Contents: THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (ANC): THE HERITAGE OF STRUGGLE • A HISTORY OF STRUGGLE: A CHRONOLOGICAL GUIDE TO THE ANC • PROFILE ON PEOPLE: NELSON MANDELA • DOCUMENT FILE: A CIA ASSESSMENT OF THE ANC • African resistance to white domination in South Africa has intensified. The African National Congress (ANC), formed in 1912, has been at the forefront of this struggle. The ANC first adopted a strategy of non-violent resistance through petitions, demonstrations, strikes, and boycotts in order to force the government to recognize their rights and to establish a democratic society. The ANC’s efforts were met with harsh repression; the apartheid regime has resorted to unrelenting surveillance, harassment, banning, imprisonment, and assassination. Africans were left with only two choices - "submit or fight." As ANC leader Nelson Mandela argued, "fifty years of nonviolence brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation." Black South Africans have been driven to armed opposition, not by communist ideology or Soviet manipulation, but because the government has refused to accede to their legitimate demands. The ANC’s armed wing (Umkhonto we Sizwe or Spear of the Nation) targets property, not people. This ISSUE BRIEF contains an interview of ANC President Oliver Tambo conducted by TransAfrica Forum's Executive Director, Randall Robinson. For nearly twenty years, Nelson Mandela languished in Robben Island prison. Arrested on August 5, 1962 for leading the ANC’s underground campaign, Mandela was first sentenced to six years in prison; while there, he was again charged and tried under Sabotage and Suppression of Communism Acts, this time sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela remains the respected leader and the symbol of resistance of the South African people. Growing signs of ANC political activity in South Africa mark the reversal of an almost twenty-year trend. Nonetheless, the ANC has a long way to go before it can claim an effective political network inside the country. The newsletter mentions SWAPO (South West African People's Organization), the Reagan administration, the President's Council, "constructive engagement," the Freedom Charter, the Natives Representative Council, the National Party, the Blacks Abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documents Act, the "Campaign of Defiance Against Unjust Laws," African mine workers, a strike, the ANC Youth League, the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act, the Sharpsville Massacre, the 90-Day Detention Law, solitary confinement, the Rivonia Treason Trial, Goven Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, life imprisonment, the 180-Day Detention Law, the Terrorism Act, student unrest, Steve Biko, the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), school boycotts, the Soweto riots of 1976, the Pan-African Freedom Movement of East, Central, and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA), Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the South African Coal, Oil, and Gas Corporation (SASOL) synthetic fuel plants, Zulu Chief Buthelezi, Dr. Nthato Motlana, the Soweto Committee of Ten, the Western Contact Group, radical Zulu youth, and TransAfrica Forum staff Cherri D. Waters, William Fowler, and Menda Ahart.
Used by permission of TransAfrica Forum.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root