The Revolutionary Alliance in South Africa


15 May 2008


The formation of the ANC was not an accident of history but an evolution of struggles from the wars of resistance against colonialism to the fight against apartheid colonialism. The year 1652 particularly ignited these wars of resistance led by Africa’s warrior chiefs and kings like Dingane, Moshoeshoe, Ngqika, Sekhukhune, Hintsa, Bhambatha and many more. From its inception the ANC observed, acknowledged and accepted these wars as part of a broader struggle for the liberation of the indigenous people.

Furthermore the formation of the ANC in 1912 was on the footsteps of the establishment of the first African political organization, Imbumba yamaAfrika under Tengo Jabavu in 1882. Two years later (1884) witnessed another development in African political and social life through the establishment of the first newspaper, Imvo Zabantsundu, again under the leadership of Jabavu. Imvo Zabantsundu was rivaled in 1902 by the formation of Izwi LaBantu in the Eastern Cape in opposition to its preoccupation with European views.

Similar newspapers and organizations were later founded in other colonies such as Ilanga laseNatali by Rev. JL Dube in 1903 and the formation of the Native Congress in 1900. Leading in the formation of this Congress were Martin Luthuli (uncle to Inkosi AJ Luthuli), Saul Msane and Josiah Gumede who earlier met Harriet Colenso about the formation of this political organization of Africans.

In 1893 a young Indian lawyer, Mahatma Ghandi visited South Africa, shocked by harsh ways in which Indians were subjected to by white authorities, he began to organize for the formation of the Natal Indian Congress. Ghandi’s influence spread to the Transvaal where-in an Indian Congress was also formed, culminating to the establishment of South African Indian Congress. Meanwhile, Dr. Abdul Abdurahman formed African People’s Organisation in Cape Town in 1902, to fight for the rights of the Coloured people.

On the other hand the South African war, also known as the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902), ended up with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging. This war left Boers bitter and defeated by British imperialists. Boers had to fight for their own independence from British rule particularly in the Transvaal and Orange Free State. In schools Boers were forced to use English as a medium of instruction which they subtle resisted. Britain took serious offence against such actions. The summation of this phenomenon stirred-up the new Afrikaner Nationalism amongst the Boers.

It must be remembered that one of the main reasons for the South African war was the discovery of gold in the Transvaal in 1886. Seeing that the Afrikaners were to become a rich nation, the imperialists in Britain became ambitious and greedy. This was supported by mining magnates with full connivance of the British Ministers. This further propelled British’s ambitions to gain control and extend the realm of its empire. The year 1906 saw the change of government in Britain with a more reconciliatory approach to Afrikaners. Orange Free State and Transvaal were handed back to Afrikaners as self governing territories whilst Britain kept Natal and Cape under its armpit.

In 1907 new government was sworn in under Abraham Fischer as its Prime Minister. Fischer’s task was to deal with the Boers’ grievances and hardships resulting from the war while at the same time accommodate the realities of the British hegemony in the whole of South Africa. The Britain exerted its hegemony over South Africa through National Anthem (God Save the King), in the national domination in the economic and financial institutions etc. Moreover the basis for the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 was unambiguous about who controlled the country. A clear example was on the question of the world war which demonstrated that South Africa was not a sovereign independent state but was bound by the decisions of British government. Some prominent Afrikaners objected to this and were against their government’s reconciliation to Britain. Amongst this group was General Barry Hertzog who was a close colleague to Fischer.

It must be noted that in all these developments both the Boers and British took no notice of the existence of the natives, the Africans. In their last war of resistance, the Bambatha rebellion of 1906, Africans on the other hand showed their determination and preparedness to fight on and defend the land which was and remains rightfully theirs. This war in particular brought closer the formation of the ANC. There are many other factors which as well contributed to its formation. The introduction of Christianity for instance, led to the rejection of some of its values thus witnessing the emergence of Black Independent Churches. Amongst these converts was Nehemiah Tile who formed the TembuChurchin 1883 in the Transkei. The founding of Ethiopian Church by Rev. MM Mokone on the Witwatersrand in 1892 was tantamount to widening of the battlefront started by Tile.

African leaders, seeing the upcoming threat of whites forming a Union of South Africa, sent a deputation to Britain in 1909 protesting about the then impending exclusion of blacks in this process. The deputation was ignored by Britain and the whites ganged up and formed the Union anyway. Pixley ka Isaka Seme and other distinguished Africans became involved in the formation of the ANC. Seme said that he was requested by the Natives, leaders and chiefs to write a full and concise statement, on the subject of the South African Native Congress, but, he continued, ‘ I feel however, that I shall better meet the desire as well as more properly treat this subject if I disregard the pretentious title and write on a simple subject of a Native Union, after all, this is what the Congress shall be!”

According to Seme the Congress was supposed to be formed in October 1911. He then came up with a theme of his contribution which was to set the tone for the ANC’s main reason of existence, maximum unity amongst the oppressed natives. It went thus ‘The demon of racialism, the aberrations of the Fingo-Xhosa feud, the animosity that existed between the Zulus and Tongaas, between Basothos and any other native must be buried and forgotten, it has shed amongst us sufficient blood. We are one people, these jealousies are the cause of all our woes and all of our backwardness and ignorance today.’

The Place of Amakhosi in the ANC

In recognition of the role played by certain warrior chiefs and kings, the ANC accorded such leaders of the people of our land Honorary Presidents’ status, and these were: Montsia of the Barolong, Dalindyebo of abaThembu, Lewanika of the Barotseland (part of Zambia), Letsie of Basotholand (Lesotho), Khama of Bechuanaland (Botswana), king Dinuzulu, the warrior king of AmaZulu who was deposed and exiled by the British.

The Place of Women in the ANC

Like warrior chiefs and kings, women fought to earn their place in the movement and the struggle at large. When the ANC was still dealing with the effects of the notorious 1913 Land Act, women in Orange Free State were forced to buy passes every month or risked being imprisoned. They made all constitutional appeals against these outrageous laws without any success. At one stage they sent a deputation from Bloemfontein to Cape Town to air their grievances on this. Their delegation consisting of Mrs AS Gabashane, Mrs Kotsi and Mrs Louw, met the then Minister of Native Affairs, H.Burton.

They exhausted all avenues and they decided to throw the towel and defy. From July 1913 women took to the streets to dump passes and vow never to carry them again even if it meant being sent to prison. More than 2000 women from different parts of Orange Free State participated in these demonstrations, hailing from Bloemfontein, Winburg and Jaggersfontein. Indeed they were arrested and humiliated but stood their ground even when they were in prison. When the then Secretary General led a delegation to visit these women in prison, they met a resolute group who would not budge. Indeed women were leading the way of mass mobilization and defiance in the struggle for freedom.

The role played by people like Mah Charlotte Maxeke in both fighting for the rights of women and the formation of Bantu Women’s League in the 1930’s speak volumes. At this stage mention need to be made that the women were the first to adopt a charter, even before the Freedom Charter. The Women’s Charter was adopted by the Federation of South African Women in Johannesburg on the 17th July 1954.

A Narrow Nationalist Movement?

The evolution of the ANC over years as well as the very reason of its existence together with its progressive and revolutionary outlook makes it unquestionable a broad church. From its conception the movement stood opposed to the exclusion of one section of South Africa by the other in the running of the affairs of the country. In Seme’s own word the formation of the ANC was to be the creation of the African Parliament in response to the Whites- only Union of South Africa. This was further clarified by the ANC President ZR Mahabane in 1921. Speaking at the ANC’s Cape Provincial branch meeting the president said ‘I want to declare in conclusion that South Africa will never attain her ideal peacefulness, prosperity, greatness and national unity of which the prime minister and all lovers of Africa have been rightly dreaming, without the free and full co-operation of all black and white races, of the land and all classes and conditions of men’.

The broad nature of the movement has made it home of the array of forces: the nationalist/bourgeoisie wave, the socialist wave and the mainstream national democratic wave, which incorporate elements of both first two waves.

All these progressive thoughts especially the second and the third waves do make the movement the broad progressive revolutionary force. Whilst the ANC has always supported and participated in the class struggles at home and abroad, its ideology remains the progressive African Nationalism with a distinct bias to the working masses.

The Following are the Presidents of the ANC Representing
The movement’s unbroken History:

Historical backgrounds of ANC Presidents

John Langalibalele Dube (1912-1917)

John Langalibalele Dube was born in Natal in 1871. He was a South African essayist, philosopher, educator, politician, publisher, editor, novelist and poet. He was the founding president of the African National Congress between (1912- 1917) the ANC was, at this point, called the South African Native National Congress and remained so to 1923 and South Africa was then known as the Union of South Africa. 1

He was the son of Rev. James Dube one of the first ordained pastors of the American Zulu Mission. John Dube\’s grandmother was one of the first Christians to be converted by the American Daniel Lindley. Dube was educated at Inanda and Amanzimtoti (later Adams College). In 1887 he accompanied the missionary W.C. Wilcox to America. There he studied at Oberlin College while supporting himself in a variety of jobs and lecturing on the need for industrial education in Natal. Dube was ‘a great, if not the greatest, black man of the missionary epoch in South Africa. He has accomplished so much with such meagre economic means. He was scholar, gentleman, leader, farmer, teacher, politician, patriot and philanthropist’2 .

In 1901, he was able to achieve his ambition on 200 acres of land in the Inanda district where he established the Zulu Christian Industrial School at Ohlange. One of Dube\’s achievements at that time was the establishment of a Zulu/English newspaper Ilanga lase Natal (Sun of Natal). He began to establish his political reputation. Dube was bitterly opposed to the arrest and trial of Dinizulu in connection with the 1906 Bambata rebellion and actively assisted in raising funds for his defence. Dinizulu, son of the Zulu king was, for Africans in South Africa, the symbol of past independence and at their identity as a people – and this is something which Dube, with his recollections of and pride in his African past, was to remain acutely aware of for the rest of his life. The Natal government attempted to suppress Ilanga lase Natal before and during the Bambata Rebellion, it was the object of constant suspicion. Dube publicised Dinizulu’s arrest3.

His relations with the Royal House were to be strong and so enduring that by the 1930\’s he was acting as their chief adviser, and worked closely with the Regent, Mshlyeni. In 1909 Dube was a member of the delegation to Britain to protest against the Act of Union and in 1912 he accepted the Presidency of the ANC in spite of the pressures put on him by his preoccupation with education. It is said that in 1912 Dube addressed a group of Africans in Zululand to explain the new movement (the ANC) and appeal for unity.

When Dube came back from the States in 1905 (after his third visit) there were signs of tension between him and the white missionaries. Ilanga lase Natal attacked the decisions of missionaries on land allotment on the Reserves, and the Mission Reserve rent, as well as the social aloofness of missionaries and their lack of trust for the converts, inadequate selection of African officers and failure to defend African interests. In 1908 he resigned from the pastorate of Inanda. The tension between Dube on the one hand and the government and missionaries on the other hand was resolved in 1907 but he was constantly warned that he was ‘playing with fire’.

Dube used his paper to stress the need for African unity and African representation and to air more specific grievances. It emphasised the need for education, financial help from white philanthropists. In September 1906, Dube was calling for a meeting of the Transvaal, Cape and Natal congresses and ‘welcoming signs that tribal antagonisms are dying down as indications of progress’.

He was a bitter opponent of the 1913 Land Act. He wrote and spoke strongly and emotively on the government\’s land policy. The 1913 Land Act was so hydra-headed that it affected every stratum of African rural society. In 1914 Dube was one of the ANC delegates to London to protest against the Act. In the 1920s, like some of his generation (and the stratum of mission-educated Africans? he became involved in a series of. “liberal\’ attempts to establish “racial harmony” between black and white, such as the Smuts\’ Native Conferences established under the 1920 Act (which Dube left in 1926 on the grounds of their powerlessness) the Joint Councils and many missionary conferences.

In 1926 he was one of the South African delegates to the international conference at Le Zoute in Belgium, a visit he combined with fresh fund-raising for Ohlange. One of Dube\’s controversial actions was in 1930. He openly flirted with Hertzog\’s bills in the hope that they would at least provide some extra additional funds for development. It should be remembered that Dube was ousted from the presidency of the ANC in 1917 for his apparent acceptance of the principle – if not the contemporary practice of segregation4.

Sefako Mapogo Makgatho (1917–1924)

President Sefako Makgatho was born in 1861 at GaMphahlele, Pietersburg district, Northern Transvaal. From 1906 to 1908 he served as President of African Political Union. He was President of the Transvaal Native Organisation from 1908-1912. Both organisations merged with the ANC in January 1912. From 1887-1930 he was an influential Methodist lay preacher. He participated in delegations and petitions to London (after World War 1, 1914-1918) on behalf of our people. When the ANC was established in 1912 he was elected President of its Transvaal section, the Transvaal Native Congress, from 1912-1930. He was President-General of the ANC itself from 1917-1924. From 1930-1933 he was a Senior National Treasurer of the ANC5.

As a keen student of South African affairs he followed Sekhukhune\’s odyssey closely, especially since they were blood relations and since these events were reported adequately in the British press at the time. He also witnessed at close range the politics surrounding the signing by Britain, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the United States of America, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Norway and Turkey of the General Act of the Conference of Berlin respecting the freedom of trade in the Basin of the Congo, navigation of the Congo, navigation of the Niger and rules for future occupation of the coast of the African continent, 26th February 18855 .

From the very beginning Makgatho opposed this rape of Africa. He understood the immediate threat that it constituted not only to the vast natural resources of Africa but also to the freedom, independence and self-determination of her peoples. He is amongst the founding members of the African National Congress, they adopted a political slogan that was applicable not only to South Africa but also to the whole continent of Africa – “Mayibuye i Afrika” (Come back, Africa) they cried. They also adopted a national anthem that expressed the hopes not only of the people of South Africa but also those of the people of Africa as a whole “Morena boloka sechaba sa hesu; Nkosi Sikalel\’ i Afrika” (God save my nation; god bless Africa)7 .

In 1906, back home in South Africa, he and a group of young African teachers joined hands to form the Transvaal African Teachers\’ Association (TATA) as a trades union for African teachers and an instrument for the transformation of \’Native education\’ into a non-racial system of universal education for all of South Africa\’s children8 .

In 1909 Makgatho witnessed the Imperial (British) Parliament enact the South Africa Act, which brought the Union of South Africa into being. He was revolted by Clause 35 of the Act, which provided that henceforth no Black man could become a member of Parliament, no Black man could vote for others to represent him in the all-White South African Parliament, and that the handful of Black voters who had acquired franchise rights in the 19th century in the Cape Province and Natal Province would remain on the common voters\’ roll until disfranchised by a two-thirds majority obtained at a joint session9 .

Zacharias Richard Mahabane (1924 – 1927)

Zacharias Richard Mahabane was born in the Orange Free State now Free State Province in 1881. Mahabane was at heart a moderate whose political philosophy was grounded in a hope that Christian ethics would prevail in shaping South Africa’s race policies. He studied at Morija in Basutoland, where his fellow students included D.D.T. Jabavu. In 1914 he qualified as a Methodist minister. He was amongst the church leaders who at different times emerged as ‘outspoken champion of the oppressed, many of them suffering expulsion or restrictions imposed by the racist regime’10 .

He served twice-president general of the African National Congress. He was also an important figure in both the All African Convection and the Non-European Unity Movement. In 1917 Mahabane joined the local Cape African Congress, after hearing political speeches made by Charlotte Maxeke and her husband. In 1919 he was elected president of the Cape Congress and in that capacity became a member of the Native Congress called by the government in terms of the Native Affairs Act of 1920. In 1924 he was elected president-general of the African Nation Congress, succeeding S. M Makgatho. During his presidency, the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union of Clements Kadalie was at its heights, largely overshadowing the ANC. In 1927, Mahabane was replaced by J. T Gumede11.

Josiah Tshangana Gumede (1927 – 1930)

Gumede was born on 9 October 1867 in Healdtown Village, Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape. His history, however, does not start there. It dates back to a historical period in the history of the Zulu nation which historians call the Mfecane. Josiah would come to know more of the Mfecane since his father was closely involved with the event and the battle of Mbholompho in the Eastern Cape where a combined force of Tembus, Mpondos and British under Lt. Col. Somerset defeated Matiwane on 28 August 182812 . Gumede attended school in Grahamstown (Cape). He taught for some time at Somerset East in the Cape before going to Natal where he became advisor to Natal and Orange Free State chiefs13 .

In 1918 Gumede became secretary of the Natal (eastern South Africa) Native Congress and editor of Ilanga lase Natal (Sun of Natal). At that time he was anti-Communist and thought blacks would be enslaved if the Communists came to power. At a special ANC conference held in Johannesburg on December 16, 1918, it was decided that the ANC should be represented at the Paris Peace Conference following the end of World War I (1914-1918) and Gumede was sent as part of a delegation to Europe14 .

When they approached the British Colonial Office to complain of the treatment of blacks in South Africa, they were told Britain could not interfere in the internal affairs of South Africa. Gumede then blamed Britain for agreeing to the exclusion of blacks from the political process written into the 1909 Union of South Africa constitution. Following his experiences in Europe Gumede became more radical.

During the 1920’s he became the ANC\’s most effective and outspoken leader against the South African government. In 1927 he became president of the ANC and went to a conference in Brussels, Belgium, of the League Against Imperialism, where he met a number of Communists and was invited to visit the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). At this meeting he declared “The Communist Party is the only party that stands behind us and from which we can expect something.” At the June 1927 ANC annual meeting Gumede\’s report from Europe was well received15 .

He then became the chairman of a free speech movement sponsored by the ANC, the African People\’s Organization (APO), the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA, later renamed the South African Communist Party), the Trade Union Congress, and African trade unions. In 1928 he visited the USSR where he was celebrated. Upon his return to South Africa he told the ANC that he had visited the “New Jerusalem”: “Your land and yourselves are held in bondage. You must redeem your heritage.” Although he denied being a Communist, the right wing of the ANC objected to his close association with the CPSA and began a move to oust Gumede from the presidency. At the 1930 ANC Congress he gave a speech in which he called upon members to rely on their own strength and develop a militant policy. In a dramatic meeting he was voted out of the presidency by 39 to 14 votes and the ANC then entered upon a period of decline16 .

Pixley ka Isaka Seme (1930 – 1936)

Pixley Seme was born on 1 October 1881 in Natal. He was the son of Isaka Seme and his wife, Sarah (nee Mseleku). He obtained his primary education at the local mission school where the American Congregationalist missionary, Reverend S. C. Pixley, took an interest in him and arranged for him to go the Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts in the USA17. He was a founder and President of the African National Congress18. His mother was a sister of John Langalibalele Dube, and descended from a local chief (Smith 1952). At 17 years of age Seme left to study in the U.S., first at the Mount Hermon School and then Columbia University. In 1906, his senior year at University, he was awarded the Curtis Medal, Columbia\’s highest oratorical honor. He subsequently decided to become an attorney. In October 1906 he was admitted to Oxford University to read for the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law; while at Oxford he was a member of Jesus College 19

Seme returned to South Africa in 1911. In response to the formation of the Union of South Africa, he worked with several other young African leaders recently returned from university studies in England, Richard Msimang, George Montsioa and Alfred Mangena, and with established leaders of the South African Native Convention in Johannesburg to promote the formation of a national organization that would unify various African groups from the former separate colonies, now provinces. In January 1912 these efforts bore fruit with the founding meeting of the South African Native National Congress, later renamed the African National Congress20 .

With financial assistance from the Queen regent of Swaziland, Seme launch the SANNC newspapers, Abantu Batho, which was to be published for the next 20 years. The paper had a nation-wide circulation and was printed in Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho and English. In 1913 Seme established the South African Native Farmers Association, which bought the Daggakraal and Driefontein farms in the Wakkerstroom district in Transvaal21.

In 1926 he travelled with the Swazi Monarch, Sobhuza II, to England to appeal a land dispute against South Africa where Seme represented the King before the Privy Council. In 1928 his prestige was further enhanced when Colombia University, his alma mater, awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Law (LLD)22. Seme was subsequently elected President-General at the 1930 annual ANC congress, ousting Gumede by a vote of 39 to 14. Seme\’s attempts to transform the ANC into an organization of economic self-help proved fruitless, as did his attempt to revive the defunct House of Chiefs in the ANC. Both his enemies and supporters accused him of ‘culpable inertia\’ in 1932 and criticized his autocratic and cautious leadership style. Reverend R. Mahabane replaced him as President-General in 193723 .

Zacharias Richard Mahabane (1937 – 1940)

By the late 1930’s, when the ANC had declined to a new low under Seme’s leadership, Mahabane was pressed back into service and from 1937 to 1940 was again president-general, this time when support for the Congress was gradually increasing24.

Mahabane’s political career spanned the years of crisis over the Hertzog Bills, and his views on the franchise issue reflected the complexity of the African dilemma. As the President of the Cape Congress and vice-president of the Cape Native Voters’ Convection in the period before 1936, Mahabane took the public position that a separate voter’s roll for the Africans would be acceptable if whites found the prospect of a common roll too menacing. Mahabane was a member of the 1936 All Africa Convection delegation that conferred with Prime Minster J. B. M Hertzog prior to the submission of the separate-roll compromise to Parliament. From 1937, while he was at the head of the ANC, Mahabane acted as vice-president of the AAC, and from 1940 to 1954 he served as the AAC’s official vice-president first under Jabavu and then under Wycliffe Tsotsi25.

As a leading personality in both the ANC and ACC, he did his best to promote the reconciliation of these organizations, but unity proved elusive and a merger was unreachable. Mahabane cooperated with Abdul Abdurahman in calling the series of non-European conference that met between 1927 and 1934. He become the President of the ACC in 1943, until 1956 when he was pressured to resign following his refusal to take part in Bantu Education school boards, thus violating the NEUM policy boycott26.

From 1940s Mahabane concentrated much of his energy on church related activities and in particular the strengthening of the interdenominational African Ministers Federation, founded in 1945. In 1956, he was the principal convener of the Bloemfontein conference to discuss the recommendations of the Tomlinson Commission, and in December 1957 he chaired the follow-up multiracial conference convened in Witwatersrand. He died in 197027 .

A B Xuma (1940 – 1949)

Alfred Bitini Xuma was born in 1893 into an aristocratic Xhosa family in the Transkei, and rose from humble beginnings to the position of President of the African National Congress (ANC). After completing his primary school education, Xuma went on to study teaching at the Pietermaritzburg Training Institute (PTI). He taught at various schools in the Eastern Cape before leaving South Africa in 1913 to study medicine in the United States28 .

Upon qualifying as a medical doctor, he decided to continue his studies in Britain, where he became the first Black South African to graduate with a PhD from the London School of Tropical Medicine. Xuma returned to South Africa in 1928 to practice as a physician in Johannesburg, but he soon became involved in political activities29 .

He married Priscilla Mason (from Liberia in West Africa) in 1931, but she died three years later. In 1940, he later married Madie Beatrice Hall in Cape Town. Xuma’s freelance activities during the early 1930’s revolved around the organization of opposition to the removal of Blacks from the Cape franchise and led to his election as Vice-President of the All-African Convention (AAC) in 1935 and as President of the ANC in 1940.

He inherited an organization in disarray and set out to rebuild the ANC against great opposition. Under his leadership, the ANC constitution was revised and the organization became more efficient and centralized, thus attracting a wider following. In 1943, Xuma and the ANC’s Atlantic Charter Committee produced a politically significant document entitled African Claims, which charted the path to racial equality in South Africa that they hoped would follow the conclusion of the Second World War. In 1946, Xuma travelled to New York as an unofficial delegate to the United Nations, where he lobbied successfully against the South African Government’s plans to incorporate South West Africa (Namibia) into the Union30 .

In conjunction with his efforts to revitalize the ANC, Xuma strove towards unity among the various protest groups and organizations against apartheid. He reached a working understanding with the South African Indian Congress (SAIC) and on 9 March 1947 signed A Joint Declaration of Cooperation, also known as the ‘Doctor’s Pact’, with G.M. Naicker from the Natal Indian Congress and Yusuf Dadoo from the Transvaal Indian Congress. This declaration formed the foundation of the newly forged united front between Indians and Africans, but Xuma’s actions was met with some opposition. When more conservative members of the ANC complained that the Indians were ‘shrewd’ and might dominate the ANC, Dr Xuma retorted: ‘if you cannot meet the next man on an equal footing without fearing him, there is something wrong with you. You are accepting a position of inferiority to him31 .”

Essentially a moderate and a conservative, Xuma found himself more and more under pressure from the militant element within the ANC – and the ANC Youth League in particular – who demanded radical action and a closer association with the South African Communist Party (SACP). Following the National Party’s 1948 election victory, the pressure turned into mutiny and Xuma was ousted as ANC President and replaced by Dr. J.S. Moroka. Xuma died at Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, in 1962.

Dr. D. S Moroka (1949 – 1952)

Dr. James Sebe Moroka was great grandson of Chief Moroka I of the Barolong Boo-Moroka at Thaba Ncho. He was born on 16 March 1891, in Thaba-Ncho, Bophuthatswana now North West Province. A medical doctor and politician, in 1942 Moroka became involved in the African National Congress (ANC) and with the support of Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela and their militant Congress Youth League was elected as President of the ANC in December 1949. During his presidency the ANC became a more militant organisation. On 6 April 1952 a mass meeting was held in Red Square, Fordsburg (now called ‘Freedom Square’) and in the main centre of the Union. The meeting was address by Dr Moroka. Dr. Moroka lived in Ratlou village where he built himself a house that has now become a heritage site32 .

Albert Luthuli (1952 – 1967)

Albert John Mvumbi (Zulu: “Continuous Rain”) Luthuli was born in Rhodesia in 1898, He educated through his mother\’s earnings as a washerwoman and by a scholarship, he graduated from the American Board Mission\’s teacher-training college at Adams, near Durban, and became one of its first three African instructors. In 1933 the tribal elders asked Luthuli to become chief of the tribe. For two years he hesitated, but accepted the call in early 1936 and became chieftain, until removed from this office by the government in 195233.

Luthuli\’s first political step in joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1945 was motivated by friendship with its Natal leader. In 1952, stimulated by young black intellectuals, the ANC joined the South African Indian Congress in a countrywide campaign to defy what were deemed unjust laws; 8,500 men and women went voluntarily to prison. As a result of Luthuli\’s leadership in Natal, the government demanded that he resign from the ANC or from chieftainship. He refused to do either, stating, “the road to freedom is via the cross.” The government deposed him. Not only did he continue to be affectionately regarded as “chief” but his reputation spread. In that same year, 1952, the ANC elected him president general. Henceforth, between repeated bans (under the Suppression of Communism Act), he attended gatherings, visited towns, and toured the country to address mass meetings (despite a serious illness in 1954)34 .

In December 1956 Luthuli and 155 others were dramatically rounded up and charged with high treason. His long trial failed to prove treason, a Communist conspiracy, or violence, and in 1957 he was released. In 1959 the government confined him to his rural neighbourhood and banned him from gatherings this time for five years for “promoting feelings of hostility” between the races.

In 1960, when police shot down Africans demonstrating against the pass laws at Sharpeville, Luthuli called for national mourning, and he himself burned his pass. (Too ill to serve the resulting prison sentence, he paid a fine.) In December 1961 Luthuli was allowed to leave Groutville briefly when, with his wife, he flew to Oslo to receive the Nobel Prize. His acceptance address paid tribute to his people\’s nonviolence and rejection of racism despite adverse treatment, and he noted how far from freedom they remained despite their long struggle35 .

In 1962 he was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow by the students, serving until 1965. Since he was banned from travelling to Glasgow the Luthuli Scholarship Fund was setup by the Student Representative Council to enable a black South African student to study at Glasgow University36 .

Oliver Reginald Tambo (1967 – 1991)

Oliver Reginald Tambo was born in 27 October 1917 at a rural area in the Easter Cape called Mbizana. This place is known for its legacy of the 1960’s Pondoland Revolt, and also because it gave birth to one of the most recognized person in world politics. In 1940 he, along with several others including Nelson Mandela, was expelled from Fort Hare University for participating in a student strike. In 1942 Tambo returned to his former high school in Johannesburg to teach science and mathematics37 .In 1942, he returned to St Peters College as a science and mathematics teacher. At St Peters he was to teach many who later were to, play prominent roles in the ANC. Among these were Duma Nokwe who became the first black South African Advocate of the Supreme Court and a Secretary-General of the ANC.

Tambo, along with Mandela and Walter Sisulu, was a founding member of the ANC Youth League in 1943, becoming its first National Secretary and later a member of the National Executive in 1948. In 1958, Oliver Tambo left the post of Secretary General to become the Deputy President of the ANC. The following year, 1959, he like many of his colleagues was served with five year banning order. After the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, Tambo was designated by the ANC to travel abroad to set up the ANC\’s international mission and mobilise international opinion in opposition to the apartheid system.

In 1958 he became Deputy President of the ANC and in 1959 was served with a five year banning order by the government. He was involved in the formation of the South African

United Front, which some believe helped bring about South Africa\’s expulsion from the Commonwealth in 196138 .

He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the non-violent struggle against apartheid. He became President of ANC in 1969 after the death of Chief Albert Luthuli, and also reelected in Kabwe in 1985. He was amongst the most highly respected persons across the globe, including in the African continent, in Europe, Asia and America. During his stewardship of the ANC, Oliver Tambo raised its international prestige and status to that of an alternative to the Pretoria Government39 .

Oliver Tambo played a major role in the growth and development of the ANC and its policies. When he spoke during the Ninth Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministries of the Organization of African Unity now called African Unity, at Dar Es Salaam in April 1975, he had a vision that no matter how much pain was inflicted to the masses of our people by the previous government but, ‘the whole of democratic mankind is on our side’. Thus, Oliver Tambo was refereeing to all South Africa who sacrificed their lives against an aggressive and one sided apartheid government, for the love of this nation40 .

Tambo was able to establish ANC mission in Egypt, Ghana, Morocco and in London. From these small beginnings, under his stewardship the ANC acquired missions in 27 countries by 1990. These include all the permanent members of the UN Security Council, with the exception of China, two missions in Asia and one in Australasia. During the 1970s Oliver Tambo\’s international prestige rose immensely as he traversed the world, addressing the United Nations and other international gatherings on the issue of apartheid41 .

He became the key figure in the ANC\’s Revolutionary Council (RC) which had been set up at the Morogoro Conference to oversee the reconstruction of the ANC\’s internal machinery and to improve its underground capacity. In 1989 Oliver Tambo suffered a stroke, and underwent extensive medical treatment. He returned to South Africa in 1991, after over three decades in exile. At the ANC\’s first legal national conference inside South Africa, held in Durban in July 1991, Tambo was elected National Chairperson of the ANC. He was also chairperson of the ANC\’s Emancipation Commission. Oliver Reginald Tambo died from a stroke in April, 199342.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1991-1997)

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in a village near Umtata in the Transkei on the 18 July 1918. His father was the principal councilor to the Acting Paramount Chief of Thembuland43 . After receiving a primary education at a local mission school, Nelson Mandela was sent to Healdtown, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute where he matriculated. He then enrolled at the University College of Fort Hare for the Bachelor of Arts Degree where he was elected onto the Student\’s Representative Council44 .

He was suspended from college for joining in a protest boycott. He went to Johannesburg where he completed his BA by correspondence, took articles of clerkship and commenced study for his LLB. He entered politics in earnest while studying in Johannesburg by joining the African National Congress in 1942. In 1944, Nelson Mandela among with Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and Antony Lembede etc, founded the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL). In 1944 he helped found the ANC Youth League, whose Programme of Action was adopted by the ANC in 1949Mandela soon impressed his peers by his disciplined work and consistent effort and was elected to the Secretaryship of the Youth League in 1947. By painstaking work, campaigning at the grassroots and through its mouthpiece Inyaniso\’ (Truth) the ANCYL was able to canvass support for its policies amongst the ANC membership.

When the ANC launched its Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952, Mandela was elected National Volunteer-in-Chief. In the same year, he was given the responsibility to prepare an organisational plan that would enable the leadership of the movement to maintain dynamic contact with its membership without recourse to public meetings. The objective was to prepare for the contingency of proscription by building up powerful local and regional branches to whom power could be devolved. This was the M-Plan, named after him45 .

Nelson Mandela emerged as the leading figure in this new phase of struggle. Under the ANC\’s inspiration, 1,400 delegates came together at an All-in African Conference in Pietermaritzburg during March 1961. In 1961 Umkhonto we Sizwe was formed, with Mandela as its commander-in-chief. In 1962 Mandela left the country unlawfully and travelled abroad for several months. In Ethiopia he addressed the Conference of the Pan African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa, and was warmly received by senior political leaders in several countries46 .

When the ANC was banned after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, he was detained until 1961, when he went underground to lead a campaign for a new national convention. While serving his sentence, he was charged, in the Rivonia trial, with sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment. Shortly after his release on Sunday 11 February 1990, Mandela and his delegation agreed to the suspension of armed struggle. Mandela has honorary degrees from more than 50 international universities and is chancellor of the University of the North. Mandela has received more than one hundred awards over four decades, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 199347. He is currently a celebrated elder statesman who continues to voice his opinion on topical issues.He was inaugurated as the first democratically elected State President of South Africa on 10 May 1994 until June 1999. Since his retirement, one of Mandela\’s primary commitments has been to the fight against AIDS. In 2003, he had already lent his support to the 46664 AIDS fundraising campaign, named after his prison number48 .

Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki (1997-2007)

Thabo Mbeki was born and raised in what is now the Eastern Cape province of South Africa in 1942. He is a son of Epainette and Govan Mbeki a (stalwart of the African National Congress ANC and the South African Communist Party). He attended high school at Lovedale but was expelled as a result of the student strikes in 1959. He continued his studies at home and wrote his matriculation at St John\’s High School in Umtata that same year. Thabo Mbeki left South Africa as one of a number of young ANC militants sent abroad to continue their education and their anti-apartheid activities49 .

He left the country in 1962 under orders from the ANC50 . Mbeki spent the early years of his exile in the United Kingdom, earning a Master of Economics degree from the University of Sussex and then working in the ANC\’s London office on Penton Street. He received military training in what was then the Soviet Union and lived at different times in Botswana, Swaziland and Nigeria, but his primary base was in Lusaka, Zambia, the site of the ANC headquarters. Mbeki devoted his life to the ANC and during his years in exile was given increased responsibility. Following the 1976 Soweto riots, a student uprising in the township outside Johannesburg, he initiated a regular radio broadcast from Lusaka, tieing ANC followers inside the country to their exiled leaders. Encouraging activists to keep up the pressure on the apartheid regime was a key component in the ANC\’s campaign to liberate their country.

Mbeki was appointed head of the ANC\’s information department in 1984 and then became head of the international department in 1989, reporting directly to Oliver Tambo, then President of the ANC. In 1985, Mbeki was a member of a delegation that began meeting secretly with representatives of the South African business community, and in 1989, he led the ANC delegation that conducted secret talks with the South African government.

He became a deputy president of South Africa in May 1994 on the attainment of universal suffrage, and sole deputy-president in June 1996. He succeeded Nelson Mandela as ANC president in December 1997 and as president of the Republic in June 1999 (inaugurated on June 16); he was subsequently reelected for a second term in April 2004. Mbeki received an honorary doctorate in business administration from the Arthur D Little Institute, Boston in 1994. In 1995, he received honorary doctorate from the University of South Africa and an honorary doctorate of laws from Sussex University.[35] Mbeki was awarded an honorary doctorate from Rand Afrikaans University in 1999.[36] In 2000 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from Glasgow Caledonian University.[37] In 2004, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in commercial sciences by the University of Stellenbosch 51

During Mbeki\’s official visit to Britain in 2001, he was made an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB). The Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyannis, awarded Mbeki with the City of Athens Medal of Honour in 2005. During Mbeki\’s official visit to Sudan in 2005, he was awarded Sudan’s Insignia of Honour in recognition of his role in resolving conflicts and working for development in the Continent. In 2007, Mbeki was made a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem at St George\’s Cathedral in Cape Town by the current grand prior, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester 52 .

Mbeki was awarded the followings:

  • In 1997 he was awarded the Good Governance Award by the US based Corporate Council on Africa.
  • In 2000, he received the Newsmaker of the year award from Pretoria News Press Association.
  • In honour of his commitment to democracy in the new South Africa, Mbeki was awarded the Oliver Tambo/ Johnny Makatini Freedom Award in 2000.
  • He was awarded the Peace and Reconciliation Award at the Ghandi Awards for Reconciliation in Durban in 2003.
  • In 2004, Mbeki was awarded the Good Brother Award by Washington\’s National Congress of Black Women for his commitment to gender equality and the emancipation of women in South Africa.
  • In 2005, he was also awarded the Champion of the Earth Award by the United Nations.
  • During the European-wide Action Week Against Racism in 2005, Mbeki was awarded the Rotterdamse Jongeren Raad (RJR) Antidiscrimination Award by the Netherlands.
  • In 2006 he was awarded the Presidential Award for his outstanding service to economic growth and investor confidence in South Africa and Africa and for his role in the international arena by the South African Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
  • In 2007 Mbeki was awarded the Confederation of African Football\’s Order of Merit for his contribution to football on the continent.

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (Present)

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was born April 12, 1942 at Inkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Zuma involved himself in politics at an early age and joined the African National Congress in 1959. He became an active member of Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1962, following the banning of the ANC in 196053.

In 1963, he was arrested with a group of 45 recruits near Zeerust in the western Transvaal, currently part of the North West Province. Convicted of conspiring to overthrow the government, he was sentenced to 10 years\’ imprisonment, which he served on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela and other notable ANC leaders who were also imprisoned there. After his release, he was instrumental in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in the Natal province. He left South Africa in 1975, based first in Swaziland and then Mozambique, and dealt with the arrival of thousands of exiles in the wake of the Soweto uprising54 .

He became a member of the ANC National Executive Committee in 1977. He also served as Deputy Chief Representative of the ANC in Mozambique, a post he occupied until the signing of the Nkomati Accord between the Mozambican and South African governments in 1984. After signing the Accord, he was appointed as Chief Representative of the ANC. Zuma was forced to leave Mozambique in January 1987 after considerable pressure on the Mozambican government by the PW Botha regime. He moved to the ANC Head Office in Lusaka, Zambia, where he was appointed Head of Underground Structures and shortly thereafter Chief of the Intelligence Department. He served on the ANC\’s political and military council when it was formed in the mid 1980s55 .

Following the end of the ban on the ANC in February 1990, he was one of the first ANC leaders to return to South Africa to begin the process of negotiations. In 1990, he was elected Chairperson of the ANC for the Southern Natal region, and took a leading role in fighting political violence in the region between members of the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). The IFP, led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, put particular emphasis on Zulu pride and political power during this period. He was elected the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC the next year, and in January 1994 he was nominated as the ANC candidate for the Premiership of KwaZulu Natal. After the 1994 general election, he was appointed as Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) of Economic Affairs and Tourism for the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government56 .

In December 1994, he was elected National Chairperson of the ANC and chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, and was re-elected to the latter position in 1996. He was elected Deputy President of the ANC at the National Conference held at Mafikeng in December 1997 and consequently appointed executive Deputy President of South Africa in June 1999. During this time, he also worked in Kampala, Uganda as facilitator of the Burundi peace process, along with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. Museveni chairs the Great Lakes Regional Initiative, a grouping of regional presidents overseeing the peace process in Burundi, where several armed Hutu groups took up arms in 1993 against a government and army dominated by the Tutsi minority that had assassinated the first president elected from the Hutu majority. He was elected the ANC Party President in Limpopo on the 18th December 200757 .


The Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) was formed in 1921 by foreign born British radicals and Eastern European Jews. The CPSA supported the insurrection in Rand revolts strike of 1922 by white mine workers in protection of their rights and privileges as white workers. On the other development the Communist International contradicted the CPSA by calling for a SouthAfricanNativeIndependentRepublic. This then witnessed massive resignations by white members of the party particularly in 1928. In the early 1930’s the party had around 150 members, all white. However the threat of fascism revived the party, meanwhile its membership was gradually opening for all races.

The African membership was growing rapidly benefiting from political classes organized by the party. The night (political) school reached out to everyone encompassing young Indians through sustained recruitment. These political classes developed cadres with clarity of vision and theoretical might. Because of this clarity for instance communists in the party understood the war between Britain and Germany as nothing else but an imperialists one based on greed and an appetite to control the world. The CPSA argued that the war had nothing to do with the fight against fascism as portrayed by Britain particularly. The party always understood its role as the party of the working people hence its key role in the organization of the 1946 mineworkers strike. This was arguably the biggest labour protest in South Africa’s history. Even prior the strike action the party played a pivotal role in the formation and launching of the African Mineworkers Union (AMWU) in 1941. The President of AMWU, JB Marks, was a Moscow trained Party organizer and ANC President in Transvaal. Reprisals against these popular protest actions by the regime affected the membership of both AMWU and CPSA, which dwindled as a result.

The rise of the National Party under the leadership of Daniel Malan targeted primarily the Communist Party. This was a period of an intensified international onslaught against communism and by implication communists. The Suppression of Communism Act of 1950 was just one indicator of this onslaught, though it failed to destroy the party. It was at this juncture of adapting to underground life that the party changed its name in 1953 to be known as the South African Communist Party (SACP) as the case is to this day.

Another important development which started showing in the 1940’s and 50’s was the ideological contests within the party, between the party and the ANC and generally in the entire movement. They were between the communists and liberals in the Congress of Democrats, between communists in the Party and nationalists in the Youth League who were labeled narrow at the time. So, it is official the battle of ideas are not particularly new in the entire movement, what is new then? Clearly the contests have in the past as is the case now, brought about sharp differences and contradictions but these have never been portrayed antagonistic as we witness today. These contradictions were a way of cementing relationships in the alliance since things were never automatically smooth from the beginning. Lets look closely the examples of the consolidation of these relationships.

In the run up to the Congress of the people for instance communists like Rusty Bernstein played a key role in the drafting of the Freedom Charter, the ANC’s primary policy perspective. The meeting of mind of those who were at the forefront in the adoption of the armed resistance is another example of the unity of purpose in the alliance. In mind we have comrades like former President Mandela and Michael Hamel, who was regarded as Lenin of the Communist Party because of his theoretical might. Operation Mayibuye, a strategic perspective of revolutionary offensive against reaction was drawn by comrades Joe Slovo and Govan Mbeki who were leading members of the Congress and well known communists. In essence the formation of Umkhonto Wesizwe was a joint effort of mainly the ANC and SACP.


The concrete advent of South Africa’s Trade Unionism was witnessed through Industrial and Commercial Union (ICU) by Clemens Kadalie in 1919 in the Cape. The true significance of ICU despite its internal challenges was that it was the first mass based movement following the consolidation of white colonialism. The main weakness of the ICU was that Kadalie had absolute control over it. It swept through the country like veld fires. The union had to confront serious defects in the labour front based on racial discrimination and super exploitation of the workers and these:

  • Black workers discriminated against based on race
  • Workers particularly Africans had no recognized rights
  • They were disallowed on any kind of skills development
  • Not allowed to organize or belong to a union
  • The advent of gold mines in 1886 began brazen super-exploitation of workers
  • The 1925 wage act differentiated on race for black and white wage earners
  • Colour bar act of 1926, made it illegal for blacks to perform certain skilled and semi-skilled jobs on the mines.

The 1930s and 1940s witness the party spearheading the establishment of industrial unions. These efforts were made fruitful through the Party’s political classes. Among the recruits were Africans and Indians who also played significant role in the liberation movement like Johannes Nkosi, Gama Makhabeni, Moses Kotane and many others. In 1928 the South African Non-European Trade Union (SANETU) representing about 10 000 workers was formed at the Rand, this development was as a result of white workers unions not co-operating with African Unions.

Again the workers struggles of 1941 culminated in the formation of Council of Non-European Trade Unions (CNETU) and Moses Kotane presided over this meeting. Its committee consisted of Gama Makhabeni as President, Dan Tloome- Vice President, David Gosani as Secretary and James Phillips as trustee. In 1945 Makhabeni was replaced by JB Marks since he became sympathetic to the Department of Labour officials. JB Marks was presiding over African Mine Workers Union (AMWU) in line with the ANC resolution to organize the mine workers.

It was effectively only after 1946 miners’ strike that workers came into direct contact with the ANC and CPSA at large scale. The strike forged new alliance in progressive circles with greater emphasis on mass mobilization and mass action. Some key leaders in Trade and Labour Council dissolved the body to form the Colour Bar South African Union Council whose constitution excluded Africans. In its formation in 1954 the South African Council of Trade Union (SACTU) took advantage of the situation and vowed to oppose discrimination. The authority and legitimacy of SACTU as a true principled champion of workers continued even during repressive period of banishment. SACTU played a key role on the amalgamation of the unions under FOSATU in the 1970’s with the ANC and SACP also on board on this score. This process led to the formation of COSATU in 1985.

Under the theme ‘One Federation One Country’ the giant was launched, however more than twenty years on we are still to witness the attainment of its strategic objective of having one federation in one country. From its inception COSATU trotted the path traversed by SACTU, in the true spirit of our revolutionary movement and adopted the Freedom Charter. The Progressive Trade Union movement has to have more than trade union consciousness for it to be really progressive. Trade union consciousness alone can be narrow to the point of being reactionary, workers therefore need political consciousness as a potent weapon for the mobility of the working people


The historical reflections show that the alliance was built on solid ground, the point is to take it to higher planes. This sound foundation was as a result of rigorous debates, discussions, exchange of ideas, consultations and the likes. The 1994 breakthrough posed new challenges and heralded a new epoch. The theme ‘From Resistance to Reconstruction’ meant the movement was now administering the affairs of the whole nation and no longer its own constituency in the strictest sense of the word. Within the alliance this era threw in both old and new challenges.

The task of each component of the alliance belongs to others as well. By way of example our country today has the ANC as the ruling party, it is not it alone which must ensure that it remains in power. Whilst the ANC ascended to political office in 1994, its status as a liberation movement remains as such. It therefore still remains as a vanguard of the struggling masses of our land. Amongst others the ANC’s task is to mobilize and organize the broadest sections of society behind the programme of the national democratic revolution, for a free, non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

The SACP’s task in the main is to deepen political consciousness of the working class, engage in programmes aimed at resolving the contradictions between labour and capital (which are antagonistic) thus building a socialist society. To this extent there is no Chinese wall between the national liberation and class struggle.

COSATU’s historic mission is to build, consolidate worker power and unity. All this would be done with the goal of creating one federation in one country.

The task of one is the task of all in the alliance, conversely it is the task of all components in the alliance to do what everyone is suppose to do in order to realize the goals of the NDR, there can be no compartmentalizing of these tasks. This is the depth of dialectical relationship in this alliance.

The alliance has a challenge of ensuring proper political management of its affairs from within. There is also a need to dispel the notion of lack of debate and discussions through action. All in the alliance need to take up the gauntlet thrown by the late comrade Lawrence Pokanoka at the 2nd ANC National General Council that we guard against much emphasis on unity without balancing this with robust political debate. Unity pronounced or arranged and not forged in action, in robust discussions and debates is artificial to say the least. Having said this it also must be mentioned that we will not always agree on issues and there is nothing strange about that. Our movement is not a debating society, when the time comes the majority rules. A balance has to be struck though of not merely using this majority in stifling debates on the one hand, and becoming a talk shop which never decide on the other. Joint programmes will assist in minimizing some of the misplaced misunderstandings. One of such programmes is the cadre development as resolved by the respective conferences of the alliance partners. Alliance summits have proven to be an effective tool to be used in this regard.

The strengthening of this revolutionary alliance depends on all of its components to play a meaningful role to achieve this. The last Johannesburg congress of COSATU, SACP’s P.E congress and ANC’s Polokwane conference both resolved to strengthen the alliance. The issue then is how do we craft our individual and joint programmes in such a way that they respond to this historic and profound directive. We cannot fail our forebears and neither can we fail future generations, but we need to preserve the precious and successful legacy of national democratic revolution by taking it into higher planes.

Nathi Mthethwa
ANC Chief Whip


  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  7. Ibid
  8. Ibid
  10. Meli, F (1988; 188) South Africa Belongs to us.
  11. G. M Gerhart and T. Karis (1977), From Protest to challenges, Vol 4
  13. Ibid
  14. Ibid
  15. Ibid
  16. Ibid
  19. Ibid
  20. Ibid
  22. Ibid
  23. Ibid
  24. Ibid, 66
  25. Ibid, 66
  26. Ibid; 66
  27. Ibid; 67
  30. Ibid
  31. Ibid
  34. Ibid
  35. Ibid
  38. Ibid
  40. Ibid
  41. Ibid
  42. Ibid
  44. Ibid
  45. Ibid
  48. Ibid
  52. Ibid
  54. Ibid
  55. Ibid
  56. Ibid
  57. Ibid