ANC 48th National Conference
Durban, July 1991
Adopted resolutions on Negotiations
1. Conference reaffirms that the possibility exists of achieving
the transfer of power to the people and the creation of a united,
non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa by peaceful means.
2. This possibility has come about as a result of the heroic struggles
of our people which have included mass action, armed struggle and underground
work, supported by anti-apartheid actions of the international community.
3. To achieve the strategic objective of our struggle, it is vital that
we continue to combine all formsof struggle, drawing in the widest spectrum
of the people.
4. Accordingly, the speedy realisation of a democratic settlement requires
that negotiations which constitute an additional terrain of the struggle
should be linked to a continuing mass struggle and international pressure.
This is because the gains made in the mass struggle will be reflected at
the negotiations table. Negotiations do not win our freedom, but represent
the recognition of the victories we win on the ground.
5. Conference supports and endorses the strategy for negotiations outlined
in the Harare and UN Declarations adopted in 1989. Conference instructs
the NEC in consultation with other members of the tripartite alliance to
elaborate a comprehensive approach to negotiations.
6. In this context, Conference notes that the Pretoria regime has not
yet removed all the obstacles to negotiations identified in these Declarations
and has thereby blocked progress towards the creation of a climate
conducive to negotiations.
7. Furthermore, the campaign of terror carried out against the people
intended to destabilise society, intimidate the people, undermine and
weaken the ANC, its allies and the rest of the democratic movement is an
obstacle to the objective of creating a climate conducive to negotiations
and to free political activity and association.
8. Conference therefore demands that the Pretoria regime acts immediately
to unblock the path leading to the creation of the necessary climate
by removing the obstacles to negotiations.
9. Conference denounces and condemns the Pretoria regime which, by delaying
the process of negotiation, seeks to strengthen itself, weaken the democratic
movement and discredit genuine negotiations.
10. Conference directs the NEC in consultation with the RECs
and our allies to ensure the implementation of a programme of action
to ensure the defeat of this strategy. Such action should aim to draw in
the broad democratic movement and the masses of our people and the
world anti-apartheid movement.
11. In the light of the fact that for the foreseeable future
there will continue to exist counter-revolutionary elements opposed to
the democratic transformation of South Africa, and recognising that there
is a strategic relationship between the maintenance of peace and the possibility
of a negotiated settlement, Conference resolves that the ANC should at
all times act decisively to defend the people while it conducts an uninterrupted
offensive to defeat the apartheid system.
12. Conference therefore resolves that all necessary measures be taken
to mobilise the people of South Africa as a whole to engage in action in
defence of peace. Conference further resolves that the ANC should assist
all communities to build the capacity to defend themselves against
13. MK should maintain its combat readiness and vigilance to enable
it to intervene decisively should the anti-democratic forces block the
path to a Peaceful settlement.
14. Conference endorses and supports the initiative already taken by
church and business organisations to convene a peace conference.
15 Conference further resolves that all necessary measures be taken
to activate the international community to join the offensive against
16. In keeping with the provisions contained in the Harare and UN Declarations,
Conference reaffirms the crucial importance of the following steps, which
must be taken consequent to the removal of ALL obstacles:
- The convening of the All-Party Congress;
- The installation of an Interim Government;
- The election of a democratic Constituent Assembly; and
- The adoption of a democratic constitution and the election of a parliament
representative of all the people of South Africa.
17. Conference further resolves that these objectives should be achieved
within a definite time frame, to ensure that the process of negotiations
is not drawn out.
18 Conference reaffirms the positions of the ANC that all the people
of our country should be involved in the process of negotiating their future.
Accordingly, it reiterates our standpoint that negotiations shall not be
19. Conference further directs the NEC to take immediate steps to ensure
that a comprehensive and representative team comprising all chief negotiators,
working groups and researchers, which shall function under the supervision
and direction of the NEC, is established. The NEC shall ensure that
in all such organs and structures there is adequate and fair participation
20. Conference directs the NEC as a matter of extreme urgency, to take
steps to ensure the creation of appropriate and effective mechanisms for
consultation and communication with the membership. To realise this objective
the NEC shall ensure that the necessary resources are made available.
21. Furthermore, Conference directs the NEC to take immediate steps
to ensure the creation of appropriate and effective mechanisms for the
involvement of the allies of the ANC in the process of negotiations.
22. In the mean time, and subject to this resolution, Conference mandates
the NEC to continue with the process of talks all-out talks and invests
it with discretionary powers, within the policies of the ANC.
23. Conference resolves that everything should be done to build maximum
unity among the forces committed to the perspective of a non-racial, non-sexist
democracy and to ensure that such forces act in unity throughout the process
of negotiations. In this regard it resolves that determined efforts are
made to establish a front of patriotic forces as soon as possible. All
participants in this Patriotic Front shall retain their organisational
independence and sovereignty.