but not the effect the Nationalists planned. The Indian people are becoming more militant, not less. Young Indians are increasingly anxious to join with the African youth in the real underground struggle.

APARTHEID IS THE COMMON ENEMY.  UNITY STRENGTH.  ALL RACES MUST STAND TOGETHER TO WIN RIGHTS AND FREEDOM

NO TIME FOR DIVISION

What has happened to PAC!  Even before Sharpeville, fiery speaker Josias Madzunya was expelled.  Phillip Kgosana, PAC's Cape Town "prince" was the next – expelled after fleeing the country.

Then, from Ethiopia, Kgosana attacked PAC's White recruit Patrick Duncan.

PAC exiles in Bechuanaland next accused P.K. Leballo (in Basutoland) of setting up a dictatorship over the party and mismanaging the revolution, following last year's mass Poqo round-up.  Headed by Rhodes Gxoyiya, they charged him with running a revolution by correspondence and worshipping his own personality cult.

VORSTER -  YOU LIE!

The Minister of Injustice, Vorster told the Senate that the "Spear of the Nation" which had caused him a great deal of trouble and worry, had now been dealt with.

Vorster is a loud-mouthed liar, boaster and a fool.  He has not 'dealt with' the Spear, nor can he ever 'deal' with it.  He can imprison, he can torture, he can do great harm.  But he cannot bring an end to the Spear because Umkhonto exists among the mass of the people.  It will always form again, carry on, copy things that others have done.  Vorster, you are going to hear more about Umkhonto in future!

In Basutoland, Leballo then expelled one of PAC's top organizers, Joe Molefi.  Molefi replied by counter-charging Leballo as a "usurper", "one of PAC's greatest enemies".

From Cairo come reports that PAC representative Patrick Letlalo and several others have resigned in disgust.

Early in February, young Z.B. Molete was attacked by panga-men in Maseru, and taken bleeding to hospital in a serious condition.  Two top Pan-Africanists from Evaton have been accused: Joe Molefi and Gabriel Sandamela.

What next!  Who next!  The people need leadership – not squabbles between those scrambling to make themselves leaders.  Let us try to build a united front of all anti-government forces to destroy the White supremacy state and build a free, democratic South Africa.

READ THIS AND PASS ON

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.