Statement from the Arusha Conference
4 december 1987
The Illegitimacy of the Apartheid Regime, The Right to Struggle Against it, and the Status of the African National Congress
For the oppressed of South Africa, the illegitimacy of the regime is neither
an academic matter nor solely determined by the rules of national and
international law. A system of government which has consistently, since its
foundation, rejected the right of the vast majority of the population to
participate in the central organs of power and which bases its authority to
govern on the use of unadulterated force, has never enjoyed any moral or
political legitimacy with the oppressed.
The rejection of a common citizenship by successive South African regimes,
the imposition of Nazi legislation to determine the racial origins of the
population and the cloaking of privilege and economic exploitation through the
manipulation of political power are the hallmarks of a special system of laws
akin to the colonial systems prevalent before the period of decolonisation.
The special kind of colonialism - with its inbuilt racist rules - has been
unequivocally rejected by the vast majority of South Africans. Its moral basis
has been reviewed recently by the Kairos Document of 1986 and by the declaration
adopted by the Conference of the Programme to Combat Racism of the World Council
of Churches held in Lusaka in May 1987. both documents conclude that the
apartheid system and the regime based on this ideology are illegitimate.
The legal illegitimacy of the apartheid regime has far-reaching consequences.
This dimension has been provided by the developments of international law which,
by evolving rules concerning the illegality of certain practised such as:
- The violation of the right to self-determination of the entire people of
- The practice of racial discrimination and the gross, flagrant and
systematic violations of human rights;
- Policies akin to genocide have struck at the heart of the legitimacy of
Legitimacy is associated with authority to govern. These legal developments
establish the inexorable fact which must be recognised. If law has to have any
relevance, it must be evident that the apartheid regime lacks authority under
international law. The only legitimate basis for the authority of any government
is the consent of the people, however expressed. It follows this that the regime
has no right in international law to speak in the name of South Africa and no
right to assure its own survival.
From Colonialism to Apartheid
The struggle of the people of South Africa today for freedom and
self-determination in the land of their birth is the continuation of the
struggle waged by their ancestors against the plunder of their land by the early
colonists, and against their exploitation as slaves by the white invaders.
The people of South Africa were conquered by force, and their continued
subjugation has been ensured by force. The apparatus governing that force had
changed, in that it has been regulated by laws and enshrined in legal and
constitutional documents, but the apparatus itself retains its colonial nature.
South Africa now, as in past centuries, is governed by brute force not by
democratic consent or 'rule of law' developed by the people. Its government has
never received the consent of the people, and when it was 'given' independence
by its metropolitan master, that independence was given to the colonial minority
and not to the people as a whole.
When the union of the Boer and British states came about in 1910, there was
no pretence of consultation with the vast majority of the population. The
political settlement retained a veneer of rights for blacks in limited areas but
the constitution itself forbade any real participation by them.
However, this veneer of democracy does not affect the reality of racism and
expropriation. Only three years after the union were traditional patterns of
segregation an discrimination strengthened. The 1913 Land Act, which effectively
divided up the territory of South Africa in the same proportion as we find
today, is the foundation on which the whole edifice of apartheid has been
The principal concern of the government, and of all government since, has
been the preservation of the powers and privileges of the whites. Where
traditional colour bars had been eroded, legislation was passed to restore it;
where the strength of the black vote threatened to impinge on actual election
results, as in the Cape, it was at first nullified by giving the vote to white
women but not to black women, and later abolished altogether.
Right from the beginning, prominent politicians were enunciating policies
that are the clear forerunners of the bantustan policies worked out in the
Thirties by the Broederbond and put into practice in the later years of National
The Recolonisation of South Africa: Removals and the Bantustans
Africans today can still only exercise property rights in the 13 per cent of
the land allocated to them by the white parliament. Outside these scattered,
largely overcrowded, often arid and inadequate fragments of land, Africans must
live on sufferance, under the constant threat of forced removal eviction and
Over the past three decades state power has been used by the whites to
forcibly uproot a minimum of four million adults through a process
euphemistically dubbed relocation or resettlement. These neutral terms disguise
the traumatic uprooting of long-established communities and their forcible
transfer to the poverty-stricken bantustans. There is no appeal, no recourse to
any court of law against the sudden descent of the bulldozers which are sent to
destroy the homes of the people.
The grand design of apartheid was to keep the Africans herded into the rural
areas in a number of spurious 'homelands' which were allocated to them against
their wishes and without their being so much as consulted. These 'homelands' or
bantustans provide pools of cheap labour for the white industries which can be
utilised when and as required.
Notwithstanding the abolition in 1986 of the notorious Pass Laws, under which
millions of African had been arrested and thrown into jail over the years,
influx control is still strictly exercised in other guises, principally through
the provision - or rather lack of provision - of housing in the township. Those
who have no accommodation are forbidden to travel to the cities, and so the
white areas are still effectively closed to blacks and black workers are still
unable to bring their wives and families to live with them. Freedom of movement,
at basic human right, is carefully controlled under the guise of 'orderly
The first bantustan to be given 'independence' was the Transkei, in 1976, but
no state in the world has yet recognised its status, or the status of any of the
three because the establishment of these entities violates the right of
self-determination of the people of South Africa. Their economies are totally
dependent on the regime and on the remittances of their migrant workers. Their
pitiful black administrators derive their puppet status from the from the
apartheid regime and not from any democratic vote by the citizen of the
A small minority of Africans have been allowed to retain South African
citizenship through the exercise of Section 10 rights in the white urban areas.
For the rest, even if they were not born in a 'homeland' and have never lived in
a 'homeland', they are lumbered with an unwanted citizenship which automatically
deprives them of the few rights that remained to them in the urban areas of
Thousands of blacks continue to be 'homelands' on the grounds that they are
undocumented 'aliens'. White aliens from outside South Africa's borders have the
protection of international law and cannot be unceremoniously removed from one
area to another; these internal 'aliens' have no rights whatsoever. It was
thought that over 40 per cent of the population of the Cape would be illegal
'aliens' in terms of the aliens and Immigration Laws Amendment Act passed in
1948. All these practices of deportation and discrimination contravene the
principle - that race cannot form the basis for denationalisation - accepted by
the international community since the 1941 decree in Nazi Germany which
The international outcry which this arbitrary deprivation of one most
fundamental human rights caused, led to the 1986 Restoration of South African
Citizenship Act. Its effects, however, are not as impressive as its title, and
those communities which are still today being incorporated compulsory into the
bantustans find themselves again in an uncertain position.
The precise details of entitlement to citizenship are not so important as the
fact that rights to citizenship can be so carelessly disposed of by the
apartheid regime, removed, restored and again restricted, without those
concerned having any say in the matter whatsoever. This is the essence of
colonial rule: rights can be removed or adjusted without the consent of the
individuals directly concerned.
The compulsory and mass denationalisation of millions of Africans is contrary
to general international law and to the basic precepts of human rights.
A regime which has placed restrictions on marriage and sexual relations in
the past, which has divided South Africa on a racial basis under the Group Areas
Act, which allows the permeation of racial theories into school, church, jobs
and social security legislation, bears the hallmarks of international outlawry.
The Right to Self-Determination
The people of South Africa have a right to determine their own future.
This right originates in various sources, firstly the Charter of the United
Nations itself and then in a series of resolutions of international bodies,
opinions and judgments of the World Court of Justice and the practice of states.
This right is best illustrated by the categorical statement of Article 1, which
is common to the two human rights Covenants of 1966, both of which are now in
force, which reads:
All people have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that they
freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social
and cultural development.
This, in fact, reiterates the working of the famous 1960 UN Declaration on
the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People.
The practice of the international community has given direct effect to the
right to self-determination within certain contexts and in relation to
identifiable struggles. These practices give formal expression to a principle
which has been growing over the century and which is now so strong as to form a
'peremptory norm' that 'cannot be set aside by treaty or acquiescence but only
by the formation of a subsequent norm of contrary effect'. In other words the
principle is now established and is an obligation on the part of the
international community which has to be observed. In legal language, it forms
part of the jus cogens, the customary international law which limits the
right of states in certain areas and which has important implications for the
The Illegitimacy of the Regime
South Africa is unique in that it completely denies African people the
right to participate in the government and administration of the state. In the
past decade, the regime has introduced new constitutional arrangements whose
purpose has been to co-opt elements of the Indian and Coloured population. There
are now Indian and Coloured chambers in the South African parliament, but they
meet separately from each other and from the white parliament. Their limited
powers cover only so-called 'own affairs', and in the case of 'general affairs'
on which joint decisions have to be taken, their joint strength is less than
that of the white parliament alone.
African are completely excluded from this arrangement. They have been given
only some illusory and meaningless rights to local government, which have been
rejected by the majority of the people. They are now being promised a minor role
in an advisory National Council by the Botha regime.
This violates one of the most fundamental tenets of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights which, in Paragraph 3 of article 21, reads:
The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic and general elections.
In South Africa the people have no legal means of expressing their will and
the government therefore has no authority to govern.
Further, apartheid has again and again been stigmatised as a crime against
humanity by the international community. As the International Court of Justice
laid down in 1971:
To establish ... and to enforce, distinctions, exclusions, restrictions and
limitations exclusively based on grounds of race, colour, descent or national
or ethnic origin which constitute a denial of fundamental human rights is a
flagrant violation of the purpose and principles of the Charter (of the United
Undoubtedly the whole purpose of the South African constitution and of the
multitude of racist laws which have grown up over the years is precisely to
establish and enforce the anti-human distinctions condemned in the UN Charter.
The Population Registration Act may be nonsense scientifically, but it has
inflicted untold harm and suffering on the people of South Africa and forms the
corner-stone for the territorial and racial arrangements of the apartheid state.
Clearly, South Africa is a special case in the world today. No other has
enshrined racism in its law and made it the basis for the whole structure and
development of its society. No other country has two systems of law, based on
distinctions of race, for what it considers to be two different sections of its
It is arguable that the policy of apartheid and its implementation is very
close to genocide in its effects on the black people of South Africa. The
millions of people who have been uprooted from their homes in pursuit of the
segregation of the races have suffered appalling deprivation as a result, a
deprivation totally unknown to their white rulers. The poverty of the
bantustans, the effects of natural disasters such as flood and famine, have been
hugely exacerbated by apartheid. Thousands of children have died before they had
a chance to experience life, while white children enjoy one of the lowest infant
mortality rates in the world.
And this is quite apart from the deaths and injuries caused by the terror
tactics of the regime in its desperate attempts to retain power.
Such a state of affairs may have been acceptable to the imperial world of
Rhodes and Beit, and in Britain to Queen Victoria. Today, however, the colonial
relationship has almost disappeared and under the new international legal order
is no longer a matter of national pride but of shame and illegality.
In South Africa, the colonial relationship of the white minority to the black
majority is hidden under a smoke screen of laws and regulations such as those
according 'independence' to the bantustans.
As the former colonies of Africa and elsewhere in the world assert their
independence and their right to respect, so the world has increasingly come to
recognise that, in the words of the General Assembly of the United Nations, 'the
racist regime of South Africa is illegitimate and has no right to represent the
people of South Africa'.
This view is reinforced by the fact of growing recognition of apartheid as
itself a crime against humanity. The apartheid regime has deprived millions in
South Africa and Namibia of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a
system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically
incarcerated and tortured thousands of people, contrary to the rules of
international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against the children of
As early as 1966 the UN General Assembly characterised the acts of the
apartheid regime as 'war crimes', and even the Security Council has applied the
Nuremberg Principles to the South African situation (under resolution 392 of
1976 and 473 of 1980).
The International Court of Justice has found that there are certain
obligation which derive, for example, in contemporary international law, from
the outlawing of acts of aggression, and of genocide, as also from the
principles and rules concerning the basic rights of the human person, including
protection from slavery and racial discrimination'. These obligations will be
Another facet of the illegality of the apartheid regime is it maintains
itself through force. The present state of emergency, with its draconian powers
of detention which have been used to silence thousands of dissenting voices, is
only the latest in a vast range of laws which have been passed by the ruling
minority in order to suppress the majority. The people's organisations have been
banned, their leaders imprisoned, newspapers shut down, meetings and
demonstrations stopped. South African history is littered with examples of the
murder of opponents of apartheid, whether after a hollow legal trial, as the
result of police violence in jail or outside it, or from police bullets fired at
Colonial systems rely on force to maintain themselves. The use of force to
deprive a people of the right to self-determination violated the Charter of the
United Nations an other rules of law and constitutes a crime against peace.
But South African violence is not confined within its borders, nor even to
Namibia which it occupies by force and in defiance of the United Nations - the
occupation of Namibia is in itself a crime under international law.
It has embarked on military adventures in a number of independent states of
Southern Africa, notably in Angola where its forces occupy part of the country
more or less permanently, but also in Mozambique and other Southern African
states. Commandos have made raids across borders to kill civilians and refugees;
individuals have been assassinated or kidnapped. The regime's efforts at the
political and economic destabilisation of the Frontline States are well known;
so is its active support of surrogate forces such as Unita in Angola and MNR in
The international community, without exception, has consistently condemned
these acts. They constitute unprovoked aggressions, which is contrary to
international law and a crime against international peace. The UN Security
Council has consistently condemned many of these acts of aggression, but has so
far been prevented from characterising them directly as threats to world peace
(which would automatically trigger off the sanctions procedures of Chapter VII
of the Untied Charter), by the vetoes exercised by the United States, United
Kingdom and France.
The Nuremberg Principles and Apartheid
South Africa as a Crime Against Peace
The Nuremberg Principles adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1946 are a
set of rules which grew out of the conclusion of the International Military
Tribunal held in Nuremberg after the war to try the major Nazi war criminals.
That Tribunal held that there was both international and individual
responsibility for the crimes that were committed during the war, which can be
summed up under three heads:
- Crimes Against Peace: Namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging
of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties,
agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy of
any of the foregoing.
- War Crimes: Namely, violation of the laws or customs of war.
- Crimes Against Humanity: Namely, murder, extermination,
enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts committed against any
civilian population before or during the war or persecutions on political,
racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime
within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the
international community as a whole, with the result that a state may breach
international law without necessarily having infringed the rights or
integrity of another state.
Every state, therefore, has a right to suppress breaches of duty owned to the
international community. It could be argued that where breaches of fundamental
obligations occur, other states may be under a duty to suppress the
breach. In any event, no state may aid or abet, encourage or assist in these
breaches. There is individual responsibility for the commission of these offence
and a responsibility adheres also to those who assist in the maintenance of such
conditions of illegality.
In applying the Nuremberg Principles to South Africa, and deciding whether or
not the apartheid regime has committed a crime against peace, the first
necessity is to determine whether or not aggression is involved. If the United
Nations Security Council were to resolve that it were, there would be no
problem. Unfortunately, the use of the veto by the three Western States at the
Security Council has prevented this.
However, since 1975 the UN General Assembly has passed numerous resolutions
condemning acts of aggression by the regime against Mozambique, Lesotho, Zambia,
Botswana and Angola. So has the Security Council, without invoking Chapter VII
of the Chapter. The UN has also condemned the ruthless use of power internally
to suppress both peaceful civilian opposition to apartheid, and the legitimate
use of armed resistance being waged by the liberation movement. South Africa's
illegal occupation of Namibia is considered to be another form of aggression.
There is authoritative support, both from international legal opinion and in
many conventions, declarations and resolution of the United Nations, for the
view that in spite of the failure of he UN Security Council to make a positive
determination under Chapter VII of the Charter on the issue, the whole nature of
the apartheid regime and its actions must be held to be aggressive and illegal.
Undoubtedly too, the apartheid regime is guilty of crimes against humanity,
as described above. Indeed, this is endorsed by the International Convention on
the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, which came into force
in July 1976 and by September 1984 had been ratified or acceded to by 79 states.
The Convention itself states that 'in the Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, certain acts which may also be qualified as
acts of apartheid, constitute a crime under international law'. The principles
behind the Apartheid Convention are now considered to be part of general
The association between the crimes of apartheid and of genocide has been
further confirmed by the 1985 report of the Ad Hoc Working Group of
Experts appointed by the UN Commission on Human Rights, which points out that
genocide is not merely the act of murder applied on a mass scale to a national
or ethnic group, but also covers acts 'calculated to destroy the individual or
prevent him from participating fully in national life'. Apartheid, the report
'not simply a crime against humanity but a series of acts of genocide, as
far as some aspects of its practices are concerned, but also with implications
for international peace and security'.
Various consequences flow from such a conclusion. Notably, those who are
responsible for the planning and implementation of apartheid can be held liable
for their crimes, as the Nazi were and still are, without any limitation on the
time for putting them on trial. Also, the victims of apartheid are entitled to
These consequences are spelled out in the UN Convention on the
Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations War Crimes and Crimes Against
Humanity, 1968. Its provisions, it states, apply to:
"representative of state authority and private individuals who, as
principals or accomplices, participate in and who directly incite others to
the commission of any of those crimes (against humanity) or who conspire to
commit them, irrespective of the degree of completion, and to representatives
of the state authority who tolerate their commission".
The convention also lays down in Article 1 that no statutory limitation shall
apply to certain crimes, and specially assimilates 'inhuman acts resulting from
the policy of apartheid' to 'crimes against humanity'. Now that the Convention
is in force, the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities of the Commission on Human Rights has been entrusted
with the task of compiling a list of persons, from the highest echelons of the
state machinery in South Africa to the murderers and torturers of the police
force, who have been responsible for committing the crimes defined in the
The Right of the ANC to Combat Apartheid
If apartheid is held to be a crime, and the apartheid regime to be
illegitimate, then certain consequences also flow from this for the resistance
movement against apartheid.
Since 1965 the UN General Assembly has recognised 'the legitimacy of the
struggles by peoples under colonial rule to exercise their right to
self-determination and independence'. Slowly, the UN also came to the conclusion
in that movements fighting colonialism have certain rights to recognition and
representation. This was first applied to the movements fighting Portuguese
colonialism that movements fighting colonialism have certain rights to
recognition and representation. This was first applied to the movements fighting
Portuguese colonialism in Africa. Now, Swapo of Namibia is recognised as 'the
sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people'. The ANC does not to
date, enjoy this unique status, but since 1973 it has been recognised by the UN
as representing the people of South Africa, and as a result it (together with
the PAC) enjoys a special status at the UN and on various of its organs.
The Right to Armed Struggle
The ANC has a right to conduct armed struggle in pursuit of the right to
self-determination of the South African people. This was confirmed by the
unanimous adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Declaration on Principles
of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States
accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (General Assembly Resolution
2615 (XXV) 1970, which laid down that:
In their actions against, and resistance to, such forcible action in pursuit
of the exercise of their right to self- determination, such people are entitled
to seek and receive support in accordance with the purposes and principles of
Similarly, the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the Definition
of Aggression of 1974 provides that nothing in the definition of aggression can
prejudice the right of self-determination, freedom and independence of peoples
under 'colonial and racist regimes or other forms of alien domination', nor the
right of these peoples to struggle to that end and to receive support.
The UN Security Council has also been evolving in its response. Resolution
392 of 1976, adopted three days after the shootings at Soweto, explicitly
recognised 'the legitimacy of the struggle of the South African people for the
elimination of apartheid and racial discrimination'. In 1977 it unanimously
affirmed the right of the people of South Africa to the exercise of
self-determination, which was extremely significant.
Since 1981 further Security Council developments have been inhibited by the
influence of the Reagan administration, but the initial important recognition of
the legitimacy of the struggle remains.
The resolutions of the Security Council were authoritative statements of the
law. The fact that neither the United States nor the United Kingdom voted
against these is significant. The General Assembly of the UN has been even more
forthright and has, by overwhelming majorities, rejected the 'criminal' policies
of the apartheid regime and reaffirmed, virtually annually since 1979, the
'legitimacy of the struggle by all available and appropriate means, including
armed struggle, for the seizure of power'.
People denied a right to self-determination have not only a right to be
represented but to ensure that other states respect their authority. It is
international law which creates such a status, not the recognition by other
states. As a corollary, there is now a duty not to recognise the entity which
exercises illicit governmental power. Such a duty of non-recognition flows from
the heart of the international legal order. To deny the African National
Congress its authority or to equate its legitimate and lawful acts to those of
'terrorism' is to violate an important legal right.
Flowing from this position, it is clear that there is a duty for all states
to support the ANC's legitimate struggle and to withdraw all aid and support
from the illegitimate apartheid regime. This is powerful legal argument for the
imposition of comprehensive and mandatory sanctions against the regime, and the
denial of all assistance to it.
The Geneva Conventions
Under international law, combatants of the ANC should be able to avail
themselves of the protection of the Geneva Convention Protocol 1 of 1977. The
original Geneva Conventions of 1949 applied only to conflicts between states
and, with limited and tightly-drawn provisions, to guerillas. But the world
community soon recognised the need to apply the humanitarian rules of warfare to
other situations. In 1973 the United Nations General Assembly, in Resolutions
3102 (XXVIII), stated:
The armed conflicts involving the struggle of people against colonial and
alien domination and racist regimes are to be regarded as international armed
conflicts in the sense of the 1949 Geneva Convention and the legal status
envisaged to apply to the combatants in the 1949 Geneva Conventions and other
international instruments are to apply to the persons engaged in armed struggle
against colonial and alien domination and racist regimes.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has already started to consider
how to expand the 1949 Conventions and this UN resolution gave further impetus
to the debate, which finally gave birth to the new Protocol in 1977. The
important factor was that these conflicts are of an international nature.
Armed conflicts of an international character are now covered by Protocol I
of 1977, which uses the UN formula quoted above, and thus brings the conflict in
South Africa within the purview of the Conventions. In addition, the ANC
acquired the vital right to become itself a party to the Conventions, which it
did by making a formal declaration in Geneva in 1980.
The Declaration of the African National Congress, deposited in Geneva with
the International Committee of the Red Cross, states that:
It is the conviction of the African National Congress of South Africa that
international rule protecting the dignity of human beings must be upheld at all
times. Therefore, and for humanitarian reasons, the ANC hereby declares that, in
the conduct of the struggle against apartheid and racism and for
self-determination in South Africa, it intends to respect and be guided by the
general principles of international humanitarian law applicable in armed
The ANC has been scrupulous in observing its international obligations under
the Conventions, but so far the apartheid regime has obstinately refused to
accede to the Protocol and has persistently denied the existence of any
obligations under the Protocol. It continues to torture detainees and to execute
captured combatants, which the Protocol would restrain it from doing. These acts
constitute grave breaches of the laws of war.
In a number of trials in South Africa in recent years, defence lawyers have
invoked the internationally protected status of combatants of the ANC, and the
demands of the UN General Assembly for either commutation of death sentences
imposed by South African courts or for prisoner-of-war status for captured
In a remarkable vote on 1 October 1982, 136 states called for this status
when Simon Mogoerane, Jerry Mosololi and Marcus Montaung were sentenced to death
following the Booysens Police Station and Sasolburg attacks. There were no votes
against and only the USA abstained. More recently, in October 1987, combatants
of Umkhonto we Sizwe, facing trial in Cape Town, have relied on the provisions
of international law.
Under UN General Assembly Resolution 34/93H(XXXIV) of 1979, governments are
obliged to take 'appropriate measures to save the lives of all persons
threatened with execution in trials staged by the illegitimate racist regime on
charges of high treason and under the obnoxious Terrorism Act'.
This is yet another argument in favour of the imposition of comprehensive
sanctions against the apartheid regime and for the provisions of maximum,
all-round assistance to the African National Congress.
Customary international law has now developed to a point where it clearly
recognises the illegitimacy of the apartheid regime, and the crime against
humanity which the regime is daily committing in its frantic efforts to remain
The crime of apartheid is c; closely associated with the crime of genocide,
and its authors and perpetrators will undoubtedly one day be called upon to
account for their actions, and held liable to compensate their victims. The
world has a duty to act, and a duty to uphold and assist those who are
conducting a rightful and legal struggle to overthrow apartheid and thus allow
the people of South Africa to participate in the process of self-determination.
Not only does international law establish the illegitimacy of the apartheid
regime, but it also provides the legal basis for its abolition. States must take
this factor into account in dealings with the regime. It is apartheid and
colonialism that is at the heart of the problem. Those states which continue to
have 'normal' relations with the regime are guilty of aiding and abetting the
commission of one of the most heinous crimes know to international law.
Individuals, such as heads of government, ministers, civil servants, business
and sports persons and corporations can therefore be held liable for such
collaboration. Inside South Africa, the responsibility for individual acts of
collaboration, first adumbrated at the Nuremberg Trials, must also be borne in
The right of the international community to take action against collaboration
with apartheid and in solidarity with the freedom struggle is clearly
established in law. This Conference must provide the political impetus and moral
conviction to ensure that this law has practical application.