Arusha Conference: Declaration
4 December 1987, Arusah
- Conference reaffirms that apartheid is a crime against humanity. It has
persisted for too long. It must go.
- We, representing millions upon millions of people throughout the world,
are outraged, by the continuing brutality, inhumanity and aggressiveness of
the apartheid regime which results in death, suffering and insecurity for
the peoples of Southern Africa. No one - not even young children - can
escape the evil shadow of this monstrous denial of everything human and
- The savagery of Botha`s regime has failed to cow the people of South
Africa into submission. Millions have demonstrated their fierce commitment
to fulfilling the task of freeing themselves. We feel inspired by the
unquenchable spirit and courage of the people of South Africa, confirmed by
those who came from the belly of the beast to bear testimony.
- We, together with the people of the world, condemn the apartheid system as
illegitimate. It cannot be reformed: it must be abolished.
- This criminal regime launches economic, military and political aggression
against the Front Line States and continues its illegal occupation of
Namibia. It is a source of tension, conflict and a threat to international
peace and security.
- The unprecedented vigour and depth of the struggle in South Africa against
the apartheid regime has given birth to a powerful mass political and trade
union movement and the emergence of an alternative democratic power.
- The issue of political power is central to the conflict in South Africa.
On the one side stands the Botha regime, its allies and supporters, seeking
to perpetuate the monopoly of power in the hands of the White minority. On
the other side stand the ANC, the mass democratic movement and their allies
and supporters, who are fighting for the transfer of power to the people.
- The perspective of a future democratic South Africa is set out in the
freedom Charter which is supported by the overwhelming majority of the
people of that country.
- The Botha regime is not interested in entering into genuine negotiations
to end the inhuman system of racism and apartheid. Any negotiations would
have to address the central question of political power and not how to give
apartheid a more acceptable face. Such negotiations must have as their
objective the transformation of South Africa into a united, democratic and
- The people of South Africa have the right to pursue their struggle for
democracy, self-determination and genuine independence against this brutal
and illegitimate regime and to use all methods of struggle - including armed
resistance - to achieve this end.
- The people of South Africa require the further intensification of
international solidarity, and all who come from outside that country have a
duty to continue to search for the most effective methods of increasing
support and assistance for the ANC, its allies and the mass democratic
- It is imperative that the international community imposes comprehensive
and mandatory sanctions on racist South Africa.
- We have a duty to defeat the severe press censorship imposed by Pretoria.
A fuller exposure of the brutality of the apartheid regime and the
continuing resistance of the people would move greater numbers of people
throughout the world to act against that evil system.
- We are obliged to fight for the immediate release of all political
prisoners and detainees without conditions. We welcome the release of Govan
Mbeki, after 24 years of incarceration, as a victory for the forces of
change both inside and outside South Africa. His release should inspire all
humanity to step up the national and international campaign for the release
of Nelson Mandela and all other political prisoners and detainees.
- We urge all governments, international organisations and solidarity
movements to act in support of those who are risking their liberty and lives
in the struggle for a non-racial, united, democratic South Africa.
- With renewed vigour and determination we declare our commitment to
continue the fight to put an end to apartheid, the illegal occupation of
Namibia and the destabilisation of the neighbouring states. There is no
doubt that the people of Namibia and South Africa, led by SWAPO and the ANC,
shall be victorious.