Second National Consultative Conference: National Preparatory Committee Composite and Organisational Report
Introduction and Organisational Report
- On the 26th of June the National Executive Committee released a call to
all members of the ANC, instructing the membership to prepare for the
holding of a National Consultative Conference. The call pointed out that the
NEC came to this decision on the basis of the conviction that the time had
come for the widest possible consultation to take place within our movement,
around three principal issues, these being:
- The assessment of the situation within our country and internationally;
- Consideration of measures designed to strengthen our movement and
consolidate our gains; and
- The defeat of enemy manoeuvres and charting the way forward.
constituted under the leadership of the Secretary General, Comrade Alfred
Nzo. The NPC was set up as an organ of the NEC, charged with the task of
co-ordinating preparations for the NCC and reporting to the NEC.,The
committee was to be composed of ten (10) members, six of whom were drawn
from the NEC, four from the general membership. These were:
- The Secretary General Alfred Nzo as Convener of the NPC.
- Deputy Secretary General and Deputy Treasurer General, Comrade Dan
Tloome, as Deputy Convener of the NPC.
- Thabo Mbeki-NEC
- Joe Nhlanhla-NEC
- Simon Makana-NEC
- Josiah Jele-NEC
- James Stuart
- Pallo Jordan
- Peter Ramokoa
- Manala Manzini
programme towards the earliest possible convocation of the NCC. Its first
order of business was the scheduling of regular meetings to assign tasks and
monitor progress. Initially the meetings were held regularly, on the average
once a week. As the tempo of work increased, three members of the NPC,
including Comrade Dan Tloome, were constituted into a permanent working
to initiate and guide preparations.
- Of these, three were basic documents:
- Broad guidelines-Part I
This paper dealt with the following key issues:
- The state of our organisation and its various formations e.g. our
People`s Army, Umkhonto we Sizwe. the Women. Youth. etc.
- The internal political situation, the ANC underground.
- Structures, Constitutional Guidelines, and Open Membership.
- The armed struggle.
political situation and its bearing on our struggle.
A dealt with the Strategy and Tactics of the ANC.
B outlined the tasks put before our organisation and people during the
year 1984 as laid out in the January 8th, 1984, NEC statement.
discussion papers on a number of questions which had generated
enthusiastic debate among the membership. These were:
- PMC document, Planning for People`s War.
- Nature of the South African Ruling Class.
- Role of the Youth in the National Liberation Struggle.
- Role of the Women in the National Liberation Struggle.
- On the trade union movement and workers` struggles (from Sactu).
- ANC Structures.
- ANC Code of Conduct. The Broad Guidelines were circulated through
Regional Preparatory Committees to all units and branches for
discussion. Units sent in their views and recommendations to the NEC. As
a result of the difficulties we encountered in obtaining reliable
couriers to distribute these papers to our far-flung membership,
documents b) and c) reached the regions late.
- After its launching the NPC instructed all Regions to create Regional
Preparatory Committees. These were machineries created to guide
preparation for the Consultative Conference in each region.
- Tasks of Regional Preparatory Committees:
- To channel instructions from the NPC to the region.
- To guide the membership in the region during the period of preparation
- To send to the NPC all recommendations and views expressed by units,
branches and individuals.
- To prepare and hold Regional Conferences as the last phase of
preparation before the National Consultative Conference.
- From the reports received all regions except for those with very few
members, formed Regional Preparatory Committees.
- The NPC advised that where possible Chief Representatives should only
serve in the RPCs as ex-officio members, without having to hold any
portfolio in the RPC. This was to ensure that neither the work of
preparation for the NCC nor the mission work should suffer.
- The preparations by units were ml the basis of the guidelines and
documents tabulated above. However, the membership was further called upon
to make contributions on any other question of importance which it felt
needed the attention of Conference.
- All recommendations from units and branches were to be sent to the NPC
through Regional Preparatory Committees. These views from the units and
branches have been brought together in summary form to constitute Part II
of the composite report. We should point out here that this report is
belated. Initially it was scheduled to come out before all regions held
their regional conference, with the aim of enriching the general
membership about opinions and views expressed by other branches and
(inside the country) in pre-Conference discussions. Some PHQ units did
canvass the views of selected individuals and units but integrated these
within their own regional reports; others started late to debrief the
functionaries. However, by May the process of canvassing views of internal
units and the leadership of the mass democratic movement had got off the
ground in earnest. The Broad Guidelines for discussion have been dispatched
for this purpose. Although reports have not reached us in the expected
amounts before Conference, we believe the contribution from inside the
country will be of timeless value to the entire movement and struggle.
- Each region was to hold a regional conference to be attended by
delegates elected from branches to discuss and reach a regional consensus
on the issues raised in the guidelines and other matters of interest.
- Regional Conferences were also to elect delegates to the National
Consultative Conference on the basis of a quota allocated to each region
by the NPC.
- All elections of delegates were to be conducted through a secret ballot.
- Recommendations from Regional Conferences are contained in Part 111 of
this composite report.
Observations Made by the NPC on Regional Conferences
- Except for Tanzania, where the Regional Conference had to be reconvened
for the purpose of reelection of delegates to the NCC, all regional
conferences were successfully held.
- Some regions were not in a position to hold regional conferences because
of the conditions of stay of the ANC membership in the said areas. For
example, the ANC students in the Socialist countries were not in a
position to meet because of the fact that the only time available for them
to meet was during the vacations.
wide-ranging intra-movement discussion. Besides, the units raised many other
pertinent questions and made numerous recommendations before and at Regional
- We received a total of 82 papers from the regions: a total of 13 as
individual contributions; a total of 19 from units, of which 16 were from
- The NPC received regional documentation from eight centres where we have
RPCs and where Regional Conferences were held. These were: Angola, Canada,
Maputo, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The
documentation included reports on Regional Conferences as well as
commission reports. Most of these have been reproduced for the Conference
Secretary General Alfred Nzo and Josiah Jele, who, due to other commitments
could not take part in NPC work from the start), were relieved from all
other duties to work in the NPC on a full-time basis.
Below we summarise the views and recommendations from individuals and
Discussions and Recommendations before Regional Conferences
Units, branches and other organisational formations, as well as some
individuals throughout the movement contributed to the various recommendations
listed below. Participation by units at home was relatively poor and their
contribution consequently negligible. This section of our report does not
include recommendations from the various Regional Conferences. These
Regional Conference recommendations are summarised in the next part of this
The following recommendations were received.
1. Crisis of the Apartheid Regime
The nature of the South African ruling class and its relationship to the
white minority, and to international capital, was widely discussed and the
subject of several papers and recommendations. It was recommended that ANC
`elucidate the concept` of the colonial nature of the regime and the national
democratic content of the revolution should be continuously stressed inside our
With regard to the all-round crisis facing the regime it was felt that this
was, apart from its purely economic causes, exacerbated by the regime`s war of
aggression in Angola and Namibia; expenditure on armaments to suppress the
national liberation struggle inside South Africa; the growing militant struggles
of the working people and the nationwide resistance of all our peoples. These
have led to the split within the Nationalist Party and Afrikanerdom and the
division between local and international capital.
We should deepen and exploit the crisis by mobilising in the rural areas;
draw in white democrats closer to our movement; oppose the petit-bourgeois
influence in the black community; make the May Day strike call effective,
increase the effectiveness of our propaganda among the white community; hitting
at the enemy personnel; and maintaining the disinvestment campaign. Furthermore,
while taking due account of the difference between the rural and urban masses,
the ANC should leave no stone unturned to make enemy institutions unworkable.
The ANC has clearly defined its attitude towards the SADF. However, this has
been misunderstood by some forces. Some seem to feel that `it is okay` to
participate in the racist army with a view to subversion, intelligence gathering
etc. We need to clarify our attitude towards conscription. We need to identify
all military-related targets as legitimate and intensify our drive against the
SADF in order to further demoralise the white youth.
The ANC needs to pay greater attention to non-student white youth and try to
harness `youth culture of rebellion` to the revolutionary struggle. Of white
students who have performed useful services for the movement, only the most
disciplined should be recruited into the underground movement. One paper raised
the point that the NPC Guidelines on the ruling class focuses only on the
Nationalist Party/Afrikanerdom split, apparently exempting the English-speaking
Divisions within the white ruling class are not fundamental; they are,
however, manifestations of the crisis of apartheid and as such should be
exploited. It was also noted on the issue of negotiations that if we were to
have `talks` with the regime, it should be from a position of strength. The ANC
must find ways of reaching wider sections of the white community and devise ways
and means of using the legal press. Through the democratic trade unions, we must
find ways of reaching the white workers.
Complaints were raised that though our movement has succeeded in mobilising
whites in various campaigns, there is little follow-up. There were suggestions
that we target specifically `white` grievances -- conscription, education, the
war in Angola and Namibia and so on. We must infiltrate liberal and other white
bodies. Also in order to increase our work among the white community, the ANC
must spell out alternatives to military service, methods of draft resistance and
Although a few voices expressed partial and conditional support for the
creation of a COD-type organisation (ie provided it will draw liberals into the
movement or for anti-conscription purposes, etc). doubt was expressed about the
wisdom of setting up such an organisation. We need to win over more whites into
the movement, therefore the `principled stance against liberals` is misplaced.
The mass offensive against the racist regime in recent years, and especially
against its dummy institutions, have rendered these partially ungovernable. The
ANC must, however, more clearly define the role and place of the black
petit-bourgeoisie, both in our society and within the context of the national
We must adopt a clear policy in this regard.
- Tri-Cameral Structures:
- Urban Councils:
A strong view is that black puppets in the Tri-Cameral `parliament` should
be dealt with in the same way as Botha and Company. They should be considered
legitimate targets and their `parliaments` rendered unworkable. Another view
was that we should examine the possibilities of using the Tri-Cameral
structures to infiltrate and penetrate enemy structures and organs.
The main thrust of recommendations was that we need to infiltrate all dummy
institutions. ANC should give sufficient backing to the community to destroy
the Urban Councils within the context of making the country ungovernable and
creating rudimentary organs of people` s power. Others recommend that urban
councils must be destroyed from without by stepping up the boycott and
isolating those who participate in them. Some recommendations were that we
should examine the possibilities of fielding protest candidates who are
elected to make the Urban Councils unworkable.
Considerable attention was given to the question of the Bantustans. It was
generally felt that in view of our weaknesses in the Bantustans and relative
acquiescence there we review our policy towards Bantustans. It is no longer
enough to denounce the fraudulence of these racist institutions; we must
devise effective means to mobilise the people to oppose these regimes .
We must give consideration to opposition parties within the Bantustans,
boycotts and building up ANC structures in these areas. The more notorious
puppets should be eliminated whilst opposition parties in these Bantustans
must be targets for infiltration and, if found suitable, assisted covertly
with finance etc. Bantustan armies should be targeted for infiltration. It was
strongly recommended that specific machineries be set up in forward areas to
deal specifically with Bantustans.
2. Mass Struggles
The majority of papers and recommendations referred to the support.
popularity and prestige the African National Congress enjoys in our country. Yet
we seem to lack the capability to translate this into concrete organisational
capacity. It was generally felt that we have concentrated too much on the urban
areas at the expense of rural mobilisation. We need to devote greater attention
to the rural areas. In Zimbabwe they exploited traditional elites to great
effect, could we not learn from it? The call `Seize the Land` can become a
powerful mobilising factor. Furthermore, the manner in which we have conducted
the struggle has increased some misconceptions because our armed attacks seem
unrelated to mass action. ANC seems unable to adapt and respond adequately to
shifts and changes in day-to-day struggles. We seem unable to exert our will
inside the country because the leadership is in exile. To correct the above a
number of suggestions were made:
- The key leadership must be inside the country.
- We must infiltrate every organisation.
- We must initiate political, organisation among every sector .
- We must improve the flow of propaganda and information. The ANC`s presence
inside the country must be felt.
The ANC is perceived (internally) as an underground organisation, out of
touch with the people - in fact it has a purely military image and there is
little understanding between the military and political (forms of struggle). We
- Bridge the gap between ANC popularity and actual strength at home by
building a strong and effective underground. ANC must begin to build cells
inside organisations of democratic opposition.
- The M-Plan for mobilisation must be revived.
- Regional leadership must be professional revolutionaries .
- Set up specialised bodies for military work, propaganda work, etc.
- It was also felt that we need to not alienate people who could be our
allies tomorrow. Examples of Sacos and UDF quoted. This paper also poses the
question: can wayward ultra-leftists be wooed?
- Give effective organisational training to migrant workers and those from
- Intensify propaganda war against SADF and SAP throughout the country,
including the Bantustans
- There can be no neutrality in the struggle. Educate the masses of our
people as to the role and place of the SADF and SAP in our society.
- Work for the creation of civic organisations throughout the country and
establishment of a National Civic organisation, affiliated to the UDF.
- Organise unemployed workers.
- Intensify educational work in trade unions, church, cultural and
- Recognise and improve the work of Radio Freedom.
- Place the BCM on the agenda of political education inside the country. ANC
must persistently try to organise and influence BCM.
- Encourage existing white democratic organisations through direct contact
and political work in them to establish national organisations.
- Assist and improve the work of the mass democratic movement.
- Women and Youth Mobilisation:
- Recommendations Dealing Specifically with the Youth
- Youth Section should take up a more active role in PYM and consideration
be given to our being in the PYM Secretariat.
- Youth Section must be assisted in maximum mobilisation of youth in Front
- Firmer contact with labour movements, especially in Front Line States.
- Youth should now work towards creating a UDF-type national organisation to
bring about unity between students and the working youth.
- That the Women and Youth Section penetrate rural areas and the Bantustans
for mobilisation of the rural masses - similarly among the white community.
The question of women and youth mobilisation received extensive
consideration, and a number of recommendations were made. Although differences
emerged on whether women` s and youth organisations should be extended into
the country, it was unanimously recommended that `ANC develops a coherent
political, ideological and theoretical basis for women`s struggle and its
relation to the overall national liberation struggle`. It was agreed that the
question of the liberation of women within the context of national liberation
has been stimulated bv the activities of 1984 - Year of the Women. This should
not be the end. The ANC must identify the factors that inhibit full
participation of women in the struggle, and develop a strategy and tactics to
achieve fuller participation of women in the struggle and movement; organise
on a regular basis such activities as will provide for an exchange of views on
the question of women`s emancipation. We must train effective women and youth
One body of recommendations is that, for security reasons, it might be
unwise to set up separate departments in an underground movement at home.
Women and Youth Sections should be steered towards working with legal bodies.
Women and Youth work inside the country should aim at the creation of a
National Women and Youth organisation under the influence of the ANC. There is
an urgent need to draw in the working youth rather than the students only into
legal organisations at home.
Another view was that Women and Youth Sections should be extended inside
the country and draw militants from existing legal organisations into the ANC.
It was further recommended that Women and Youth Sections inside the country
should adhere strictly to underground rules and regulations for the political
mobilisation of our people into a powerful political force.
Recommendations supported the idea of separate women`s organisations but
warns against the danger of `ghettoising` women`s problems in these
Strong views were also expressed on the role and place of women, and
sexism, within our movement. There was no anti-sexist tone in Sechaba and
other ANC publications. It was further recommended that we confront the
`patriarchal attitude` among Congress men.
There were complaints about the backseat role of women in the movement as a
whole, and serious abuse of womenfolk. The latter needs to be investigated, it
More involvement of Youth Section in internal work is recommended through
greater participation in PHQ`s strengthening of the Youth Section`s internal
mobilisation committee; the creation of collectives within the Forward Area
machineries to deal with Youth work, and more discussion of internal work
within youth units. It was further recommended that:
3. ANC/SACP/Sactu Alliance
The question of the alliance between the ANC on the one hand and Sactu and
the SACP on the other was also discussed. Units called for the strengthening of
the alliance, and deliberated on the place and role of our allies in the
National Democratic Revolution. In this regard, suggestions were such as:
- Close co-ordination externally and internally.
- ANC should build up working class leadership in the work-place.
- ANC should build cells among workers at factory floor level.
- Such leadership should be mobilised into local, regional etc leadership
- In our propaganda we should make a distinction between union membership
and the leadership.
4. National Structure and Constitutional Guidelines
It was recommended that we need a closer definition of the functional bodies
of ANC; how they relate to each other, intersect, allow greater participation of
broad membership in decision-making.
- NEC and Leadership
- We need to look at the disfunctionality of ANC structures (which)
because of lax discipline has resulted in people at home performing better
than ANC externally.
- Over-extension of manpower-complaints that too many tasks seem to
devolve on certain people only
- We need to review the organisational structure of our movement and to
reaffirm and adhere strictly to the principle of `one man, one job`.
- The organisation is inaccessible to people inside the country.
- We need to set up leadership structures inside the country
- Structures should take into account the need for decentralisation of
decision-making away from HQ, drawing up guidelines for decision-making at
- Calls for control committee to ensure progress in all structures.
- Enhancement of political life inside the movement.
- More frequent contact between NEC, comrades from forward areas etc and
comrades in camps.
- Guard against automatically co-opting veterans from Robben Island onto
the NEC and other senior bodies.
- NEC must be divided between those dealing strictly with internal work to
`do away with the practice of NEC members spending most of their time on
ANC leadership has acquitted itself well in spite of difficulties, hence we
are in a position to raise the struggle to a higher plane. There can be no
justification for continued exclusion of capable comrades from the NEC. We
should consider whether the ANC`s original mission has been fulfilled Care
should be taken not to dilute the national character of the ANC. Perhaps one
member of the NEC should come from minorities
Underground leadership should be set up within RSA, and that this is the
most vital phase ahead. For such a step to be realised, the proper conditions
should be created. This does not necessarily mean that a certain percentage of
the NEC in exile be sent into the country after the Conference Nonetheless:
- ANC Membership
All members must clearly understand ANC policy programme, Strategy and
Tactics; must belong to units and/or branches; those who earn a salary should
contribute part of it to the Movement `tax`.
On the question of `Open Membership` three distinct views are held. These
- The overwhelming majority view is that all South Africans, irrespective
of race, colour or creed, who accept the policy and programme of the ANC,
should be eligible for membership at all levels, including the NEC.
- A distinctly minority view is that membership of the ANC should be
restricted to Africans only.
- Some felt that whilst they held the view expressed in (a) above, the
three leading positions in the ANC, that is of President, Secretary
General and Treasurer General, should be restricted to African leaders.
- Political Life within the Movement
In order to enhance political life within the Movement:
- SG`s Office should be geared towards assuming responsibility for
political life in the Movement; ensuring that RPCs function effectively;
circulation of documents and posing questions to stimulate discussions
within the Movement.
- Improving ANC organisational capacity-need to increase our efficiency by
shortening decision making process.
- The leading role of the working class should be reflected in all
- Calls for a Commission of Inquiry into Mazimbu, where, it is alleged,
there exists a low level of political consciousness, low morale,
maladministration, corruption and a negative attitude to MK. Punishment at
school seems ill-conceived where murderers are bundled together with
failures. There is no rehabilitative punishment. The Scholarship Committee
must be purged of tribalism, regionalism and favouritism.
- Create a Political Department to deal with this aspect of work,
including running a political school.
- Constitutional Guidelines
- ANC has no written constitution in force at present, but it has certain
constitutional usages which should be codified to regulate the actual
functioning of the Movement.
- We must have a constitutional document setting out the framework within
which we must work; and setting out relations within the Movement amongst
- There is a need for constitutional guidelines laying down frequency of
conferences and the terms of office of the NEC.
- Restructure constitution to conform with present-day demands of the
- Recommends there be constitutional guidelines providing for rights and
obligations of membership;; declaration of commitment; revival of oath of
allegiance of MK; codes of conduct for various layers of leadership and
- Recommends that social misbehaviour be separated from political
indiscipline; all departments to have their own disciplinary committees.
- Constitution should be upgraded to reflect the present qualitatively
higher stage of organisation and struggle and must take into account the
decisions of the NCC.
5. Cadre Policy
A number of papers and recommendations received on the above call for a
comprehensive, coherent cadre policy to be developed and implemented with the
greatest urgency. The various recommendations are presented in the following
- What does a Correct Cadre Policy Imply?
- Knowing one`s people
- Proper promotion of the cadres
- Ability to use people to the best advantage
- Systematic assistance to cadres
To produce cadres with the following qualities:
- Absolute loyalty and devotion to the movement.
- Closest possible contact with the masses.
- Ability to find one`s bearings independently and with courage to assume
responsibility in taking decisions .
- Disciplined and hardened in the struggle against the enemy.
- Revolutionary stamina, strength of character and power to carry it
- Comrades deployed in forward areas should be the `cream of the crop`,
with high political understanding, exemplary discipline and sense of
- Need for revitalisation of political life of the Movement, from top
- Need for an ANC political school.
- Improve conditions to provide literacy, political, educational and
vocational skills for MK cadres.
- Create conditions for recruitment of completed students to provide
political and military training.
- Cadres chosen to represent ANC be given adequate political training,
including diplomatic work.
There were more complaints that in certain sectors of the ANC, cadre policy
is seriously flawed by favouritism, regionalism, and even tribalism. Place
some of the blame for this on the Movement`s security organs which (it
says) require overhaul and review of personnel.
- Introduce adult education programme for veterans.
- Manpower Development Department should ensure effective deployment of
- There is a general need to improve the quality of ANC cadres. We must do
away with illiteracy in our ranks and upgrade the cultural level of all
- ANC needs to give guidance on studies and retraining programmes, adult
and vocational training so that we can re-allocate MK cadres not
immediately deployed or unfit for the battlefield.
- We should now start consciously planning to man a government by
preparing our personnel for other purposes .
- Specialist political and military training for all officers and men of
MK, especially in Angola.
- Continuous political and military upgrading of cadres.
- Selection and training of women for political work at home and in camps.
- Cadres should not stay too long in camps.
- Commanders in Forward Areas should continuously study the situation at
home and in their own areas of operation.
- All-round political or military training with specialisation in all
fields, in guerrilla and regular warfare.
- Preparation of core of trained specialists for regular army.
- Ill-conceived deployment of personnel results in wastage.
- Recruitment units inside must be linked to the appropriate machinery.
- Internal leadership still relies too much on guidance of external
leadership. This situation needs rectification.
6. People`s War (Armed Struggle)
Several units make the point that their purpose is not to point fingers but
rather to bring to the attention of the Movement matters of grave concern which,
if left unattended, will impede our struggle. Our present tactics seem to be
aimed at registering our presence rather than serious military conflict,
consequently we have failed to expand and draw in the masses who have become
spectators: our actions encourage mass passivity. Failure to follow up gives the
enemy time to regroup and counter-attack. There is still no organised ANC or MK
presence inside the country and as a result we have failed to counter the
enemy`s five year plan. Rather than remedy this situation, our MHQ go in for
ill-advised plans instead of building up our forces inside the country.
Rear bases are untenable for our struggle, therefore the commanding personnel
should go into the country. Commanding from the rear has caused a time lag
between events and our response and encouraged negligence and faulty
preparations. Decisions to this effect have been taken and await implementation.
The Movement as a whole should be put on a war footing and leading bodies
(PMC) should move closer to home so that they are in closer touch with the
- There should be a shift from armed propaganda to a People`s War. The ANC
needs to generate greater commitment, tighter discipline and, though
centralism is important, democracy in the governance of our activities is
- Greater attention must be paid to build MK units among workers and
peasants, drawing in the unemployed.
- MK training should seek to produce an all-rounder who can impart the
skills of a soldier, agitator, propagandist, etc, to people inside the
country. Stress must be put on MK fighters as political militants.
- Cells for intensification of armed struggle.
- Training of MK cadres inside the country.
- We should go in for sabotage of plants and infrastructure, draw factory
workers into sabotage teams and halt immigration of skilled workers from
- Armed propaganda, especially in rural areas, must be intensified.
- Engage enemy in mine warfare.
- Create politico-military units in factories, farms, mines and other places
- Attack enemy personnel.
- Improve general training courses (with inclusion of courses such as MCW).
- Create PMCs within localities of other nationalities for recruitment,
- All members of ANC must undergo military training.
- Work towards obtaining arms from the enemy.
- Find ways of involving war resisters in MK work.
- Prepare special units which will form the core of a (future) regular army.
- Recruit more women into MK and set up special structures for this purpose
with co-operation of ANC Women`s Section. Women should be involved in MK
- Infiltrate the SADF, SAP, etc.
- Comrades complain bitterly about wrong deployment of personnel due to
favouritism and other destructive tendencies which (they say) have become
endemic. No account is taken of actual inclinations or interests of cadres.
There is too much (social) distance between selectors and selectees.
- Others claim that there appears to be no accountability at army level in
the movement. A number of examples are listed of serious errors about which
there has been no adequate accounting which have led to more casualties. The
cause (they allege) is that no proper accounting, cross-checking or
verification of reports is done.
- Proper care should be taken of infirm and injured comrades. The facilities
at Temeke and Dakawa are wholly inadequate.
7. Umkhonto we Sizwe
- MK should increasingly be posed as the alternative to the SADF.
- The political department and commissariat in People`s War should be
strengthened with cadres of a high political commitment and consciousness,
to safeguard the general welfare and discipline of MK. Commissars should
receive special political and military training.
- All punishment should be corrective and must be approved by the
- Inclusion of various old comrades in various administrative organs of MK,
especially in Angola.
- Rights and obligations of all MK members should be clearly spelled out and
- Comrades should be constantly briefed.
- Visits to camps by leadership should be regular.
- Military training should be compulsory for all ANC members.
- The problems at Somafco with regard to students who would like to join MK
should be resolved.
- Composition of MK
The present imbalance of predominantly students and ex-students must be
- MK must become predominantly an army of workers and peasants. It must be
a true people`s army, and we must also do away with ingrained prejudices
- ANC must play a more active role in workers` mobilisation.
- Special structures to recruit workers and peasants, and Coloured and
Indian communities into MK.
- Review recruitment of whites into MK.
- Youth Section should launch a drive to recruit these sectors into MK.
- Movement must create special structures to deal with practical problems
of recruitment from these sectors.
8. Security Department
There were complaints about the arbitrary powers which the security
department seems to have to arrest, detain and assault people. It is suggested
that this be remedied by systematic accounting of all lower to senior bodies:
commanders` reports should be accompanied by rank and file reports. Commissariat
should serve as a link between the cadre and leadership and should take up
complaints of rank and file. Regular official reports on casualties, arrests and
defection; thorough briefing of all combatants on deserters, arrests etc should
The security department should be manned by mature people and only
politically mature people should be given responsibility in the West. Reference
was made to alleged mistakes made in the past in the selection of cadres for the
Position of security officers should be clearly elucidated and they must be
subordinated to Commanders, Commissars and Chief of Staff. We need to stop
certain practices which are counter to the policies of the Movement e.g. ways of
getting information from those arrested.
9. Department of Information and Publicity
It`s recommended that DIP be strengthened internally. Our propaganda and
publications must be distributed more efficiently. Says most whites are ignorant
of ANC, its history and aims. We can rectify this by making more information
propaganda available. Quality of ANC publications well printed but content poor.
It would be better to have a more amateurish press but with better content.
Specialised propaganda units in vernacular (and Afrikaans) languages required.
More profound discussion of ANC policy and the Freedom Charter needs to be
injected into mass movement at home. Proper place must be accorded to the
national dimensions of the struggle. Freedom Charter should be translated into
vernacular and Afrikaans languages, and distributed on a continuous basis
throughout the country. Need to pay attention to use of universities, research
outfits, etc for military/ counter-insurgency research.
10. Forward Areas
- Security lapses that occur in forward areas and undefined methods of
handling enemy agents are identified in the forward areas.
- Forward areas machinery under political commissariat .
- Forward areas must be seen as transit areas and those not directly engaged
in work there should be withdrawn. Discipline of comrades working in such
areas must be priority. This must correspond to the requirements for
- We must strengthen our links with the people in the forward areas, as this
is our immediate rear base.
- Need to separate other structures in forward areas from diplomatic
missions. Suggestions include coordination body including missions, cell
structures, political commissariat, etc.
11. International Work
Most recommendations, resolutions etc stress the changing balances of forces
in favour of Socialism, national liberation and social progress; the importance
of the alliance between the Socialist countries and National Liberation
Movements, and the need to prevent imperialism reversing this in our region.
Suggest there is a need to examine the reasons why the Nkomati Accord caught
ANC off guard. We should step up the oil sanctions campaign internationally. We
must take advantage of SA travellers and students abroad who will return home,
etc, to gain access to certain levels of the community. SA exiles must be
brought closer to the ANC through a conscious effort .
The movement must intensify and invigorate international solidarity work.
Form Anti-Apartheid Movements in Africa as well as broad Peace Movements.
Intensify co-operation with other National Liberation Movements in Africa.
Expose role of imperialism with regard to PAC. Increase frequency of Amandla
Cultural Ensemble tours abroad. International work is weak in Latin America,
West Africa, Asia and Middle East. Cadres must be trained specifically for this
work. We must make a concerted drive to expel RSA from the UN and win exclusive
recognition for the ANC.
Campaign should be launched to:
- Win recognition of the ANC as the sole legitimate representative of the
- Arrive at de facto diplomatic recognition of ANC by friendly countries.
- Isolate the PAC on the African continent.
We must also develop closer contact between ANC offices and grassroots of
host countries. Close gap created by absence of ANC offices in some countries.
Train representatives in Diplomacy and International Law.
Where there is a large student representation, liaison with representation
should be formalised. Revival of International Coordinating Committee and annual
meetings of representatives to coordinate programme of international work.
Strengthen solidarity work on African continent through grassroots
organisations. Socialist countries remain our staunchest allies, but we must
avoid complacency. We should step up publicity and information work, especially
through students in these countries.
ANC must counter racist offensive through campaign to win support, avoiding
over-dependency on particular countries. A budget to ensure proper allocation
and utilisation of funds.
Non-ANC South Africans must be mobilised into supportive groups to draw them
closer to the Movement. ANC international impact could be improved if we had
propaganda materials in other languages.
The need to improve our diplomatic representation so that we have a mission
everywhere with cultural, economic and political attaches.
- Third Force:
Third forces-PAC, BCM and other elements- campaigning against our struggle
must be isolated. ANC should treat such groups as part of imperialist strategy
to create alternatives to the ANC.
- The need to involve the internal machinery in the NCC was stressed, taking
due account of the security problems.
- One paper stresses that participants should be chosen on their ability to
contribute meaningfully to the struggle.
- The NCC must be representative of the membership.
- The need for regular conferences was underlined.
- One region suggested that the NPC give serious consideration to the idea
of having a formal relationship with the press during conference.
To reinforce the principle of accountability, elections must be held at
conference. Conference must become a regular feature of Movement life, held at
five-yearly intervals. One comrade felt it would be unwise to have open
elections as this could lead to loss of experienced leaders and therefore
recommends two alternative methods of either endorsing or withdrawing mandate of
the current NEC.
Option (a): All regions be balloted on approval or disapproval of list
of current NEC. All members polling below 50% should submit to elections at
Option (b): Regions be balloted to give President a mandate to choose
his own NEC. If mandate polls below 70% some other method should be tound
(author does not suggest one).
This Composite Report on the Regional Conferences will attempt to summarise
and synthesise the views expressed by the general membership through their
delegates. This exercise, it is hoped, will assist us in distilling the mood of
the general membership, the better to arrive at a consensus at the National
Our task is complicated by two factors. The first being that in spite of the
explicit directives of the NPC, all the regions did not abide by the deadline we
had set for the convening of the conferences. Some have thus far even failed to
submit their reports to the NPC. Consequently, this is based on four regions.
Second, largely our fault, no explicit guidelines were laid down for the
presentation of reports. Most of the regional reports were handed to us in their
raw states from which we were expected to cull the salient points and draw these
into one composite report.
The approach used identifies some common themes in the reports we have
received, commencing with those that occur in all the reports, followed by those
that occur in more than one report. In the second part we touch upon themes that
occur in single reports. As far as possible we have tried to bring out and
highlight the shades of emphasis and stress if such occur in the actual reports
without jeopardising the common threads. We have made every effort not to press
the variety of views found into a common mould because it is important that both
the diversity and uniformity of our membership`s views be fully expressed.
A1: Internal Mobilisation
A1 .1 This was a theme taken up by all the regions without exception.
The most salient feature of the present situation was identified by one region
in the following terms: That the enemy no longer has the strength and
self-confidence to crush us, but we still have not acquired sufficient strength
to crush him. All the contributions from the floor and in the overall reports
from regions reflect a common concern to rectify this position.
A1.2 One region draws attention to the three year programme embarked
upon by the ANC and assesses it as politically successful in that it has
- elevated the vanguard role of our Movement;
- demonstrated our capacity to hit the enemy at places and times of our own
- deepened the crisis facing the regime;
- posed the Freedom Charter, which has now been widely accepted as such, as
the only real alternative to continued colonial domination; and
- inspired the present mood of mass defiance and created the atmosphere of
A1.3 The shortcomings of the programme are that:
- We have failed to move from armed propaganda to the next phase;
- Our armed action has thus far not complemented mass action;
- We have not drawn the organised working class into the political struggle
in sufficient numbers nor affected the rural masses.
A1.4 All the regions recognise the immense problems facing the
underground machinery but stress the need to extend existing machinery by
reviving the programme to establish Area Political Committees (APCs) which
should develop into regional then provincial structures. The mass acceptance and
popularity of the ANC must now be translated into organised political support
which at least three regions feel could be achieved if we infiltrated and
created cells of ANC activists in each mass organisation from the Trade Unions
to Women and Youth organisations.
A1.5 It was the commonly held view that our leadership is too far away
from the actual theatre of struggle and should increasingly be brought closer to
home (all four regions) and where necessary infiltrated back into the country
(three regions) or devolve power down to an internally based leadership (one
region) which has now become essential.
A1.6 There was also the view expressed that though we regard the
working class as the decisive force in our revolution, this is not reflected in
reality. All regions called for the rooting of the ANC within the black working
class so that it can exercise its leadership role at all levels. Our glaring
weakness in the rural areas was also a matter of grave concern which should
immediately be rectified. A number of proposals were made to correct this
situation. These include a proposal that we mobilise to isolate the Bantustan
puppets using the burning issues facing the peasantry as our springboard;
another that we establish links with traditional rulers and elite to gain access
to the Bantustan masses; a third that we link up with opposition parties as a
means of galvanising the people into action. One region suggests that the
imbalance between male and female populations in the Bantustans suggests that
women and youth might prove more effective as organisers in these areas. Another
suggests that the unemployed, the `endorsed out` and forcibly removed from urban
areas could become conduits to reach the Bantustan masses.
A1.7 The escalation of the armed struggle is viewed by two units as
one other means of mass mobilisation which should be accompanied by infiltration
of underground political operatives. Such work can be assisted by the setting up
of PHQ/MHQ structures wherever we can reach South Africans.
A1.8 Attention was called to the church and other religious bodies
that could usefully serve as an additional means of reaching the people. Other
suggestions to improve our internal work were:
- Closer coordination and planning of work between DIP and PHQ (2);
- Internally based propaganda units, including correspondents for Radio
Freedom and possibly even a broadcasting unit (2);
- Specialised Women and Youth work units in forward areas (2);
- Working towards a nationwide Women`s Organisation (I);
- Reviving campaigns (like anti-pass campaigns) that have been allowed to
lie dormant (I); and
- Raising our publications to a higher standard (1).
A1.9 Special mention was made by one region of the need not to allow
funding to stand in the way of internal work. If there was a lack of accounting
or irregularities these should be rectified by more efficient structures, not by
the withholding of funds.
A1.10 One region pointed out that at least two thirds of DIP work is
internally oriented and should be regarded as an essential component of mass
mobilisation. Our researchers could also assist in the effort by identifying and
producing more profound studies of various strata, classes and sectors of the
A2. Armed Struggle and its Place in our Strategy
A2.l The discussions of the internal situation in each instance were
linked to the armed struggle, testifying to a commonly held view that it is the
pivotal aspect of the liberation struggle. In a perceptive introductory passage,
one region locates the present phase of the armed struggle in the context of the
crisis of the racist regime, characterised by the splits in the ruling class`s
ranks and their need to militarise South Africa to confront the forces of
A2.2 All the regions pressed for an escalation of the armed component
of the struggle and a shift away from the phase of armed propaganda towards
claiming more enemy lives, attacks on personnel-be they police, military or
civil service. There was a consensus also that though armed propaganda had
served to register both our presence and our capacity to strike the enemy at
will, it might become counter-productive by giving the impression that we want
to avoid inflicting casualties on the enemy.
A2.3 All regions reflect the general feeling that our major point of
weakness is the rural areas and the Bantustans. The only exception to this is
the urban areas of the Ciskei. There was a clamour for increased
attention-politically, militarily and in other respects to these areas.
A2.4 At least two regions were of the opinion that we should work
immediately towards creating guerrilla zones inside the country. One region felt
that the MHQ needs to move nearer home and that some leading (military)
personnel now be infiltrated into the country .
A2.5 One region warned that our tactics might lead to a situation in
which the masses become spectators rather than active participants. The theme of
self emancipation must be stressed and means found to make it a reality. Another
points out that we have come to rely too heavily on external logistical support
and should now shift to greater reliance on internal resources, including the
seizure of arms from the enemy. From the same region there is a complaint that
we have adhered too strictly to legality in forward areas whereas we should
sometimes break the law and use the territories without the consent or knowledge
of our friends. It further suggests that to root MK inside the country may
require the prior elimination of enemy agents so as to create a more favourable
atmosphere for operations.
A2.6 All regions concur that MK cadres should, first and foremost, be
trained to regard themselves as political militants rather than soldiers. This
requires a high political understanding and this should be the criterion for
deployment. Negative traits such as nepotism, regionalism and favouritism should
A2.7 Two regions call for the reintegration of MK veterans into the
military in order both to make their combat experiences part of shared knowledge
of MK and to increase the effectiveness of our army. Three regions draw
attention to the spontaneous creation of armed groups inside the country, such
as the South African Suicide Squad, and the need to give them political
direction. Some regions also make mention of the evident need to arm the people
and/or for MK to offer a military response to massacres like those at Sebokeng
and Uitenhage by striking at enemy personnel and inflicting casualties even it`s
away from the actual site of the massacre.
A2.8 One region calls for the convening of an extended meeting of the
military HQ to include the commanders of the lower units. This region also
recommends that key military commanders move closer to the theatre of war.
The general tenor of the reports is conveyed by the call from one region that
we foment a state of civil war in which the enemy will begin to feel the pinch.
A3. International Work and Solidarity
A3.1 The reports on International Work and Solidarity began by
examining the international situation, noting the growing strength of the forces
of social progress, freedom and peace; the increasing isolation of the diehard
imperialist forces and their desperate attempts to save their system by
fomenting international tension, wars of aggression and fuelling the nuclear
The ANC (and its allies) are an integral part of the world anti-imperialist
front engaged in the struggle to safeguard national sovereignty, preserve and
extend peace and ensure social progress. This determines in large measure the
allies and supporters whom the ANC attracts and seeks.
A3.2 Notwithstanding this natural affinity with certain international
forces, the ANC must strengthen and extend the base of its support throughout
the world and make greater inroads into those countries and circles from which
the enemy still draws sustenance, win the waverers and neutralise the racists`
actual or potential allies. The movement must launch a concerted effort to
counter the support the racists enjoy in these quarters and draw into its fold
of supporters all progressive, anti-racist and peace forces. Where no solidarity
movement exists, we should strive to build one; where such already exist, they
must be strengthened and made more effective. The disinvestment campaign in the
imperialist countries should be stepped up.
A3.4 In Western Europe and the US, the Nuclear Disarmament Movement
could become an important source of support since Pretoria became a nuclear
power due to the active collaboration of the FRG, France, Britain and the USA.
A3.5 Though our relations with the OAU, the Front Line States, the
Arab League, Non-Aligned Movement and AAPSO are good, we need to pay greater
attention to all these, especially the Front Line States. In this region much
also depends on how we conduct ourselves in these countries; our relations with
political parties and mass organisations and the government of the host country.
A3.6 The Arab States are of strategic significance in the light of the
oil embargo and the collaboration between Tel Aviv and Pretoria.
Latin America has always been very much left out of the picture though we now
have representation in Cuba. We are still weak in West Africa, the Mediterranean
region, the Middle East and Asia.
A3.7 Our relations with our allies in the Socialist countries remain a
great source of strength but can still be placed on a firmer footing. We should
investigate the improvement of our representation in these countries. Our
propaganda output has neglected these areas and there is an urgent need to
consolidate our support amongst the people through more propaganda, general
information and visits.
A3.8 All these improvements are dependent on the strengthening of the
International Department and placing it on an efficient basis. To achieve this
we need to establish:
- A planned programme of international work based on international policy
guidelines arrived at collectively in a Foreign Affairs planning committee.
- Annual meetings at HQ, and, at regular intervals, regional conferences of
- Separate desks for each continent/region at HQ.
- A more professional style of work.
- Regular reviews of progress, plus annual reports assessing achievements
A3.9 Two regions recommended greater coordination between
International Department and DIP so that our work is reflected in our
publications and other propaganda. The SG`s Office should be given the
responsibility to keep representatives and missions appraised of Movement policy
and developments on the home front.
A3.10 Heads of Mission/Representatives should have a clearly defined
tour of duty-a minimum of three years and a maximum of four years in a region
(subject to review and renewal)-but with an overlap period to ensure continuity
and proper transfer of the instruments of office.
Comrades who man missions should receive some basic training in diplomatic
work and protocol and receive thorough briefings on their duties and tasks. All
missions should have a secretary on a permanent
B1. Constitutional Guidelines and Organisational Structures
B1.1 The opinions expressed on these topics reflect the absence of
clear guidelines over the years which have led to differing perceptions of how
the movement should function. In the case of one region, it submitted a draft
constitutional document, which is a legalistic rendition of our existing
structures plus the region`s suggestion to improve them. The other three regions
made a number of recommendations which could serve to improve a draft
constitution or be incorporated in such a document.
B1.2 There was a general agreement among regions that all ANC`s organs
and structures needed revitalisation and streamlining. There is an evident
feeling that we are not performing at our full capacity and that this could be
improved by imposing greater control and ensuring accountability. To effect this
it was proposed by two regions that a Control Commission be established to
oversee the functioning of all our structures and organs and follow up on the
implementation of decisions.
B1.3 There was consensus on the necessity of regular conferences and
all regions suggested a conference every five years with the NEC reserving the
right to convene extraordinary conferences when the need arises. One region
recommends that RPCs be given rights to call for a conference. Such a demand
will have to be acceded to if it has the support of two thirds of the RPCs.
Concern was also expressed about the deployment of NEC members. One region
called for the NEC collective to spend most of their time at HQ; another
recommends that all members of the NEC be assigned a specific responsibility; a
third suggests that NEC members be based in the Front Line States. The
membership` s right to elect and recall members of the NEC is recommended in one
region. All members of the ANC, irrespective of race, sex or creed, should be
eligible to enter the NEC on the basis of competence. Some reservations were
expressed about the three top offices being reserved for Africans by a section
of one region.
B1.4 All the regions agreed that membership be open and unrestricted
to all South Africans who accept ANC policy and are committed to the national
All senior officials and heads of departments should have deputies. There
should be a uniform designation of such positions e.g. Secretary for .../or
Director of ...; Deputy/Assistant Secretary for ...
B1.5 Senior officials, heads of departments and military commanders
should be exemplary in their bearing and conduct at all times. There should be a
code of conduct for all ANC members and a region recommends one specifically for
leadership. Avoid multiple responsibilities.
There were a number of specific recommendations about particular structures
such as the SG`s Office TG`s Office and National Commissariat. One region
recommends the separation of Administrative Secretaryship from the ECC; that the
ECC be given NEC status and that co-ordination between the SG`s Office, TG`s
Office and ECC be resolved at the National Consultative Conference.
B1.6 Finance, welfare and logistics at both national and regional
levels should be responsible to the TGO; that an Auditor-General, not attached
to the TGO, be appointed and that personnel of the various departments in this
office receive proper training to avoid wastage and inefficient use of our
assets and property.
B1.7 The PMC and its sub-units (PHQ and MHQ) are also subject to a
number of recommendations. None of the regions seems to agree with the others
about what these changes should be. While one region suggests the
collapsing of these two sub-units into one body, another suggests their
B1.8 The MHQ should assume responsibility for all of Angola-including
the mission-medical and health care in the region and in all other regions where
there is a high concentration of military personnel, recommends Angola. Within
military all tendencies towards nepotism, favouritism and regionalism should be
combated and clear criteria laid down for promotion, granting of authority and
responsibilities. Where it is necessary the Movement should not hesitate to
purge those who have lost their commitment to the revolution. A principle of one
man, one command should be enforced and the opinions of junior officers should
be heard by the upper echelons.
B1.9 Education is a right which all our members should have access to.
As such, means must be devised to avail all comrades of formal education.
Illiteracy and inumeracy within our ranks should be eradicated.
Security and its preservation is the task of all committed revolutionaries,
though one department is charged with special responsibility in this regard. In
order to enhance the work of this department it should be improved and
strengthened through better selection of its personnel, the inculcation of a
high political consciousness and commitment to the struggle. Coordination could
greatly improve its efficiency. The abuse of its powers and the tendency to
assume that its personnel are above criticism should be ended. Criticism and
self-criticism should become the norm in NAT and it should strive to be a good
example of ANC morality and values. Negative traits such as nepotism and
regionalism should have no place within it and a high standard of
professionalism should be the norm. This was the general view in all regions,
though some call for more drastic measures to purge this department of
its worst offenders and a fresh start be made.
B1.10 One region calls for the separation of the Office of the
National Commissar from the DMD; another calls for the abolition of this Office.
There was also the recommendation that a commission of Economics and Planning be
set up to supervise projects and prepare for the future liberated South Africa.
Though the role of DIP in spreading the ANC message is recognised, all
regions call for the streamlining and improvement of the Department`s work. One
region recommends improvements in its response time and reaction to events at
B2. Political Life within the Movement
B2.1 Two regions addressed themselves to the question of political
life within the Movement. Both concur that as the ANC is a political movement,
the primary motivation of its members must be their political commitment, which
has to be sustained by regular political discussions, analysis and debates.
These are the life blood of the Movement. This will assist in, firstly,
clarifying the political line of the Movement to all its membership; deepen
their grasp of Movement policy and objectives; and thus enhance their commitment
B2.2 Political education is a continuous process which should help in
producing the type of cadre we need. Its object must he to inculcate patriotism,
hatred of the enemy and oppressive institutions. The sort of cadre who should
emerge will be a political leader, who is able to form independent judgments
based on the ANC`s general line and political prh1ciples and is able to
reproduce himself (politically) by imparting his knowledge to others.
B2.3 To achieve this we must draw up a comprehensive programme of
political education which will be under the supervision of a special department,
with units in every region. It has to be admitted that the National Commissariat
has been ineffective in this respect. One region calls for the reassignment of
the incumbent in this office. Political work must include regular assessment of
our achievements and state shortcomings, define areas of priority, covering both
military and political aspects. It must be oriented to preparing a comrade to
work at home and its effectiveness judged on revolutionary practice. The role of
commissars within MK must be more clearly defined and the calibre of our army
political instructors raised to that of the 1977-79 period in Angola.
B2.4 The ANC should not shy away from the ideological struggle and
should seriously take up the polemic against anti-ANC forces inside the broad
anti-regime front. There is at present a need to wage a counter-offensive
against various trends that counterpoise the national and class struggle. DIP
should compile analytical papers on these trends and combat them ideologically.
Within our own ranks we must discuss such groups and undertake a critique of
their ideas and strategies basing ourselves on our analysis and characterisation
of South Africa as a colonial situation.
B2.5 Within the Movement we require a comprehensive theoretical
document on the Women`s Question using our President`s address to the Luanda
Women`s Conference as a starting point. The questions relating to this matter
should also be taken up at unit level and in the branches.
B2.6 Within MK we should embark on a more deliberate policy to upgrade
the members of the commissariat. A number of negative trends should be combated.
These include militarism, phrase-mongering, destructive criticism, undermining
the vanguard role of our movement, distortion of the concept of a people`s army,
failure to adhere to a consistent anti-imperialist line in practice.
B2.7 It also points out that formal academic education is equally
important in the moulding of a good cadre. Such education should teach respect
for and knowledge of the cultures of all peoples, first and foremost our own
people and our indigenous languages.
Another region stressed the importance of the branch as the basic unit of
political life. All members must be attached to one and should regard regular
attendance of meetings as their first duty.
B3. Regional Structures
B3.1 Two of the regions submitted recommendations concerning regional
structures. But these took very different forms. Zambia submitted a draft
proposal on how to structure RPCs and guidelines for their functioning. This
document is in seventeen (17) parts which include:
- Chief Representative
- Regional Treasury
- Regional Finance Treasurer
- Transport vi) Welfare
- Treasury Secretariat x) RPC
- Composition of RPC
- Tasks of Chairperson
- Political Organiser
- Tasks of Secretary
- RPCs in Forward Areas
- Branches of RPC
B3.2 The commissions sought to explore means of achieving a greater
degree of co-ordination within regions, better control and performance of
administrative responsibilities and distribution of workload.
Both regions agree that accountability to higher organs and to the membership
are the best means of ensuring these. Though a single chain of command emanating
from the NEC, through the Chief Representative, is recommended, there is also a
call for collective regional leadership and collective responsibility. The
region suggests that part of the problem (in the Zambia region) arises from
conflicting instructions from different leading bodies. A single chain of
command would eliminate this.
B3.3 Zambia region calls attention to the inefficiency of regional
treasury structures which it blames on lack of proper supervision which has
resulted in serious anomalies. Part of the solution, it suggests, is a healthier
movement political life, which should lead to greater motivation and better
performance and discipline.
B3.4 Tanzania recommends that all new arrivals in the region be
exposed to a uniform cadre developing plains about the shortcomings of the
regional health committee and the National Health Secretariat. It calls for the
reassignment of the personnel of the latter and drastic revamping of the former.
A number of specific suggestions are made with regard to this:
- Rehabilitation and hospitalisation of psychiatric cases;
- Screening the entire community for TB and mass vaccination;
- Treatment of serious cases in friendly countries. B3. 5 A number of
Tanzania` s recommendations refer to the school of Mazimbu and the new
complex at Dakawa. These include:
- Revival of the RPC at Dakawa;
- Inclusion of students of 18 and over in RPC branches;
- Elective principle to be observed in all RPC structures, including the
right of recall.
Two contradictory recommendations regarding the school were made. The first
is that all secondary school students be housed in dormitories at the school.
The second says that it is not ANC policy to break up families and therefore as
far as possible, children should reside with their parents.
B3.6 Tanzania made a list of suggestions on the cultural sphere that
we include music, fine arts, speech and drama on the school curriculum. It
further suggests that all RPCs appoint or create specific structures to deal
To improve our security the region suggests that civil defence units
(militia?) be organised.
B4. Education and Training
B4.1 Three regions, Angola, Maputo and Tanzania, addressed themselves
to this issue. The recommendations from Angola have a strong emphasis on the
military, while those from Tanzania deal very specifically with Somafco and our
experience with it. Maputo deals with more general principles.
The most important point made is that the ANC has registered a major
achievement in building and staffing Somafco as a concrete alternative to Bantu
Education. Notwithstanding this, our school still has a number of shortcomings.
Its primary objective should be to prepare cadres to serve in the ranks of the
National Liberation Movement for the seizure of power and in the post liberation
period. In certain respects we have not achieved this.
B4.2 On general Education Policy, it is pointed out that we should
give pride of place to developing a genuine revolutionary education in both
primary and secondary school; break down the division between mental and
physical labour while imparting the humane values of our Movement to students.
B4.3 Somafco, the Tanzanian region claims, is being run along
conventional lines and has, as a consequence, failed to provide our personnel
needs. If we .am to create a new South African at Somafco, we should guard
against too academic a bias at the expense of inculcating values. Thus far the
political proscience subjects.
B4.5 Our attitude towards education too should be more enlightened and
recognise that it is a continuous process. Adult education programmes should
thus be a permanent feature of Movement life.
Within Somafco we should allow for the `full, creative and democratic
participation of students, teachers, and the community in educational
B4.6 To rectify the weaknesses, the Education Department should be
strengthened by appointing a Deputy Secretary and an Administrative Secretary.
With specific reference to the school a number of recommendations are made:
- Seek the advice of leading educationalists on childhood education;
- Set up a committee to monitor the child care policy for the ANC;
- Recruit more teachers to alleviate staff shortages;
- Encourage our cadres to enrol in courses to become primary school
- Introduce examinations in primary school;
- Revise curriculum to create a fully-fledged `A`-level programme in
- Place the labour programme on an equal footing with others;
- Have our examinations underwritten;
- Introduce career guidance at the school;
- Allow students of 18 and over to join RPC branches;
- Recruit more South African teachers and phase out international
- Form student-parent-teacher associations to bring the school closer to the
- Teach at least one indigenous language at the school;
- Employ an Educational Psychologist;
- All new arrivals should pass through a student orientation centre;
- Scholarship committee should be based at Somafco;
- Appoint an Education Officer to monitor all students` progress;
- After a period of upgrading, unsuccessful university students should be
reconsidered for scholarships;
- Somafco has a special role as an ANC development centre and should be seen
B4.7 With regard to other aspects of our Education policy, one region
recommends that we identify areas in which blacks are under-represented or
excluded and begin training our cadres in these areas. To avoid deskilling and
frustration, we must endeavour to deploy our completers in their respective
fields in the Front Line States. The DMD, which needs attention, can take charge
B4.8 On the educational struggles being waged at home, the region
recommends that these be aimed at destroying the present educational system.
`White` education is no real alternative to Bantu Education. South Africa`s
schools need to be indigenised-reflecting the culture of the nation as a whole..
C. Cadre Policy
C1.1 All regions addressed themselves to this issue . but only Lusaka
had a commission solely devoted to it. The starting point of the commission`s
work was the need for a comprehensive cadre policy in order to systematically
build the sort of militant, with sterling revolutionary qualities that our
movement requires. Besides political and ideological training, to produce such a
cadre requires that the style of work of our entire Movement be reoriented.
C1.2 The leadership cannot plan a meaningful cadre policy until it has
a clear picture of what our personnel resources are, how they are presently
distributed and how many are in the pipeline. To assist in this task the DMD
should draw up a comprehensive index of our personnel, identifying the present
and anticipated personnel needs of our Movement. Where necessary assistance
should be sought to train personnel in fields in which we are deficient and
guidance given to students to steer them in these directions. Cl.3 There was a
strong recommendation that the ANC establish its own political school, along the
lines of party schools in the Socialist countries. The instructors in these
schools will have to be thoroughly grounded in ANC policy. Its objectives would
be to produce a revolutionary militant imbued with hatred for the enemy and his
institutions and a conscious revolutionary discipline.
Cl.4 Academic education is a right which every member of our Movement should
have access to. Its acquisition will not only improve the skills of a comrade,
but will also improve performance of tasks and instill self-confidence. This
should include vocational, technical and university education. Co-ordination
could be useful in drawing up a broad policy on this question.
C1.5 Within the structures of the Movement we must introduce a method that
rewards good performance through promotions, and corrects sluggards and those
who under-achieve by reassignment and, where necessary, removal from a post.
Cl .6 Recruitment should aim at our principal social base, the African
working class, so that their leading role is reflected in all structures. At the
same time we must strive to achieve a balance between the sexes: greater
participation from national minorities, especially in MK.
The gulf that separates our students from MK cadres is unhealthy and must be
bridged. This could be done by giving MK cadres more access to academic
education and giving students access to MK.
C 1.7 In the military, the health, welfare, educational and cultural
conditions of our cadres must be given priority. Properly trained medical
officers must be deployed in our camps with regular medical check ups on all
comrades as part of the routine. Screening, vaccination and other primary health
care measures must be introduced with the emphasis on prevention rather than
cure. Psychiatric care and provision for the psychic health of comrades should
be part of the medical services provided in the camps.
Cl.8 There are a number of highly trained MK veterans who have been
demobilised from the military. Is it not time these were reintegrated to make
Cl.9 The problems of ANC`s educational policy, Somafco, etc, should be thrown
open to the entire ANC membership to discuss and understand. Two recommendations
for immediate implementation are made, that at primary school at least one
indigenous language is taught. The granting of ANC scholarships to non-ANC
people has caused us problems and embarrassment; it should be ended.
CI .10 The commission emphasised that our struggle must be seen in its proper
context, that of the African revolution against colonialism and as an integral
part of the world anti-imperialist front.
Conclusion and General Assessment
As the reports and papers from the various regions, units and individuals
indicate, the NEC call to the membership to engage in active preparation for the
National Consultative Conference was received with overwhelming enthusiasm by
the general membership. All regions did their utmost to ensure that this
historic occasion measures up to the demands of the situation within and without
our country, to the expectations of our people and our allies and supporters.
However, the preparatory period was not without its problems, both objective
1.1 After the constitution of the NPC, the first problem we confronted
was that all those seconded to it are full time Movement functionaries with
responsibilities that otherwise occupy their time. This meant that during the
initial stages many tasks were not timeously attended to. All these factors
played havoc with the NPC`s original schedules. Consequently we had to alter the
projected dates of the NCC twice.
1.2 The single most important factor affecting the NPC was that the
facilities at our disposal were not commensurate with our tasks. Transport and
other technical facilities were among our major problems in the early stages of
the preparatory process. Also, as a result of the difficulties we encountered in
obtaining reliable couriers to distribute the documents for pre-Conference
discussion to our far-flung member ship, most of them are only available at
Conference. 2.1 The pre-Conference discussions, as reflected in the individual,
unit and regional contributions received by the NPC, were extremely uneven.
There were inevitably wide discrepancies in the quantity of contributions among
regions. Some of this was as a result of the novelty of this exercise; some of
it was due to maladministration and so on.
2.2 The principal problem arose from the long interval between the
Morogoro Conference and this present one. Consequently a sizeable body of the
general membership felt that all issues that concerned them - from the minutest
personal and regional problems to the macrocosmic national issues - were
appropriate for the NCC agenda. There was also an evident feeling in some areas
that there was no mutual communication between the general membership and the
leadership. This feeling found extreme expression in a tendency to regard the
NCC purely as a forum through which the general membership would be able to
elect a new leadership which would be (it was hoped) more responsive to its
views. As the pre-Conference discussions proceeded, such tendencies receded and
a more mature attitude took root amongst the entire membership. The very fact of
open, frank discussions no doubt contributed to the emergence and strengthening
of this more mature attitude.
2.3 Though the various regions, units and individuals who participated
in the pre-Conference discussions approached it with differing ideas, notions
and conceptions-some of which appeared irreconcilable at the earlier stages-as
the discussions proceeded a consensus on a number of issues emerged, as
reflected in the composite report on the regional conferences.
There were of course issues on which there could not be unanimity.
Nevertheless we can say with a fair degree of confidence that there are no
issues on which there is diametrical opposition which could pose the problem of
schism. This should not suggest that there are not a number of strongly held
views on a whole range of specific issues. These are reflected in contributions
from units, regions and some conferences. However, it would be important to
point out that these are shades within a broad consensus on the crucial issues.
As a whole the pre-Conference discussions initiated the most democratic and
candid dialogue within our Movement for a long time. They brought to light a
number of our greatest strengths, but also pinpointed some of our gravest
2.4 The atmosphere in which the call to conference was
made-immediately after Nkomati-in large measure contributed to linkages
sometimes drawn between these two sets of events, if only because they were
sequential. Yet the contributions-regional, unit and individual-all evinced a
seriousness of intent and the conviction that whatever the problems, they could
be solved only within the parameters of the Movement.
3.1 Because ANC membership is scattered in all parts of the world,
there are of course great variations amongst our communities; some exclusively
of students; others are predominantly self-supporting individuals in full-time
employment. This reflected itself in both the level and quality of
participation. One region did not allow the general membership access to the
guidelines, though it was the express intention of the NPC that all members have
the opportunity to read and study the guidelines. This inevitably affected the
membership`s capacity to participate in pre-Conference discussion.
Another region reflected some social distance between the veteran members and
the younger comrades. this region also adopted a zonal approach in selecting its
regional delegation to the NPC, and the NPC decided that the region reconvenes
the last plenary of the Regional Conference for the purpose of elections.
Some areas did not have time to hold proper elections. The NPC instructed
these regions to ballot the membership by mail. At least two regions sought to
increase their delegations to the NCC.
All of these problems have been ironed out, and we hope satisfactorily
4. The general membership has invested a lot of its hopes in the NCC.
On the key issues of consolidating our unity and raising our struggle to the
level of people`s war, there is an overwhelming consensus. Every region
expressed the hope that the NCC will contribute towards providing the answer to
all the pertinent questions facing the Movement with the view to strengthening
it for the fundamental task of seizure of power
The NPC is of the unanimous view that the Movement in its entirety is ready
for this, the historic 1985 National Consultative Conference.