African National Congress National Consultative Conference
National Preparatory Committee Documents
- NPC Composite and Organisational Report
- The Nature of the South African Ruling Class
- Role and Place of the Youth in Society, the ANC and the Struggle
- Role and Place of Women in Society, the ANC and the Struggle * The Labour
COMMISSION ON CADRE POLICY, POLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL WORK
The deepening general crisis of the apartheid regime, the mass
revolutionary actions of the oppressed masses inside South Africa and
developments internationally confront the ANC with great challenges. Under
conditions of fascist state terror and violence the Movement is called upon to
lead the people in raising the level of struggle to that of a people`s war for
seizure of power. We also need to mobilise the international community to
intensify its support for our struggle and for the complete isolation of
racist South Africa.
To effectively carry out these and other crucial tasks the Movement has to
strengthen itself. One of the basic challenges we face in this context is that
of formulating and implementing a coherent and systematic cadre policy.
Delegates` Additional Recommendations in Plenary Cadre policy should include
discipline of all cadres as a prime quality in the definition of a cadre. In
the words of our President, `discipline is the mother of victory`.
A fundamental prerequisite for the success of a revolution is the existence
of a strong revolutionary organisation. The strength of a revolutionary
organisation lies not only in numbers but primarily in the quality of its
cadres. Hence in the development and consistent strengthening of our
organisation, cadre policy occupies a central role. Cadres are all members of
the Movement involved in the formulation and practical implementation of
policy, and willing to carry out all tasks assigned.
The cadre policy of an organisation is determined by the tasks which are
short and long-term in the revolution. A correct cadre policy produces
activists equipped to perform special and general skills and tasks.
In the case of our organisation the long-term task is the overthrow of the
apartheid regime and the establishment of a united, non-racial and democratic
South Africa as enshrined in the Freedom Charter. The short-term tasks vary
from time to time, in line with the strategy and tactics of the organisation.
Therefore, cadre policy becomes an important component of the political life
of the organisation.
The main principles of work with the cadres should embrace the following
- Education and Training
- Promotion and Accountability
- Preservation of Cadres Recruitment Under this topic, the following
recommendations were made:
Our recruitment drive should address itself to the question of enlisting
more and more members from our main base of recruiting, i.e. the working
class, particularly black workers, to make their leading role in our
revolution a reality.
Special campaigns should be launched to have rural masses in greater
numbers in the organisation so as to make our stated aim of mobilising rural
masses a real possibility.
Our recruitment drive should consciously aim to achieve an increase in the
presence of women and an appreciable presence of all national groups in the
organisation, especially MK.
Recruiting should at all times be based on an acceptance of the basic
policy and programme of the ANC. Potential recruits should be made to
understand and accept that the struggle means, basically, sacrifice.
Recruitment should not be an occasional business, but should be on a
continuous footing at home and abroad. Special attention should be given to
recruitment within enemy institutions.
Experience in the past has shown that recruits within enemy ranks can be of
valuable service to the Movement in such respects as neutralising the enemy.
Special care should be taken to see to it that recruitment is done in all
areas and regions of our country. In principle all members of the
organisation, through correct channels, have a duty to increase the strength
of the Movement in terms of numbers. In addition, special cadres should be
trained in the art of recruiting, especially if they are to use their training
in establishing underground units of our organisation inside the country.
Existing structures must work out methods for the harmonious and
co-ordinated integration of new recruits into the Movement. Our recruitment
drive should emphasise swelling the ranks of MK as the `vital cutting edge of
Delegates Recommendations in Plenary:
Delegate 1: As part of our conscious policy, cadres must multiply
inside the country, including intellectual youth who are progressive. Each
cadre must mobilise the youth.
Delegate 2: As a revolutionary Movement, we must work out a
consistent manpower policy. Our revolutionary Movement must demand of its
people to come and work for the Movement.
Delegate 3: With an express purpose to control the minds of our
future intellectuals, the US Administration has set aside $6-9-million for
scholarships for black South Africans. To counter this US move, recommended
that the Movement should appoint a full time organiser to the USA to work on
these, our people, there. Education and Training Education and Training can be
divided into the following:
Political and ideological, military, moral, academic and cultural
education. Political and ideological education and training should include
patriotism and boundless hatred for the enemy. A good cadre has sterling
revolutionary attributes, loyalty, discipline, dedication, devotion and
determination. Cadres should be staunch in their belief in our ideological
line, namely revolutionary nationalism and committed anti-imperialism. Above
all, the main direction should be the training of cadres to exercise political
leadership and be organisers. They should be well versed with the political
and ideological forces inside the country. They should be able to transmit
independently ANC policy to all sections of the people at home and
internationally. The Movement should set up its own political school.
Recommendations of Individual Delegates in Plenary on Education and Training
The high level of consciousness must broaden the spirit of patriotism which
must not be isolated from internationalism.
Recommended that for proper education of all cadres, our cadre policy
should adopt a slogan of Fight, Learn, Produce.
Older, experienced and skilled comrades should adopt and practice the Cosas
slogan of Each one - Teach one. Such a slogan is more fitting for the purposes
of eradicating illiteracy in our ranks. Our cadre policy should also aim at
bridging the gap between mental and manual labour.
Urged the incoming NEC to now gear itself for the practical implementation
aspect of our sub-divided education programme (of political, ideological,
military, moral, academic and cultural training) for the benefit of the cadres
and the Movement as a whole. Reason for urgency of the implementation of this
recommendation was that it was seen as a solution to such a problem as the
existence of a sizeable number of cadres who are not employed in any activity
undertaken by our Movement, especially those in Zambia.
On the subject of training the rapporteur also added a verbal
recommendation which was unintentionally not raised in the commission
discussions and emanating mainly from the Lusaka region, namely that there
should be compulsory military training for all able-bodied members of the
Movement. Although the recommendation was received with applause by the
plenary, the recorders received two strong objections to the recommendation.
We include them verbatim.
`MK is a glorious army, ideally composed of comrades whose dedication,
unflinching commitment and readiness to sacrifice is very high. Its members
are the best sons and daughters of our people. A con scripted soldier is most
probably not going to undertake his/her mission consciously, if ever. The
likelihood of such a soldier selling the revolution out is very high.
Military training should remain being the undertaking of ANC members who wish
to do so. It should be on the basis of one`s consciousness and conviction as
membership in MK is an honour but also implying possibilities of supreme
sacrifice. Acceptance of military discipline presupposes a high state of
political, mental and moral preparedness. Compulsory military training for
people long in exile, without desire or motivation, is full of danger of
swarming MK ranks with people who might not measure up to the demands of an army
that has serious challenging tasks ahead`.
Noted that the army has a fairly large number of illiterate comrades.
Recommended that the new leadership must ascertain that an MK cadre is able to
read and write especially since propaganda is part of his tools. Further
recommended academic training for MK cadres and also that upgrading should
constitute one of the main aspects of our cadre development programme.
Recommended that military education for everybody to go hand in hand with
basic education for everybody in the Movement.
Noted a delay with MK oath-taking after training plus naming of detachments.
Explanation to this problem was that oath-taking was normal procedure in MK
after course completion. Difficulty is that the oath has to be administered by
the President. Matter would be looked into as to whether perhaps for the future
the President could delegate powers to one of the NEC members.
a) Deployment must be according to speciality, aptitude, qualification and
capability. Though in principle a revolutionary must be ready to serve in any
capacity, in practice the aptitudes and wishes of individuals should be taken
into consideration wherever possible. Cadres should be correctly placed and
promoted at the right time so that they may fully apply their talents and
b) We need to deploy our best cadres in the front ranks of the political and
c) When deploying cadres the Movement should combine old and young, thereby
ensuring continuity. In the forward areas such combination would facilitate
contact with the population.
d) The following proposals should receive attention:
* The Department of Manpower Development (DMD) should continue to seek for
and explore the possibilities of deploying our highly trained cadres in the
* Deployment should primarily be the concern of the DMD in consultation with
other departments recommending deployment and redeployment through the DMD.
* Special attention should be paid to the deployment and promotion of women
at all levels and in all sectors of the Movement. Individual Delegates`
Recommendations in Plenary on Deployment Proposed deletion of paragraph (a) on
the grounds that it would, in his/her opinion, encourage brain-drainage from the
Movement and would also be politically wrong at the present stage of our
ANC should incorporate into its Cadre Policy the obligation for
professionally trained cadres to put their profession at the service of their
people as others were putting their lives at the service of our common cause.
On the necessity for more speedy deployment of students after completion of
their studies, delegate recommended that DMD should know ahead of time before
students complete so as to avoid Dakawa frustrations where students wait there
Urged incoming NEC to take as a matter of priority the problems of cadres
deployed in Front Areas. Noted that despite orders not to, some cadres break
policy by going to or calling in their families. Furthermore, some military
comrades refuse to take orders from somebody who is not trained. Such practices
lead to general dangerous anarchistic behaviour in these Front Line Areas.
Recommended that the Luthuli Detachment comrades should go to the West and
into the country in order to inspire the younger ones. Demobilisation As a
matter of simple respect, courtesy and comradeship it should become normal ANC
practice to give an explanation of the reasons for demobilisation of a comrade
and directly to the comrade concerned, first and foremost. Upgrading in Cadre
Education ANC centres should carry out programmes to improve skills of cadres in
relevant fields. Special attention should be given to the needs of elderly
cadres and those of young members who are in transit to military schools.
Promotion and Accountability
* The political performance of cadres should at all times be the guide for
placement and promotions. There should be no favouritism, opportunism,
regionalism and ethnic (tribal) or sex discrimination.
* Correct deployment makes the job of observing the performance of cadres in
his/her tasks easier. At all times deployment must equal the capabilities of a
cadre so as for his/her input to be effective.
* Heads of departments must display keen interest in the performance of the
cadres on their staff and encourage and follow up their participation in the
political life of the region.
* There should be constant check-ups on the performance of cadres.
* Elderly cadres who can no longer perform their duties due to age or illness
should not be left out of the life of the organisation. They can be of valuable
service to the organisation, especially in the cultural and counselling fields.
* Cadres who perform badly at their tasks should be confronted and criticised
with the view to improving their performance while care is taken that cadres do
not take advantage of a lenient approach. Ways and means should be found to
ensure that false reports do not become the basis for disciplinary action
* A Systematic manner of promoting and upgrading cadres should be striven
for, based on a thorough knowledge of everyone`s work ability and personal life.
* A concerted effort should be made to develop and exploit to the full the
creative abilities and talents of our women cadres and to promote capable women
cadres to responsible positions. Delegate`s Observation in Plenary on
Accountability in the Army NEC to address itself to issues of accountability,
victimisation and favouritism in the army. `If you speak your mind, you will
never leave Angola`. Secondly, when comrades make mistakes, instead of being
corrected on the spot, reports are written on them, including false ones. This
eventually affects adversely the morale of comrades. Preservation of Cadres
Preservation of cadres is important. The Movement must take maximum security
measures to protect and safeguard our cadres. A cadre who has misbehaved should
not be made to feel ostracised, but instead be made to understand that criticism
is meant to build them. Cadres should be encouraged to be critical and
* Unity and cohesion of the Movement and a spirit of togetherness is
essential for the preservation of our cadres.
* Preservation of cadres should include the improvement of their working
conditions, health and where possible holidays should be organised.
* Rules of self-preservation and security must be imparted to each cadre by
the relevant organs of the movement.
* Cadre preservation policy should strengthen those organisations which look
after the welfare of our imprisoned cadres. Delegates` Observations and
Recommendations on Preservation of Cadres Recommended that besides physical
preservation of a soldier cadre, this must go hand in hand with his/her
Pointed out that after people have received skills they are mis-deployed thus
losing whatever they had acquired. The Movement should also work for the
preservation of skills.
II. IDEOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL WORK
Politics is the life of any revolutionary movement. There can be no
revolutionary party without revolutionary theory, which is the core of the
discipline and cohesion of the Movement. Intensified ideological work is
necessary to overcome the enemy`s ideological offensive against the national
In order to achieve the victory of the national democratic revolution, the
ANC should conduct systematic and consistent political and ideological work 3
among the masses of the people. The people should have a thorough understanding
of the revolutionary perspective of the Movement as well as its programme, the
The Movement should conduct a campaign centred around a policy statement on
our principles, and perspectives based on all relevant political statements
issued by the ANC, including the documents of this present Conference. This
campaign should include a considered reply to counter-revolutionary forces that
seek to deny the national liberation character of our struggle.
Bearing in mind our stated positions on the divisive effects of apartheid,
the cleavages between cultural and racial groups, the disunity of the working
class, the policies of bantustans, and the fragmentation of our country, the
Movement should reaffirm our policy of striving for the overthrow of the
apartheid fascist regime, the elimination of all remnants of colonialism, and
the unification of the country and its people as a necessary precondition to the
implementation of the Freedom Charter.
Enemy`s Ideological Counter-offensive
The main task of our enemy is to annihilate the ANC. The ideology of
apartheid is bankrupt and in deep crisis. Even the enemy no longer seeks to
publicly defend its own ideology. The advances scored by our Movement in the
ideological political and military fields have compelled the racist regime to
modify, adapt and modernise its rhetoric and postures. Instead of speaking about
defending white supremacy, it speaks about South Africa as a country peopled by
different nations. It claims to be in favour of peaceful instead of
revolutionary and violent change. Whilst it seeks, by blood and violence, to
bludgeon our people and neighbours into submission, it describes the ANC as
`terrorists`. It poses as a defender of `free` enterprise which is opposed to
so-called totalitarian communism. It describes our movement as a tool of Moscow
whilst it portrays itself as a staunch defender of Western military and
The main features of this ideological offensive are:
* The massive propaganda campaign labelling MK combatants as `terrorists`, in
a bid to isolate us from our people and progressive and peace-loving forces the
world over who support our struggle.
* In this counter-offensive, enemy agent provocateurs infiltrated into our
ranks have played a big role. They use various methods to undermine our
leadership, eg rumour-mongering, anti-communism, sowing mistrust, etc.
* Another direction of the enemy`s counter-offensive is the so-called talks
between the ANC and the racist government. This is intended to lure weak
elements in our ranks into believing that it is possible to change apartheid
through talks and renunciation of armed struggle.
* Distortion of the relationship between the class and the national aspects
of our revolution are resorted to, aimed at undermining and weakening the
historic and time-tested alliance of the ANC and SACP. In this context the
ultra-leftists who deny the validity of the national liberation character of our
struggle objectively form part of the enemy`s counter-revolutionary offensive.
* It is important to note the role of international imperialism, particularly
the USA, in assisting the Pretoria regime in its counter-offensive against our
Movement. The policy of Reagan`s `constructive engagement` campaign against
so-called terrorism, the 1982 Denton Commission, and the disruptive activities
of the ICFTU and the AFL-CIO which has set up a special fund to train African
trade unionists outside South Africa, are testimony to this fact.
* The cosmetic reforms that are made in South Africa and the Nkomati-type
agreements also form part of the regime`s political and ideological
counter-offensive. One of the aims of this counter-offensive is to redefine the
character of our revolution as a civil rights struggle. The National and Class
Question The correct understanding in theory and practice of the
inter-connection of the national and class question is the key to our
revolution. South Africa was conquered by force and is still ruled by bloody
violence and terror. National and racial oppression are organic and integral
parts of state monopoly capitalism in South Africa. Since 1912 the ANC has been
leading the struggle against colonial conquest. South Africa has the largest
working class in Africa and the birth of the ICU and the South African Communist
Party affirmed that the aspirations of the black population are closely
interwoven with social emancipation.
The complex character of this multi-national and/or multi-ethnic society can
be characterised as colonialism of a special type in which the colonial
oppressors and the colonised live in the same geographical territory. Thus the
national liberation of the black people, in particular the African people, is of
primary significance. But there are some ultra-left and chauvinist elements who
seek to distort the nature and character of our revolution and who are hostile
to the policies and programme of the ANC.
* Inkatha distorts African nationalism and reduces it to ethnic chauvinism.
* The ultra-left workerist tendency ignores the problems caused by conquest
and national oppression and focuses on the African worker as an embodiment of
class consciousness, which should not be muddled by ideas of nationalism and
national consciousness. The National Forum has an eclectic approach which seeks
to mix the ideas of black consciousness with the rhetoric of socialism.
It is therefore a task of all our members to jealously defend the strategy
and tactics of our Movement. We need to carry on a consistent ideological and
political battle against the anti-ANC forces. Conference should expel those
individuals who call themselves the Marxist Tendency within the ANC 4 and are
connected with the publication of Inqaba yaba Sebenzi and involved in
counter-revolutionary activities which are calculated to confuse our workers,
discredit our movement and derail our revolution.
In our ideological work, it is necessary to consistently explain the
character of our national democratic revolution. Our commitment in implementing
the Freedom Charter will determine the tempo and direction of the national
democratic revolution. Delegate`s Additional Recommendations in Plenary on our
Ideological Work In our ideological work we should pay attention to combating
anti-communism (anti-Sovietism). Content of this work should include
popularising the real gains of the socialist community and its contribution in
advancing the cause of national liberation, social progress and peace. The
Women`s Question We recommend that the movement set out a theoretical basis for
the understanding and solution of the women`s question within the liberation
struggle. An analysis of the women`s question should be made, based on the
doctrine of the triple oppression of women in our country.
The speech delivered by the President at the close of the Women`s Conference
in Luanda in 1981 should serve as a basis for the further development of the
theory of women`s emancipation within the liberation struggle.
One of the main reasons for the backwardness of women is the traditional
patriarchal relations and attitudes towards them, regarding them as household
objects attached only to the home. A conscious development programme asserting
the equality of women and men has to be embarked upon by the Movement. Urgent
measures should be taken to ensure their participation at all levels of our
liberation struggle. In deployment and promotion of cadres we recommend positive
discrimination in favour of women. The progressiveness and success of our
Movement will largely depend on the participation of the womenfolk.
Regular meetings of the branch and regional membership should be held in
order to highlight the role of women in our struggle and inculcate a spirit of
respect and equality between women and men.
Having noted that there is a general tendency to refer the question of
women`s emancipation to the women, the commission declared that the Movement as
a whole should address itself to the problem. It therefore recommends units and
branches of the Movement begin discussing the question.
The Women`s Section should be revitalised and activated to ensure the
effective implementation of all programmes and decisions relating to the
mobilisation and education of women.
A national seminar on the Women`s Question must be organised in which all
sectors of the movement should actively participate.
Such a seminar must work from the theoretical understanding that the
liberation movement is committed to and must undertake the abolition of women`s
triple oppression as wage workers, as members of the oppressed nation, and as
women. Our policy is to liberate them from legal, economic and social
Liberation involves a radical change in attitudes of males as well as
females, including the eradication of chauvinism and male domination, equal job
opportunities and equal pay for equal work at all levels of employment, rights
of inheritance and monogamy for both wives and husbands.
It is also necessary to have a study commission comprising both men and women
to such countries as Vietnam, Cuba and Nicaragua to learn how they are solving
the women`s question.
The commission further noted that whereas the movement acknowledges that the
relations between women and men are durable and satisfactory when based on
mutual respect and affection, there are cases in which men, because of
traditional attitudes, use their superior positions to take advantage of women.
The commission calls on the Movement to educate comrades to stop practices that
are unethical and are contrary to the high principles of the organisation. At
the same time women in the Movement should be educated to free themselves from
the images projected by the mass media of women as slaves to fashion and
sensuality. Political Education Political education is the life-blood of any
revolutionary movement. We should have a political education programme aimed at
constantly improving the political consciousness, knowledge and skills of our
cadres. This could be a differentiated programme depending on the political
understanding and maturity of the comrades concerned. Every member should
undergo a course of basic political training.
A serious deficiency in our educational programme is that there is no
authority responsible for political education. We should set up a Department of
Political Education whose functions should include:
a) Appointment and monitoring in every region of a political officer.
b) The drafting and implementation of a syllabus of political education and
c) The preparation of such material as may be found useful for conducting
political classes. The syllabus of political education should include:
* The history of our country, with focus on the struggle of our people
against the colonisers. The Wars of Resistance must form the basis for this.
* The history of the liberation struggle and the policy development of our
Movement, e.g. how the different constitutions of the ANC have developed, the
Freedom Charter, the question of seizure of power, methods of armed struggle,
the dismantling of the racist state and the leading role of the working class.
* The relationship between the ANC, SACP etc.
* The current resistance movement - youth, students, workers, women.
* The history of the trade union movement in South Africa, its importance and
* Liberation policies and programmes (SACTU, SACP, etc) .
* Theory of revolution. This is to be taught in such a way that comrades do
not only regurgitate the theory, but apply it to the concrete South African
situation and to the specific tasks assigned them.
* The South African state and its political economy.
* The ideological and theoretical understanding of the relationship between
the concept of national liberation, class struggle and the emancipation of
* Experience of other revolutions. To ensure the successful fulfilment of the
programme on political education, the commission recommends that:
* Cadres liable for selection as political instructors should be committed to
a minimum of two years.
* Every region must have a circulating library which must contain relevant
literature and works that would supplement the political education cadres
receive. Steps should be taken to develop the reading of progressive literature.
This can only be achieved through the creation of reading groups.
* A comprehensive list of reading material must accompany the political
programme. Special attention must be paid to material from inside the country
and to the experience of other revolutionary struggles.
* Teaching aids such as films, videos, tape recorders and projectors must be
procured for such study groups.
* The use of documentary films, especially from socialist countries, must be
* Films produced at home must also be used as part of our education
programme, and not only viewed as entertainment films. Recommendations of
Individual Delegates in Plenary on Political Life in the Movement Urgently
requested incoming NEC to gear itself to the task of resolving the problem of
political life in Somafco by drawing its students into it. `Unacceptable that
students, after being mobilised under the banner of the ANC, should be left to
lead a non-political life`.
Speaking on the same subject, another delegate felt that within our political
structures there must be some concerted educational programme; structures must
enhance the theoretical level, eg RPC in Somafco, which they do not have
Agreed that there should be no incentives for an ANC cadre working for it,
but that Somafco is a different case where incentives are justified, otherwise
there would be a problem of having pupils without teachers. Teachers from
solidarity groups in Somafco are also paid. Recommendations for Political and
Ideological Work in the Army
1.Ideological work constitutes an essential factor in creating the nucleus of
a people`s army which will be ready and prepared at all times and under all
circumstances to fight for and defend the gains of our revolution. In the words
of our President, OR Tambo, `In building up our political army we aim therefore
not only at the overthrow of the fascist regime, we aim at building up a
politically conscious and revolutionary army, conscious of its popular origin,
unwavering in its democratic functions and guided by our revolutionary
We recommend that the Movement implement in full the principle of political
guidance and leadership over the army to ensure strict control and
accountability through the relevant structures of our army.
2.The Commissariat, in conjunction with the Department of Political
Education, must ensure through its organs continuous, uninterrupted political
work within the ranks of the army. It must embark on a comprehensive programme
of training and education of political activists in our army, viz., commissars,
instructors, propagandists, etc. Emphasis in this should be put on producing
field workers at grassroots level. In this regard short term political courses
should be introduced, based on our own experience as an army and as a Movement.
Opportunities offered by the fraternal countries abroad should be fully utilised
in this regard.
* Veterans and stalwarts of our Movement should be fully utilised for the
purposes of conducting short courses, lectures, seminars, etc for selected
groups and the membership of our army in general.
* To ensure that our political programmes meet the demand of producing the
required cadre, the problems of political literature and training facilities
must be solved decisively. In this regard a proper mechanism should be worked
out to supply the army with the required literature, particularly literature
from the home front.
* There is a need to establish an effective and dynamic link between the rear
and the front.
* We must pay particular attention to the all-round improvement of the
material, cultural and spiritual well-being of the soldiers especially in the
camps. We should solve the problem of how to combine the improvement of the
material, cultural and spiritual life of a soldier with the strengthening of his
or her political conviction. Delegate`s Comment and Recommendation in Plenary A
delegate from the West felt that there is a discrepancy between the theory and
practice of MK cadre development. These discrepancies and recommendations to
improve that situation were detailed by MK in the West to the 1984 Stuart
Commission. Urged Conference to ensure that the incoming Executive implements
the recommendations of that Commission. The Work of the DIP in the Ideological
Struggle Our Movement pays insufficient attention to analysing the content of
the different ideological trends in our country. We therefore recommend that the
research unit of the DIP should be charged with compiling and distributing
papers analysing these trends.
* ANC documents and conference papers presented by our delegations to various
international gatherings must be made available for the general membership.
* Films, videos etc must be procured, particularly on events at home.
* New laws and developments that affect the lives of our people must be
compiled in information pamphlets circulated to the membership.
* In order to improve our political and ideological work the DIP should have
regional structures which supply their regions with the relevant information.
The internal propaganda machinery must be strengthened, and steps must be
taken to develop correspondents inside the country.
Material circulated inside the country should include material on ideological
The abundance of material produced at home should be compiled and made
available in a form most helpful to members.
Conference urges the DIP to implement the decisions taken at its conference
INTERNAL COMMISSION REPORT
Seventy four delegates participated in the initial session of this
Commission. Due to the illness of Comrade Joe Modise, the Commission elected
Comrade Chris Hani to be the chairman. In view of the anticipated large
participation, the Commission also agreed to appoint Comrades Aziz Pahad and
Klaus Maphepha as additional rapporteurs.
The Commission agreed to structure the sessions in the following order:
1. Overt organisations, under which it proposed to deal with the following
a) Working class and trade unions
b) The mobilisation of women
c) The mobilisation of the rural masses
d) The mobilisation of the youth
e) The religious front
f) Civic organisations
g) Mobilisation among the white community
2. The development of the underground 3. The armed struggle 4. Internal
propaganda 5. Internal structures
Due to shortage of time, the Commission was unable to complete its work in
full sessions. The full sessions only managed to cover items 1,(a) and (b) , 2,3
and 5. In view of this, the core delegates who were appointed to the Commission
by Conference met and decided that the Commission was duty bound to prepare a
report on the other aspects to facilitate discussions on all aspects in the
plenary. Accordingly, those comrades drafted a report which covered all aspects
listed above and this was presented to the full Commission for approval before
presentation to the plenary.
Overt Organisation and Mass Mobilisation
Our slogan Forward to People`s Power encapsulates the fundamental truth that
victory cannot be won without the active and conscious participation of the
masses of the oppressed people themselves. The key guideline in our political
work to mobilise the masses into action should therefore rest on the practice of
being amongst and organising the masses wherever they are and in whatever
formation they live.
The oppressed people have developed a variety of organisations to serve both
specific and general interests. Some of those formations, even though they have
a mass character, serve reactionary interests. Our organisers need to be active
even in such bodies in order to expose the reactionary leadership, radicalise
the organisations and draw their mass base into active struggle.
As distinct from those mass based organisations there exist mass democratic
organisations which are an expression of the desire of the masses of our people
to resist oppression and exploitation. Our goal of drawing the masses into
active and united struggle is reached by being active within these democratic
organisations with a view to strengthening them and increasing the participation
of the masses. 1,(a) The Working Class and Trade Unions Our Strategy and Tactics
of 1969 isolated our working class as one of the principal social forces of our
revolution. In order to translate this into reality, it is necessary to ensure
that not only are our workers organised into the democratic trade union
movement, and drawn into the struggle for national liberation, but that they are
also drawn into the ANC and MK.
Since the early Seventies, there has been a phenomenal growth in the
unionisation of black workers. By the Eighties, this development had reached a
point where a clearly definable democratic trade union movement once more became
visible on the labour scene.
Parallel to this process, there has been a rapid increase in the militancy of
black workers as expressed in the increasing spiral of strikes that have become
a common feature. The militancy of our black workers has not been confined to
economic issues and has reached out into political action.
The democratic trade union movement is today in the process of creating a
single federation based on the principle of one industry one union, workers`
control, non-racialism and the inter-relationship of economic and political
struggle. Parallel with this process, more than a hundred thousand workers
disaffiliated from Tucsa over the last two years and there have been a few
instances where unions belonging to the democratic trade union movement have
managed to wrest control of workers who were part of Tucsa in specific
industries. This development has raised the possible realisation of the
destruction of Tucsa with regard to its control of any significant section of
the black working class.
Another significant feature of the working class scene is the development of
unity in action between trade unions on the one hand and community-based
organisations at the local, regional and national levels on the other. The two
outstanding examples of the effectiveness of this combination of forces is the
success of the November two-day stayaway in the Transvaal and the Port Elizabeth
strike in March-April 1985.
1. In order to strengthen and speed up the development of the democratic
trade union movement and the political mobilisation of our working class, it is
necessary that the ANC, SACTU and the SACP regularly come together to define
their respective roles with regard to the working class and work out a programme
of action based on close co-operation. Our working class is bedeviled with
various ideological tendencies which are harmful to the development of the
national liberation struggle and the close co-operation of the three
organisations should give special attention towards combating these tendencies
and should also isolate those strategic sectors in the South African economy
where workers are unorganised and take up the task of organising them.
2. The task of forming one federation to unite the democratic trade union
movement is still in the process of being realised. We need to pursue this goal,
with determination and speed, to strengthen the democratic unions and the
emerging federation, encourage the federation to involve the workers in the
national liberation struggle, undertake a programme of action to organise the
unemployed, the unorganised and most exploited workers, especially the domestic
and farm workers in the bantustans. Determined efforts must also be made to
ensure that migrant workers and hostel dwellers are part and parcel of the trade
3. The emergence of a federation inside South Africa uniting the democratic
trade unions will not in any way diminish the role of Sactu. In this process the
role of Sactu will be enhanced both in relation to the national liberation
movement and as a standard-bearer of revolutionary trade unionism in our
4. With regard to the development of the armed struggle, special attention
needs to be given to drawing workers into MK. This is vital for both the overall
perspectives of people`s war as well as for the possibility of mobilising for a
long-lasting national work stoppage backed by our oppressed communities and
supported by armed activities aimed at bringing the regime to its knees.
5. The training of our cadres should incorporate a programme of education in
trade unionism. 1,(b) The Mobilisation of Women Our Movement is guided by the
understanding that a fundamental condition for the liberation of women is the
destruction of the oppressive, exploitative and discriminatory apartheid system.
We are also committed to the struggle to overcome the consequences of centuries
of social systems which have placed women in inferior positions. The task of
organising and mobilising our women into a powerful, united and active force for
the most thorough-going democratic revolution falls on men and women alike. In
mobilising women we need to be conscious that the liberation of our people as a
whole cannot be complete while women are discriminated against.
1. We recommend that we draw in all the major women`s organisations around a
mass national action campaign centred around concrete issues. Such a campaign
should be spearheaded by the women and its effective realisation used to lay the
basis for the creation of a united national women`s organisation.
2. Our training courses must be specially adapted to acknowledge that women
start with disadvantages. When they are deployed this deployment must be
calculated to develop them and to strengthen the women`s organisations at home.
In particular, this means we should increase the deployment of women cadres in
the ANC network, trade union work and MK. This process of special preparation
and deployment of women must be subject to periodic review by our Movement.
3. Women`s organisations should be encouraged to link up with unions in order
to advance their perspective and in day-to-day struggles and the national
4. Special attention must be given to the mobilisation of women in the rural
areas and the bantustans, where conditions for mobilisation are extremely
difficult and fraught with special problems arising from the repressive nature
of the bantustan regimes and other factors such as high illiteracy and so on.
In this regard we need to take note that despite these conditions our women
in these areas live their social lives within structured organisational forms,
such as cultural groups based on traditional structures, burial societies and
church groups. We should guide ourselves by the fact that such structures are
mass based and we should work towards radicalising them, as well as reaching out
towards other forms of overt political mobilisation. 1,(c) Mobilisation of Rural
Masses Introduction In the words of our Comrade President, spoken in messages on
January 8th 1984 and 1985 respectively:
`A special responsibility rests on the shoulders of the ANC and the most
advanced members of our broad democratic movement to act as revolutionaries - as
such, to wage revolutionary struggle and basing themselves on the conscious and
organised involvement of the masses of the people, to build a strong and
disciplined revolutionary movement. In this context, the further mobilisation
and organisation of the masses of our country assume special importance`.
Over 50% of the oppressed majority live in the rural 8 areas. However, `the
organisation and mobilisation of the rural population is clearly lagging behind
those of our people in the towns and cities. Basing ourselves on the needs of
the people, and taking due account of the concrete conditions of their
existence, we must devise suitable organisational structures and mechanisms to
reach our rural masses and provide them with the organisational and political
tools to defend themselves against exploitation and exert their right to land`.
We must draw the rural masses into the struggle for freedom as an unwavering
ally of the organised workers, women, youth, students and democrats, creating a
truly united front taking united action against the enemy.
Difficulties of mobilising the rural masses in the bantustans and on the
commercial farms are ever present. The bantustan puppets have taken it upon
themselves to impose even greater burdens on the people. These `leaders` have
taken a firm stand against the oppressed people and their organisations, banning
trade union activists, banning the UDF and other democratic organisations. Daily
life in the bantustans is a struggle for survival for those reduced to a
landless and jobless existence, while workers on white farms experience daily
oppression, often cut off by the great distances from other farm workers. Given
these difficulties and taking into account the peculiarities of each bantustan,
we make the following recommendations:
1. Rural machineries should be reactivated in order to accelerate the
struggle in all rural areas.
2. Mass democratic organisations, community, women, youth and student
organisations must be encouraged to continue their mobilisation of the masses in
platteland townships, especially those adjacent to bantustans, so as to
stimulate organisation even in those bantustans in which they are banned.
3. Armed propaganda should be stepped up in the bantustans to go hand in hand
with mass mobilisation as a first step to make these areas ungovernable.
4. We should differentiate between puppet and traditional leaders and then
take steps against the former, whereas the latter should be drawn into
democratic organisations along with their followers. 5. We should oppose all
forced removals and assist in the formation of community organisations in areas
under threat of removal. Resistance should be continued even if a community is
removed, by declaring a `black spot` and destroying all attempts to use that
6. Cadres should be recruited from hostel dwellers, infiltrating them into
their home villages and thereby circumventing the network of informers. Cadres
with professional and technical skills should also be in filtrated into the
bantustans in order to create underground units.
7. We must give attention to mobilising people around issues, most
particularly the land question, ethnic discrimination, non-payment of pensions
and unemployment benefits, and the lack of health facilities.
8. Rural organisers in each area should explore the possibilities of taking
advantage of traditional and other organisations already in existence, e.g.
cultural groups, initiation schools, burial societies, churches, opposition
parties, welfare organisations, self-help and community projects and women`s,
youth and other associations including those established by the bantustan
regimes. 9. Cultural traditions, slogans and distribution of propaganda in the
vernacular should be used in activating areas.
10. We should explore possibilities of revitalising these areas which
experienced revolts in the 1950s and 1960s especially Sekhukhuneland, Zeerust
11. We should give support to unions mobilising farm workers and encourage
existing unions in the food industry to direct their attention to farm workers.
12. Farm workers should be encouraged to sabotage and destroy the economy of
the farm - especially the border farms.
13. ANC publications should give greater attention to rural issues. 14.
Research should be directed to analysis of rural issues and of the specific
context of mobilisation in each bantustan. d) ,The Youth and Students The youth
is an important section of the fighting forces in our struggle. The young
generation constitutes the future. For the future of any revolutionary movement
it is important to give particular attention to the development and
participation of youth in the struggle for liberation.
The position that our youth has come to occupy in the mass democratic
struggle in our country has made the task of organising and educating the young
even more important.
Since the beginning of the decade there has been a mushrooming of youth
organisations throughout the country. These organisations have been hampered in
their development by the following factors: i) Political and ideological
differences through the influence of the NEUM/Trotskyism/Ultra-leftism etc.
ii) Lack of understanding of how to build a youth organisation which is
mainly reflected in lack of proper structures and a clear identification of
1. That we should establish ANC cores in all these youth organisations so as
to be able to guide them.
2. Our structures should have a specialisation in organising the youth, just
as with the women.
3. Particular attention should be paid to organising youth of all national
groups, i.e. Indian, so-called coloured and white.
4. Forward, leaflets and pamphlets be distributed in order to combat divisive
political and ideological positions.
5. We have to consciously guide the process of building youth organisations
with the aim of making the working youth and the unemployed youth the backbone
of youth organisations. The uniting slogan should be Work a Right not a
6. In the bantustans, where most of the democratic organisations are banned,
we need to work within bantustan youth organisations and those of the opposition
7. We need to educate the youth in religious and cultural organisations to
translate their religious beliefs towards the rejection of apartheid as a heresy
and greater involvement in the struggle for liberation. The culture of youth
organisations should reflect our culture of resistance and struggle.
8. The Education Charter campaign has become the most important factor in
mobilising progressive student organisations and in building close unity of the
progressive student organisations. As a movement we need to enrich both the
approach to this campaign and the content of the envisaged Education Charter by
contributing to the current debates.
9. There is a proposed National Youth Organisation. We need to ensure that
its core is made up of the working youth, the unemployed youth and rural youth.
We need to ensure that its structure becomes more decentralised so as to ensure
the broadest possible mobilisation of the youth. This NYO, once it is formed,
should be advised to affiliate to the UDF but not for it to be a youth wing of
10.Co-ordination both internally and externally. 1(e) The Religious Front The
movement recognises the fact that a large portion of our people are religious or
come from particular religious backgrounds. The church and religious community
is already organised into structures and formations of conference, women`s
groups, youth groups, different commissions etc dealing with all manner of
issues. By raising the political consciousness of this community, influencing
them to accept the policies of the Movement, especially the Freedom Charter, and
a commitment to the creation of a non-racial, democratic South Africa, all
should strive to convert them into centres of resistance and struggle.
The churches and religious organisations have a history of conflict with the
regime. Most of the resolutions taken against the state are not interpreted and
filtered down to the grassroots for implementation by the church followers. They
are left to be interpreted in different ways by some of the church leaders,
depending on their political consciousness and commitment to the liberation
1. We recommend that as a matter of urgency the comrade at Headquarters be
reinforced with at least two comrades while more personnel are sought.
2. The RPMC`s, when creating their sub-structures, should also consider this
3. Seeing the importance of the Christian participation in the struggle,
cadres going home should be given special briefing on this work.
4. We should aim to create ANC units both within the established churches and
independent churches and other religious bodies.
5. We should work towards reaching churches in the rural areas, since in the
majority of cases they are the main form of community activity. Even in
resettlement areas churches become the first form of organisation that the
people get involved in. We believe that our intensified work on church and
religious organisations will ensure our organisation of the workers and peasants
who are predominantly active in these organisations.
6. We recommend that the Movement should encourage trends within the churches
and religious organisations that come closer to the struggling people. We should
find ways of supporting the call by the churches to pray for the downfall of the
7. The Movement should give attention to the institutions like the Institute
of Contextual Theology. We should aim at giving political content and direction
to the work.
8. We should seek ways of intensifying church involvement in the End
9. We should intensify our educational work amongst the church people. The
distribution of propaganda especially directed to this constituency should be
10. Churches could become important platforms to expose the regime`s
atrocities internally and externally. 1(f) Civic Organisations Civic
organisations are locally based and are aimed at mobilising the people within a
specific area around bread and butter issues. In our country there exist
thousands of such organisations which operate with varying degrees of militancy.
Their main characteristic is that they operate at the primary grassroots levels.
As such, they are of strategic importance in reaching and mobilising the masses.
Because they deal with bread and butter issues they have an immense potential
for galvanising a whole community. At the same time many of these civic bodies
have a tendency towards confining their activity to the narrow limits of
specific issues and their leaders tend to inhibit their members from
participating within the context of the political struggle. Their mass base,
however, offers a tremendous potential for converting them into militant
The emergence of a broad structured front during the recent period has
created conditions for such bodies to link their locally based bread and butter
campaigns with national political issues.
1. ANC cadres within the country need to give special attention to the work
of these civic bodies in strengthening them, transforming them into truly mass
organisations, linking them up with political campaigns and, through the
struggles of the civic bodies, finding the grassroots cadres who need to be
drawn into the underground (political and military) network.
2. We need to devise a programme of action which 10 would give activists a
perspective of strengthening these civic bodies along a path which seeks to
bring all the civic bodies throughout our country together so that they can
co-ordinate their activity and see their local struggles within the context of
more widely felt grievances, which have a common origin in the socio-economic
system characterised by apartheid.
3. As part of the process of the radicalisation we should encourage civic
organisations to line up with trade unions within their locality in order to
reinforce their struggles. 1(g) Mobilisation of the White Community Democratic
whites in the country were faced with a contradiction with the rise of the BCM.
They were accused of `playing the game while the blacks stood on the sidelines
looking on`. Many reverted to playing a `supportive role` which was mainly
providing funds, transport, compiling research material etc. Even with the rise
of the Congress movement inside the country and organisations such as Nusas
demonstrating their support for the Freedom Charter, democratic whites are still
caught in the trap of playing a supportive role.
To ensure that democratic whites become active participants in struggle we
1. They work increasingly to popularise the End Conscription Campaign. The
issue of conscription can be explained and the community be convinced
politically why they should not join the SADF.
* The formation of support groups for conscientious objectors, war resisters
* The Movement to draw these people into our ranks and persuade those who are
prepared to fight a just war rather than act as cannon fodder for apartheid to
become active combatants of MK.
* White democratic organisations that have sprung up in some areas in the
country should broaden their ranks and include the growing number of whites who
feel uncomfortable in Botha`s `new style political deal`, e.g. the PFP youth.
2. We should encourage joint actions to be taken by some white trade unions
together with democratic unions.
3. We should encourage the promotion of a white youth organisation to join
the tide of resistance with youth congresses throughout the country. In this
regard we should ensure that church youth together with the democratic left play
a leading role in the creation of such an organisation.
4. The white student organisations should educate their constituency on the
crisis in education and work relentlessly to open the doors of learning and
culture to all. In this regard they should work closely with other student
organisations on the Education Charter Campaign.
5. White university students on completion of their studies are swallowed up
by the economy or various professions. Democratic, professional unions, e.g
lawyers, health workers and educationists, should be encouraged where people
could utilise their skills in the course of the struggle.
6. Freedom Charter: white, democratic organisations must be encouraged to
place the Freedom Charter for discussion in those areas where they are based.
1(h) The United Democratic Front The UDF, formed in 1983, has grown at an
unprecedented rate, mobilising and organising millions of our people throughout
the country. Today it has over 700 affiliates representing over 1 1/2 million
people. The regime has acted viciously against the UDF and its affiliates.
Hundreds have been arrested, many killed and many facing charges, including the
16 leaders who are facing treason charges, the main content of the charge being
that they were the front section of the ANC/SACP/SACTU alliance.
Today the main issues confronting the UDF are:
1. Consolidation of organisational structures.
2. The necessity to bring in other constituencies into the UDF, especially
the organisation of the working class.
3. Regional differences on questions of strategy and tactics.
4. Work among the rural masses.
5. African leadership of UDF structures.
6. Debate over whether the UDF should change from a front to becoming an
organisation accepting the Freedom Charter as its programme.
7. The necessity to have a programme of action i.e. strategic planning.
8. Does UDF involvement weaken grassroots organisations?
9. Necessity to train activists and cadres politically, ideologically and
10. Criticisms of some sections of UDF `socialist` - that UDF leadership
`populist` and petty bourgeois. Recommendations:
1. We support the campaigns of the UDF around which mobilisation both on
regional and national levels is planned:
* High cost of living
* Forced removals
* Influx control
* New Zealand rugby tour
* Land issue
* Treason trial In particular those campaigns which are in line with the
strategy of generating a spirit of defiance and ungovernability.
2. The UDF remains a front and does not narrow its base. We should distribute
internally a position paper based on the tactics of a united front and the
necessity, at this stage, for the continued existence of such a front.
3. We establish ANC collectives within affiliates as well as the leadership.
These would not act as factions but as organised sections of our movement
fighting for the strengthening of and consolidation of the UDF.
4. We take initiatives to resolve the regional and `ideological` differences,
real and otherwise, that exist within the UDF.
2. Development of the ANC Underground and MK Network
The development of our underground is critical to our capacity to lead
all-round People`s War. Conditions in our country have matured to a stage where
the possibilities for the creation of this underground have never been as
favourable as they are now. Mass activity has generated and steeled thousands of
activists who are more than ready to join and become organised contingents of
our revolutionary vanguard movement.
1. The development of the ANC underground and MK network will take a
qualitative leap forward by the adoption of the approach that underlay the APC
document with the necessary modifications which would taken into account
subsequent developments. The execution of this task should be given special
attention and constant supervision. The emergence of an experienced leadership
at home at the mass level is a positive factor and ways and means should be
found to draw on it in creating the APCs.
Particular attention must be given to the specialised training programme
aimed at producing suitable cadres to be sent into the country to reinforce
those who are drawn from within the country into the APCs so as to ensure that
the leadership of APCs develops into a truly all-round leadership firmly imbued
with the strategy and tactics of our Movement, and functioning according to MCW
2. As part of our underground we must ensure that the ANC core groups are
organised and active in all the mass democratic organisations. 3. The forward
area machineries must have a significant role to play in our struggle. We must
ensure that cadres who man these machineries go into the country, become
familiar with the conditions in their operational areas and thereby become
suitably equipped to provide guidance to the structures within the country as
well as increase their competence to brief and prepare cadres who are being
infiltrated. 4. We must ensure that full time organisers are increasingly
deployed in the ANC underground at home. 5. In the period ahead we need to give
urgent and special attention to carrying out agitational work and to infiltrate
the SADF and bantustan armies as well as the police force. 6. The emergence of a
leadership in the broad front of mass struggle has made it imperative that our
vanguard movement ensures closer communication and collaboration with the
leadership in the further development of our struggle. 3. Armed Struggle The
Green Book under the section entitled `What is our approach to the Relationship
between Political and Military Struggle` sets out 3 general principles which
remain valid. We quote hereunder certain sections:
`... The armed struggle must be based on, and grow out of, mass political
support and it must eventually involve all our people. All military activities
must, at every stage, be guided and determined by the need to generate political
mobilisation, organisation and resistance, with the aim of progressively
weakening the enemy`s grip on his reins of political, economic, social and
military power, by a combination of political and military action. The forms of
political and military activities and the way these activities relate to one
another, go through different phases as the situation changes. It is therefore
vital to have under continuous survey the changing tactical relationships
between these two inter-dependent factors in our struggle and the place which
political and military actions (in the narrow sense) occupy in each phase, both
nationally and within each of our main regions`.
In his political report to this Conference, our President characterised the
current situation and raised the following perspective:
`... As a result of the strength and tenacity of the people`s offensive, many
areas in our country are emerging, perhaps in a rudimentary way, as such mass
revolutionary bases. The people are engaged in active struggle as a conscious
revolutionary force and accept the ANC as their vanguard movement. They are
organised in mass democratic organisations. They have destroyed the enemy`s
local organs of government and have mounted an armed offensive against the
racist regime, using whatever weapons are available to them. What is missing is
a strong underground ANC presence as well as a large contingent of units of
Umkhonto we Sizwe.
`We must correct this weakness in a determined and systematic manner because
it is within these mass revolutionary bases that we will succeed to root our
army. It is the risen masses in these areas who have to be organised into larger
formations of Umkhonto we Sizwe, turned into organised groups of combatants, and
replenish and swell our military ranks. We have to bear in mind the fact that
the comrades we are training outside constitute the core of our army. They are
the organisers and the leaders of the mass army that we have to build inside the
country. They are our officer corps. We cannot deploy them forever as combat
units. For obvious reasons, no army in the world fights with combat units
composed of officers. Ours will be no exception. What we have said does not rule
out basing our units in suitable terrain where they can hide. That, however, is
no solution to the imperative obligation on us to actually spread the armed
struggle as rapidly as possible, taking into account the internal and
international situation. It is true that we want to reduce our dependence on
external structures by organising and leading the struggle from within the
country. We must, however, accept the reality that we shall always need these
1. The process of finalising the people`s war document should not only take
into account the objections and criticisms referred to in the Secretary
General`s report, but also be updated in the light of current developments at
2. It is imperative that our army take urgent measures to strike at enemy
personnel. In the face of the current offensive by the regime to ruthlessly
murder our people at home and carry out brutal raids beyond the borders of South
Africa aimed at physically eliminating our Movement, we must take
counter-measures which would effectively demonstrate to our people that our army
shall no longer allow such acts to go unpunished. Let us implement the call in
the MK Charter: `An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth`. Our actions must also
ensure that we shift the focus of action from within the black ghettoes into the
enemy camp. 3. That our perspective include speedy measures designed to enable
us to train within the country cadres for military combat, and that the cadres
who receive training outside the country are capable of serving as a true
`officer corps` - able to attend to the training of cadres inside the country as
well as leading them into battle. 4. Within this context the Commission also
made certain specific and more detailed recommendations, namely: a) Intensify
recruitment of Indians, so-called Coloureds and also whites into MK. b)
Establish urban-based sabotage units in Indian, so-called Coloured and also
white areas. Their actions should aim to disperse the enemy forces
geographically and functionally. c) Ensure that the working class forms the
majority of our People`s Army. d) Undertake armed propaganda actions against the
economic nerve centres of South Africa. e) In addition to the work of our
Ordnance Department, we must obtain weapons and other logistics from enemy
sources. f) Since many of the armaments factories are manned by blacks,
especially women, we must infiltrate these institutions. g) Increase the number
of women in MK and ensure their correct preparation and deployment. h) Intensify
work within the enemy`s armed forces including in the bantustans. 5. Carry out
armed activity in the rural areas in order to unleash the energy of our people
in those areas, create conditions for their political mobilisation, disperse the
enemy forces from their present concentration in our black communities in the
urban areas, as well as create conditions which would facilitate infiltration of
our cadres in large numbers into the country. 4. Internal Propaganda Propaganda
is an integral part of internal mobilisation and a vital weapon in the building
of an ANC underground. Events inside the country more and more demonstrate that
propaganda must begin to play an increasingly important role. Since the ANC is
the vanguard of the struggle for national liberation, its propaganda organs must
be well-oiled to meet the demands of a vanguard organisation. Our propaganda
must be put on a war footing, it must be fighting propaganda. In order that our
propaganda lives up to expectations, it must:
* Complement the military activities of MK;
* Act as an organiser and educator of the masses.
* Politicise the masses and heighten their sense of grievance.
* Elevate the policies of the Movement, defend them and portray the Movement
as the fighting force and the alternative to the apartheid regime.
1. We need to be in dynamic contact with the situation - our propaganda must
show that we are there among the fighting people. Therefore we must:
* Establish a chain of information personnel that extends from inside the
country to the point where this information is needed.
* Have our own information personnel who will cover the most remote areas in
* Our propagandists must be well-informed about the situation to which they
are addressing themselves.
* All the relevant structures of the Movement must see to it that the DIP is
constantly serviced with information to facilitate its work.
2. DIP must be provided with cadres who have a certain level of education,
well-versed in the politics and policies of the ANC, and with a keen interest in
propaganda work. Such cadres should also receive some training in the field of
3. The Movement must immediately look into some of the major obstacles in the
timeous production of our journals, such as editing, access to important
information, funds for running the journals and ferrying them. 4. The setting up
of underground printing presses at home must become one of the priorities of our
struggle. We have not been able to sustain propaganda offensives because of the
difficulties of ferrying material produced outside the country into the country.
Consequently we have been unable to give prompt guidance to our people.
We need to specially train cadres to establish and run underground presses,
including training in camouflage, photography and dark-room work, and the
production of leaflet bombs. The experience we have gained through our
establishment of reproduction and production units in external structures
provides a good basis on which to build. 5. Radio Freedom is relatively widely
listened to, especially among organisers, both overt and underground. However,
the ideal situation would be for Radio Freedom to also broadcast from inside the
country. In this regard we recommend that the Movement does a feasibility study
in this field, looking into the latest technology for mobile broadcasting. This
would not replace Radio Freedom as it exists, but instead extend the scope of
our radio work. 13 6. The Movement needs to pay far more attention to developing
the democratic press in our country and should utilise these publications to put
forward our perspectives. 7. The DIP Conference recommendations of 1983 need to
be re-examined, adjusted to meet the current situation inside our country and
implemented. Internal Structures There has been considerable pressure to create
combined political/military structures which would attend to all-round activity
within the sphere of their operational zones. One of the main reasons for the
pressure is the unhealthy rivalry between the military and political structures
operating in any given zone. Such criticism has also embraced other areas of
work within a specific zone, namely Sactu and Security and Intelligence. There
is appreciation of the fact that our machineries should be structured to meet a
given situation and should not be frozen for all time. At the same time, it is
envisaged that the structures currently being established by the PMC to meet
these criticisms and differences should be subject to alteration as the struggle
Accordingly the Commission accepts in principle the PMC structures as
represented diagrammatically in the `NEC and PMC Documents B` which provides for
regional PMCs which would be responsible, under the guidance of the PMC, for
planning and supervising our political and military work as well as the tasks of
Sactu and Security and Intelligence. The Commission added the following
1. The PMC should be retained as a planning and executive body for all home
2. The PMC be reduced in number so as to allow it to function as a more
decisive and prompt leadership organ.
In conclusion - In the atmosphere of developments at home and the
recommendations permeating from this Commission, we propose that Conference
adopts the slogan All For The Front! Recommendations made by speakers at Plenary
Session and through written submission on Internal Mobilisation and Armed
1. Working Class and Trade Unions: a) The whole liberation movement must
concentrate on the organisation of workers for a long-lasting stayaway as
expressed in the ANC Call to the Nation. b) Certain important industries need to
be selected for worker action, e.g. mining and arms industries.
2. Leadership: a) Senior level leadership must, from time to time, go inside
the country to meet leaders of the Movement at home. b) The President must be
relieved of much of his international work. c) PMC members must be full-time. d)
The Movement should seriously look into the heading of our internal journals
with senior leadership. 3. Structures: a) The Movement must work for joint
military councils with Swapo, the sharing of political and military experiences
and co-ordinated military actions. b) The Christian front should have an
internal as well as an external function. c) There must be co-ordination between
internal and international departments to service the latter with information on
internal organisations. d) One of the Secretariat members of the Cultural
Department should be included in the PHQ. 4. Armed Struggle: a) Older Luthuli
Detachment comrades need to be deployed at home. b) Comrades who left the
country before they could get `passes` should be sent into the country as they
can easily be legalised. c) We must attack the small towns where the enemy`s
defence is not strong. d) We should organise for MK even among the churches. 5.
ANC Underground and Propaganda: a) We must make a study of areas of joint action
among black and white youth, especially on Youth Congresses. b) The policy of
full-time organisers at home should be implemented. c) The Movement must produce
and circulate, internally, a comprehensive document setting out why the Freedom
Charter is more than ever relevant today, especially in the light of the
ideological struggles going on amongst the groups at home. d) The DIP should
analyse the various ideological trends at home to ensure that the Movement is
able to give the correct ideological positions at all times. e) We should widely
circulate our position on internal colonialism. f) To enrich our work on the
Christian front, we should send delegations to study the Nicaraguan and Polish
Christian roles in their struggles.
14 COMMISSION ON STRATEGY AND TACTICS
1. It was our intention to place before you a document which would contain a
summary of our strategy and tactics for the coming phase of the struggle. The
basic strategic document which formed the foundation of our approach up to now,
is the Strategy and Tactics document adopted by the 1969 Morogoro Conference
which has been tabled under No F5. Since then, the only other all-round
treatment of our strategic perspectives is contained in the 1980 `Green Book`, a
copy of which was available to the Commission but unfortunately was not made
into a Conference document.
2. The draft Strategy and Tactics document which we, as a Commission, were
called upon to consider, is before you under No.,B2. We also had before us a
number of other documents such as Planning for People`s War (No.,B3) , a very
thoughtful batch of contributions from the regions (particularly from the camps)
contained in Nos D1 and E1, and a number of other relevant documents in Bthe E
and F series.
3. In considering the draft Strategy and Tactics document (B2) our Commission
arrived at the following conclusions:
a) A document which embodies our strategy and tactics and which is intended
to provide guidance for some years to come, requires the most careful and
widespread discussion by all levels of our Movement. In the case of the document
which was before us, there had been no circulation to the regions and even
Conference delegates saw it for the first time a few hours before proceedings
began. It should be noted that when our Commission convened, the overwhelming
majority of its members had not yet managed to read the draft, and we had to
adjourn for some hours to enable them to do so. We concluded that we would be
reporting to a Conference which itself had no real possibility of preparing
effectively for such a detailed discussion.
b) There was yet another reason why we decided not to attempt to place an
amended draft before you. We are of the opinion that a document such as this
should not only serve as a basic guide to all levels of our organisation, but
also as a means of spreading our analytical message to all sectors of the broad
front of our struggle to racist rule. We considered that the style of the
document was not suitable for both these purposes. We considered the
formulations in the document needed to be examined more carefully for the
purpose of presenting its content in a style and language which is more
accessible to a wider audience. This is a task which the Commission considered
was impossible to do justice to in the time available.
c) We therefore recommend that the task should be entrusted to the incoming
NEC which should avail itself of the opportunity of circulating an amended draft
for the kind of thorough discussion throughout our ranks, which such a document
4. Apart from the above, there was broad agreement with the general approach
contained in the draft Strategy and Tactics document. It was, however, felt that
a number of important questions which bear on our strategic approaches had been
omitted and would have to find a place in a revised document. The Commission
then devoted most of its discussion to these questions. Some of the major ones
have been incorporated into formulations which attempt to summarise our
consensus. Yet others will be referred to more briefly and elaborated verbally.
But before we deal with these it is necessary to draw your attention to some
fundamental propositions which formed a background to all our discussions.
Additions Made by the Plenary Session:
a) The document should identify the epoch during which our liberation
struggle is taking place.
b) The document should discuss the revolutionary alliance amongst
ANC/SACP/SACTU; our international alliances; and the enemy`s alliances.
c) The omissions in the document which must be corrected are: the role and
place of the working class in our strategy and the significance of the emergence
of the democratic trade unions; the character of bantustan leadership and the
changing nature of the bantustans.
5. From the very beginning the following was emphasised:
Our discussions on strategy and tactics (more particularly in the area of
armed struggle) must be informed by two basic realities about our situation.
Since there is unanimity among us that there can be no destruction of the regime
leading to the capture of People`s Power without some form of revolutionary
violence, we have to recognise two fundamental characteristics (one negative,
the other positive) which, in combination, are very unique and special to our
situation. Firstly, the negative factor: We have never had, we have not got, and
we are unlikely to ever have a rear base in the classical sense. So when we
begin to examine the concept of people`s war, guerrilla activity, guerrilla
zones, problems of arming the people, creating, sustaining and supplying a
people`s army in the initial stages, etc we must accept that all these
objectives have to take off and grow within the limitation of the absence of an
effective rear base with a friendly border. Secondly, the positive factor: We
have revolutionary resources and potentials which no other Movement in Africa
had. We have a people (and especially a proletariat and fighting youth) which
constitute a revolutionary contingent which is highly politically conscious,
experienced in struggle over a period of more than half-a-century, who stand
ready in their tens of thousands to be recruited and organised into contingents
of political and armed fighters and who show an unending creativity in finding
forms of resistance and of mass legal and semi-legal organisation in the face of
the enemy`s continuous terror against the people.
6. The key to the future unfolding of our strategy and tactics is, on the one
hand, to compensate for and to find ways of overcoming the weakness of the
absence of a rear base. On the other hand, we have to exploit to the maximum our
strength, which is the people in political motion.
In this connection we should remember that when we think of revolutionary
violence, we must not restrict ourselves only to the organised presence of MK
combat units. We must also pay attention to the way in which the people`s
revolutionary violence (organised or spontaneous or semi-spontaneous) relates to
the unfolding of the revolutionary struggle as a whole. In short, we must find
ways of harnessing the combat potential of the people, whether in the kind of
small combat units referred to in the NEC`s recent Call to the Nation, the
creation of larger paramilitary formations in the shape of workers and people`s
self defence units, etc. We must also be ready, at the right moment, to provide
guidance and lead the people in mass actions involving revolutionary force, such
as land occupation, factory occupation, people`s control of the townships in the
face of constituted authority, etc. Our capacity to play an effective role at
this level will depend largely on our combat presence and the availability of
minimum armouries of weapons.
7. Against the background of the general contents of the draft strategy and
tactics document and the considerations referred to in paragraphs 5 and 6, our
Commission concentrated its discussions on a number of important categories
which were either missing from the draft or not sufficiently stressed. We
proceed to enumerate these discussion items. A. People`s War and Insurrection
B.The Bantustans C. The Working Class D.Military Combat Work (MCW) E.Embryos of
People`s Power F.Relationship Between Urban and Rural Warfare G.Action Against
the Enemy`s Support Base A. People`s War and Insurrection The Commission
addressed itself to the relationship between protracted People`s War and
Insurrection, taking as the starting point the question raised in the Green Book
which states: `Do we see the seizure of power as a result of general
insurrection or protracted People`s War in which partial or general uprisings
will take place?`
There was unanimity that the primary perspective continues to be People`s War
which, in our situation, will have a protracted character and that broadly
speaking we see insurrection as a culmination of this.
By People`s War we mean a war in which a liberation army becomes rooted
amongst the people who progressively participate actively in the armed struggle
both politically and militarily, including the possibility of engaging in
partial or general insurrections. The present disparity in strength between the
enemy`s forces and our own determines the protracted nature of the struggle in
which we need to reduce the enemy`s resources, reserves and endurance, whilst
gathering our own strength to the point where we are capable of seizing power.
Such a struggle will lead inevitably to a revolutionary situation in which our
plan and aim must be the seizure of power through a general insurrection (or
whatever other ways might present themselves). What will count is such a
situation will be our capacity to take advantage of that revolutionary
situation. Unless we have the necessary forces and means under our command, and
at our disposal, there is no way we can succeed and the opportunity will pass us
by. Therefore, it is imperative that we continuously build the necessary forces
and organisational structures which are the subjective conditions for success.
As for the question of how long we have to wait for such a situation to
mature, this is impossible to state. The crisis in our country is such that we
must be ready to respond to the most dramatic turn of events which might bring
the whole situation to a decisive turning point.
Already the present explosive situation in the townships is pregnant with
such possibilities and demands our decisive action, irrespective of our current
strength. Hence the call to action issued by the NEC. Whilst we emphasise the
need to purposefully and patiently build up the forces and means for the
revolutionary seizure of power, waging People`s War as we do so, it is necessary
to stress that an insurrection cannot be mechanically planned on a drawing board
to take place at some prescribed date in the future. It could occur as a result
of a chain of events which trigger off widespread initiative from the people
themselves or as a result of a call from the revolutionary movement at a special
moment in the development of our revolutionary situation, or as a result of a
combination of both. We must see to it that we are, in every respect, ready for
any of these eventualities in the future.
This makes it imperative for certain steps to be taken now in order to be
prepared for such an eventuality. i) We must build up stores of simple, basic
equipment in the vicinity of all major urban complexes which, at the right
moment, could be used to equip contingents which have been prepared or which can
be quickly organised during emergency insurrectionary conditions. ii) A study
must be completed of the main nerve-centres of every city. Such a study must
provide us with the knowledge of which forces should be concentrated at which
key points during an urban insurrection and should enable us to select priority
targets. iii) There must be special concentration on the creation and
strengthening of mass organisations in the rural areas (especially the
bantustans) so that urban and rural action can be drawn together at the crucial
moment. This, however, must not divert us from persevering with the all-round
task of building the forces and means of waging a protracted People`s War. 16 B.
The Bantustans The Commission addressed itself to the bantustans and the
question was raised as to our exact strategy towards these enemy-created
institutions. The successful spread of People`s War is inconceivable without the
escalation of political and military struggles in the bantustans, in which over
half the African population is forced to live.
Attention was drawn to the reality of the bantustans, which, though puppet
creations of the enemy, have spawned a vast bureaucratic apparatus and civil
service and endowed a whole range of black professionals with the benefits of
Bantustanisation has developed a momentum of its own and a significant number
of government ministers, officials, civil servants and other hangers-on have
acquired an economic and social stake in their survival. We must isolate the
incorrigible collaborators and win over those whose job opportunities are not
irreversibly dependent on the bantustan system.
Within the context of the above, our Movement must consider and be sensitive
to the various shades of difference amongst the bantustan governments and
leaders. Some bantustans are strategically located along or near the borders
lending themselves as routes for penetrating the rest of the country. Yet others
are run by brutal puppets, like Sebe and Mphephu, who do not hesitate to employ
the most savage repressive measures against the people.
A lively debate also ensued on our strategy for the bantustans. The
Commission felt that the creation of bantustan armies opens up new opportunities
for the winning over of black soldiers to our side and to capture or obtain
weapons from them. It was also accepted that the Movement should learn from the
historical experience of regions where peasant uprisings and revolts have thrown
up organisational forms and organs of struggle - such as the Mountain Committee
in Pondoland - which could become core groups of a revolutionary underground.
Greater attention needs to be paid to the revolutionary slogans and
programmes of struggle we place before the bantustan people. We cannot expect to
motivate them effectively without placing before them perspectives of struggle
against the bantustan administrations themselves. Land hunger remains one of the
major national grievances which must be harnessed to activate the masses into
struggle. The changing social stratification of the bantustans also received our
attention. The emergence of a working class within these areas was noted as was
the dumping of the unemployed from the urban areas and the role that migrant
labour must play in linking the bantustans with the urban areas and industry.
The Commission submits that it has become feasible to build up working class
organisational forms in some bantustans, including organisations for the
unemployed to demand work. Urban areas that have been incorporated into
bantustans, such as Mdantsane, must become revolutionary springboards for
mobilising the people in the bantustans.
The openly counter-revolutionary role that Chief Gatsha Buthelezi has assumed
was noted. Buthelezi, unlike Mphephu, cannot be dismissed as a mere puppet of
the racists. He projects the illusion of autonomy from the enemy and pretends to
pursue national aims. His counter-revolutionary role must be exposed and we must
work to win over his supporters and deprive him of his social base. The more
notorious puppets, like Sebe in the Ciskei, have placed themselves, through
their actions, squarely within the enemy camp and must be dealt with
Clearly the bantustans should also be the targets of our Movement`s efforts
to render South Africa ungovernable. However, the scope and the pace of our
efforts will be determined by our Movement`s organised strength in these areas.
One of the questions most extensively debated was whether we should seek to
advocate the overthrow of the bantustan administrations or whether we should
focus exclusively on the struggle against Pretoria. If the former applies, it
would involve the establishment of (if only for a short period) a radical
administration with sympathies for the liberation movement. Would such an
approach weaken our correct policy of unconditionally rejecting the legitimacy
of the bantustans? It was generally felt that we should be flexible in our
There is no doubt that Pretoria would intervene immediately to save its
puppets. Such intervention would reduce the whole bantustan policy to shambles.
By removing the puppets we would bring the people into direct confrontation with
the racists, opening up the possibilities of transforming these areas into bases
for the advancement of People`s War. Additions made by the Plenary Session We
require an in-depth study of the bantustans to provide a more adequate knowledge
of social stratification, crystallisation of classes (if any) within these
regime-created structures; patterns of land ownership and control, the
distribution of power, the system of patronage, etc. C. The Working Class The
Commission found the document on the labour front submitted by Sactu extremely
useful. The most significant feature of the situation in our country has been
the dramatic growth in trade union organisation (which, for the first time in
South African history, has more black than white workers) , the escalating
strike movement and the increasing involvement of the working class in the
The special role of the working class was emphasised at the Morogoro
Conference and enunciated in our 1969 Strategy and Tactics document. Stressed at
that time was the observation that the `military and political consciousness as
a revolutionary class` of the workers `will play no small part in our victory
and the construction of a real people`s South Africa`.
The present draft Strategy and Tactics document is not as emphatic on the
working class role as the Morogoro Document and must be accordingly improved. It
must keep pace with the times and say far more about the trade unions and deal
with the tendency in certain quarters at home to keep them out of politics.
At a time when certain trade union leaders are raising the question of how
the ANC will deal with the trade unions and workers demands in a liberated South
Africa, we can do no better than the 1969 Morogoro formulation that the
`perspectives of a speedy progression from formal liberation to genuine and
lasting emancipation is made more real by the existence in our country of a
large and growing working class whose class consciousness complements national
consciousness`. Furthermore, it is historically understandable that the
doubly-oppressed and doubly-exploited working class constitutes a distinct and
reinforcing layer of our drive towards liberation. Its socialist aspirations do
not stand in conflict with the national interest.
We recognise that the working class is the key force in our revolution and
this must find expression in the three fundamental detachments of our struggle -
i.e. the broad mass democratic movement, our underground and our army. The
Commission also emphasised the need to pay special attention to the organisation
of workers in strategic industrial centres. D. Military Combat Work (MCW) The
Commission argues that it is high time that our Movement applied the principles
of MCW to the question of armed struggle. These principles have been ignored too
long even though they are a key element in the training of our cadres. MCW
involves the preparation of combat forces of the revolution according to
specific principles, methods and structures. MCW derives from the experience of
the Bolsheviks in three revolutions and the experience of revolutionary
movements throughout the world. It is the heritage of the international
revolutionary movement and a guide to the solving of the problems of armed
struggle according to the specific particulars of a given country.
According to MCW guidelines the combat forces of the Revolution are composed
of three components: a) The advanced combat formations (in our case Umkhonto we
Sizwe) which are the nucleus of the People`s Revolutionary Army and include the
guerrilla formations of the countryside, urban combat groups, sabotage units and
workers` and people`s self-defence units based in the factories, townships and
rural areas. b) The People in Arms - i.e. the advanced, active elements of the
masses, prepared and trained by the vanguard formations - ready, arms in hand,
to swell the ranks of the People`s Army. c) Those elements of the enemy forces,
ready at the decisive moment, to side with the revolutionary forces.
These elements constitute the forces and means of People`s War. They have to
be built up and prepared according to a planned approach under the centralised
command of the political party or movement that has decided on the need for
armed struggle. MCW, therefore, calls for a centralised organisational command,
with one line of communication from top to bottom, i.e. from national leadership
to regional to district area (in our case from PMC to Regional PMC to Area PMC)
. Within this structure are the specialisations such as combat work, work within
the enemy forces, security and intelligence, and the training centres and camps.
MCW builds up the Revolutionary Army of the People, wages all-out war against
the enemy, works to disintegrate the enemy armed forces by undermining them from
within and whilst engaging in combat, utilises all forms and methods of
struggle, involving all the progressive forces of the people, to a stage where
power can be seized by a nationwide insurrection. Unless the above is attended
to as a matter of strategic necessity, we are afraid we will continue to remain
distanced from the internal situation and therefore unable to properly enter the
fray. E. Embryos of People`s Power The Commission noted that in large areas of
the country the people had acted on the ANC`s call to render the country
ungovernable. For all practical purposes the government`s administrative organs
in the black urban ghettoes have, in the course of the present unrest, been
completely destroyed. In place of these puppet bodies various initiatives have
been taken to create local organs such as civic associations and other bodies
which claim to have popular legitimacy as representatives of the people.
In the light of these events the Commission noted that the NEC of the ANC had
issued a call to the nation which included a call for the creation of people`s
committees in every black area which could become the embryos of people`s power.
The Commission discussed the need to define, with greater precision, what the
popular power represents. More particularly, we directed our attention to the
question whether the people`s committees should attempt to assume the functions
of an administrative organ which caters for the daily needs of the residents or
whether they should concentrate on their political role as representatives of
We concluded as follows: a) In the absence of an early seizure of power those
committees would not be able to sustain or finance any of the basic requirements
of municipal government for any length of time. b) In these circumstances any
attempt to hold out the promise of a permanent alternative administration would
be frustrated and would therefore lead to a discrediting of the people`s
committees. c) In general we agreed that the main function of such committees
should be to represent the people politically and to lead them in struggles to
enforce municipal and broader demands. d) We further recognised that there may
be short periods of time during which such organs are called upon to organise
services which have completely broken down. Wherever possible, they should be
instrumental in the setting up of people`s militia to exercise the functions of
popular order and control in a `Free Zone` etc. But these possibilities can only
be determined on the ground by the specific circumstances and context in which
each people`s committee emerges. F. Relationship Between Urban and Rural Warfare
Certain key factors necessitate a reappraisal of our strategic approach towards
our armed struggle in relation to the emphasis we put on either urban or rural
The classical approach, which is propounded in the Strategy and Tactics drawn
up in Morogoro in 1969, lays stress on the development of guerrilla warfare in
the rural areas and designates a supportive role for urban warfare.
But the objective conditions of our situation reveal that:
1. We do not have and are unlikely to have a reliable rear base from which we
can advance into the rural areas.
2. The rural areas are not as politically organised as the urban. 3. Our
organisational strength lies in the urban and surrounding areas.
4. The bulk of our army comes from the urban areas.
5. In the urban areas there already exist many organised units which have
sprung up spontaneously from the mass action and resistance of our people to
engage the enemy by violent means using rudimentary weapons.
6. It is in the urban areas that our call to make South African ungovernable
has found practical translation. Our people have destroyed the enemy
institutions and are seeking ways of creating organs of People`s Power.
7. The most advanced elements of our people, such as workers and the township
youth, are in the urban areas. In practical terms, this means that the potential
exists more in the urban areas for the creation and rooting among the people of
the organs of our Movement to lead our people and organise the armed struggle.
Given the advantages and favourable factors we enjoy in the urban areas,
including migrant workers and the impact of the city on the countryside, we see
the strategic potential of using our urban stronghold as a base from which to
prepare the ground for the countryside for the launching of armed struggle
In the rural areas it is necessary to create underground and mass political
bases as a foundation for the armed struggle. In areas where suitable conditions
exist units must be sent to be based in the terrain to make contact with and
train the local population for action against the enemy. We must undertake a
sustained drive to clear the white farms and harass the enemy with mine warfare.
Sustained armed activity in the rural areas is important both as a politicising
factor locally and nationally, and as a tactic to disperse the enemy. Given the
geographic conditions of the countryside and the lack of a rear base, we do not
envisage the early creation of liberated areas in the classical sense. But it is
realistic to work for the creation of a combat presence which will begin
contesting for control of the area with the enemy. Additions Made by the Plenary
Session The movement should initiate a comprehensive study of all the rural
areas outside the bantustans focusing on: a)Land ownership and distribution -
identify the actual landowners, who is presently using the land (eg leases to
big companies). b)The changing demographic patterns - who lives in the rural
areas, (racial distribution), in what numbers, what are they doing? c)The
agricultural workforce - who are the agricultural workers, what proportion of
them reside permanently in these areas, and how many are migrants; what sort of
skills do they have? d)Organisations in the rural areas. e)Problems encountered
in the unionisation of agricultural workers. f)The border lands and the regime`s
regional defence infra-structure in these. G. Action Against the Enemy`s Support
Base We have always gone out of our way to avoid a confrontation along racial
lines and we will continue to do so.
But those among the white community who constitute the core of its social
base for race domination are increasingly being mobilised in support of brutal
repression. In particular the enemy has begun to transform almost every farm
into a military outpost. Certainly in the countryside they are more and more
blurring the distinction between what is civilian and what is military.
In many other ways, both in the urban complexes and in industry, it is also
militarising its civilian support base.
Up to now our dedication to the avoidance of racial confrontation has often
prevented us from dealing telling blows against the enemy and his installations
for fear that white civilians would be caught in the cross-fire or be killed or
injured in the vicinity of an enemy installation.
We have even inhibited ourselves from inflicting direct blows against whites
who are ostensibly civilians but are in fact part of the military, paramilitary
and security machine.
The escalating brutality perpetrated daily against our people is now creating
a new situation. We can no longer allow our armed activities to be determined
solely by the risk of such civilian casualties. We believe that the time has
come when those who stand in solid support of the race tyranny and who are its
direct or indirect instruments, must themselves begin to feel the agony of our
Our Movement will continue to do all in its power to win over sections of the
white community; indeed this has become more necessary than ever. But at the
same time it is also becoming more necessary than ever for whites to make it
clear on which side of the battle 19 lines they stand.
Additions Made by the Plenary Session
1. On logistics and ordnance: we must reduce our reliance on supply lines
from outside and orientate ourselves to seize weapons from the enemy.
2. On the religious front: we must pay closer attention to the politicisation
of religious communities and provide political education consonant with their
beliefs. The NEC should send a delegation to Nicaragua to study their experience
to discover what we can apply to our situation. 3. NEC: the majority of NEC
members should concentrate on the home front, cut down on travel abroad in order
to supervise work inside the country. 4. The Luthuli Detachment should be
activated and its members reintegrated into the military work of the movement.
The Commission also touched upon a number of other topics (which will be
elaborated upon verbally) which fall into the following categories: a)Internal
growth and training b)The special role of ordnance in the developing situation
c)The General Political Strike as an insurrectionary weapon d)Work in the enemy
armed forces e)Armed propaganda in the present phase f)The liberation alliance
between ANC/SACTU/SACP g)Our international alliances h)The content of our
revolutionary nationalism in relation to the epoch in which our struggle is
taking place i)The concept of internal colonialism and the special character of
the South African state. .