[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Suttner on ANC, Cope
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Thu Mar 12 03:53:59 GMT 2009
Further Developments in South Africa
ANC Crisis and the Rise of COPE 
By Raymond Suttner
published by portside
March 11, 2009
Raymond Suttner is a scholar, former African National
Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party (SACP)
leader and political prisoner. He is the author of the
recent book, The ANC Underground.
We all feel that there is something very different about
the forthcoming April elections, about the current
political situation and the ANC. What is this? Why am I
feeling sufficiently confident to make such a
For almost four years the ANC has undergone turmoil of a
character that is unprecedented in its history and this
has shaken the organisation, led to the formation of a
breakaway political party, Congress of the People (COPE)
and raised questions about the potential or already
existing spill over between an ANC crisis and a systemic
one, affecting the constitutional order as a whole.
There is a widespread sense amongst many who have been
involved in the liberation struggle and the ANC itself,
not only those who have joined COPE, that the
organisation has certain features that are incompatible
with the ethical basis that was attributed to it or was
part of its identity in the past.
There is a sense of fear generated by certain statements
that are not always suppressed or subject to
organisational criticism. This evokes a feeling amongst
many who have grown up in the ANC and members of the
public that sections of the ANC, are creating an
atmosphere of lawlessness and potential warlordism, with
There is a sense of deviation from ANC principles
concerning ethnic identities and nonracialism, whether
through expressions of racism, ethnic chauvinism or
anti-Semitism running against other traditional tenets
that members associated with their organisation.
While it may not be in the forefront of the public's
mind the question of gender and gender violence also
features, insofar as Zuma is linked in the public's eye
with his rape trial, where it was found that the state
had not proved his guilt beyond reasonable doubt,
different from proving `innocence'. Statements of his
followers (from which no member of leadership
disassociated themselves) devaluing the dignity of the
complainant and apparent indifference to gender issues
on the part of most ANC leaders and incidentally, COPE
as well, apart from their recent complaint against ANC
youth leader Julius Malema to the Commission on Gender
Equality, add to this sense of disquiet.
Overview of recent history
The ANC has a long and varied history and in its own
accounts depicts itself as continuing a chain of
resistance started from the earliest Khoisan and Xhosa
speaking people's battles against conquest by British
and Dutch colonialism, followed by fierce resistance of
the baSotho, baPedi and other peoples. The battles on
the Eastern frontier raged for one hundred years.
The resistance passed through various phases before
defeat and the establishment of Union in 1910. The ANC
was established as the SANNC (South African Native
National Congress), then open to African men only, in
1912. This was followed by a series of delegations
petitioning the Crown and Union government, meeting
mainly as an annual assembly modelled on the British
parliament, and generally not having a thriving
organisation. From the 1940s, however, when Dr AB Xuma
became president, following earlier work of Rev (later
Canon) James Calata, they built an ANC with a system of
accounting and organisation and membership base of about
In the mid 1940s the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) was formed
under the leadership of Anton Lembede, Nelson Mandela,
Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, and AP Mda. They wanted a
change of direction and a more militant organisation and
this required structures and they were able to build on
what preceded them. They criticised the previous
leadership for not wanting to get their hands dirty
(Ruth First, CD, 1982). All of this would have remained
mere words and slogans had the patient foundations of
Xuma and Calata not been in place. Also, if you look at
the dress of the old petitioners and that of the new
rising leadership, there are similarities as well as
differences, in modes of self-representation.
At the ANC 1949 conference, the YL programme of action
including plans for a defiance campaign was accepted by
the ANC as a whole. Sisulu was elected Secretary-General
and Dr J.S. Moroka replaced Xuma as president, because
Xuma resented the direction that the youth were giving
to the organisation and their apparent disregard for his
Sisulu as Secretary-General, in the `engine room',
changed the mode of operation of the ANC from one of
delegates meeting on annual or other occasions and
relying on charismatic leadership to one with collective
decision-making. (First, 1982, CD). He built the
organisation and they prepared for the Defiance
Campaign, where selected laws of apartheid would be
disobeyed. (See Karis and Carter, 1973). This was
preceded by relatively courteous letters to the prime
minister, but these were ignored.
The Defiance campaign, initiated shortly after Chief
Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli entered politics and was
dismissed as a chief, represented a break in the chain
of legality that had characterised previous ANC politics.
Sisulu indicated that they specifically chose the word
`defiance' rather than `passive resistance' used in the
1946-8 Indian campaigns, to raise the level of struggle,
even to a revolutionary level, where people would be
prepared to give their lives. That is why the volunteers
were called `defiers of death'. (Sisulu, 2001) But it
should be noted that Gandhi himself also did not like
that word, saying that non violent resistance was
`active' resistance, even the `moral equivalent of war'.
The Defiance campaign is full of nuance and ambiguity,
especially around figures like Chief Luthuli. For the
first time in ANC history a specific uniform was adopted
for a category of members, the volontiyas (volunteers),
and they swore an oath. Hierarchy was emphasised, with
the stress on obedience to commands. All of these
actions signify a level of discipline associated with
embryonic militarisation. At the same time, the cap that
the volunteers wore is a Gandhian cap, originating in
Kashmir and stretching back thousands of years in Indian
peasant history. Its association with Gandhi again mutes
the potentiality for violence in the other elements of
the construction of a volunteer defier. It has been
suggested (personal communication, Luli Callincios) that
the uniform is derived from the Nehru shirt, but that
shirt was multi-coloured and the fabric was generally
soft, unlike that of the volunteers, which was made of
stiff, thick material and only in khaki, in fact
something in between a shirt and a jacket.
The campaign had a substantial impact on the
organisation, with its membership rising to 100,000
paid-up members. The increasing militancy had its
negative effects. In one of the trials that resulted, Dr
Moroka dissociated himself from his comrades, acquiring
separate legal representation and attacking alleged or
actual Communists, including in the defence team.
The moment of Luthuli's leadership now began. Luthuli
had been a chief from one of the amaKholwa (Christian)
communities and was elected to office, a practice
initiated before his time. He however introduced reforms
which ensured participation of women in community
affairs. Luthuli was steeped in American
Congregationalism and was a lay preacher. His Christian
ethic informed his life, but he was always open to other
influences. What his leadership brought to the fore,
along with the youth leaders already mentioned was the
ethical canon that distinguished the best of the ANC,
the notion of a leader who sought nothing for him or
herself, who was prepared to lose all and prayed that he
would resist any temptation not to do what was his moral
duty to his people. Whatever he advised others to do he
prepared himself to do himself, in this respect echoing
Gandhi and later Mandela. (Sampson, 1999). In his famous
statement in 1952 after having been deposed as a chief
for his ANC activities, Luthuli remarked:
What the future has in store for me I do not know.
It might be ridicule, imprisonment, concentration
camp, flogging, banishment and even death. I only
pray to the Almighty to strengthen my resolve so
that none of these grim possibilities may deter me
from striving for the sake of the good name of our
beloved country, the Union of South Africa, to make
it a true democracy and a true union in form and
spirit of all the communities in the land.
My only painful concern at times is that of the
welfare of my family but I try even in this regard,
in a spirit of trust and surrender to God's will as
I see it, to say `God will provide'.
It is inevitable that in working for Freedom some
individuals and families must take the lead and
suffer: The Road to Freedom is via the cross.' 
(Luthuli in Pillay, 1993, 50.).
I am very consciously drawing on Chief Luthuli because
his life and its meaning, his integrity and modesty and
willingness to sacrifice, rather than to gain wealth or
power, are particularly salient in this time. The very
interesting intersection between his theological
intervention and his ANC convictions will be further
investigated (within my capabilities and assistance I am
receiving) in a later paper.
The Defiance campaign was an essentially negative or
reactive campaign in the sense that it showed the power
of the masses to resist what was anti-popular. What was
then required was to articulate a vision for the future
and Professor ZK Matthews of Fort Hare, at the 1953 Cape
ANC Congress, suggested a Congress of the People which
would gather popular demands and develop a Freedom
Charter, which would serve as guidelines for a future
democratic state. This was not the first such venture,
since the African claims, modelled on the Atlantic
Charter had been prepared in 1944, but that was work of
a committee and not intended as the Charter was, to
derive from actual voices of the ordinary people.
The Congress of the People which drew up the Freedom
Charter was not a single event but a campaign intended
to draw from people throughout the country their
grievances and demands for a future democratic South
Africa. Demands flowed in and were collected on scraps
of paper, backs of school exercise books, cigarette
packs and recorded in other ways. Despite elements of
exaggeration the campaign reached areas and people whose
voices had never been heard before. (Suttner and Cronin,
Scholars spend a lot of time speculating on who wrote
the Charter or whether it was manipulated by Communists
or others. Undoubtedly the Charter could not be written
in the same form as the demands and these had to be
developed into a consensus document and made to read in
a form that would inspire people. Insofar as only a
minority, later to form the PAC and various other anti-
ANC groupings, claimed that the document did not
represent Congress views or were in conflict with the
actual demands collected, it appears that the consensus
document was a valid representation of the demands. In
any event it was not intended to be an ANC document and
the organisation adopted the Freedom Charter one year
after the event. (ibid).
At the same time as there was this `talk of freedom'
others were speaking not only of freedom but of the need
to prepare for underground and in the long run armed
resistance. In various parts of the country, individual
groupings were reading about resistance in other
countries and psychologically preparing themselves for
the `inevitability' of armed struggle. When Sisulu as
Secretary General took a trip to China he and Mandela
agreed -without a mandate- to sound out the Chinese
about arming the ANC in the future. The response was
frosty, the Chinese saying armed struggle was a serious
undertaking and required adequate preparation. (Suttner,
2008, ch 2).
Underground organisation has a long history in that from
the earliest days of the Communist Party agents of the
Comintern would surreptitiously visit South Africa
and had to move in a clandestine manner (Alexander
Simons, 2004). Communist and trade union leaders were
sent to the Comintern Universities for training, which
included a course in underground. (Filatova, 1999).This
was long before the banning of the organisation, which
happened after the NP came to power. The Communist Party
of South Africa (CPSA, the original name of the
Communist Party) was not adequately prepared and
dissolved itself. (Bernstein, 1999, Suttner, 2008, ch
But it regrouped and was gradually re-established by
1953 and continued to exist, rising to about 200
members, taking no losses for 10 years. This experience
would be drawn on by the ANC when it later became
illegal and was ill-prepared for underground and did not
have its own places of refuge and other logistical
requirements. (See Suttner, 2008, ch 3). Until now,
histories of the rise of the Communist underground have
relied on accounts drawn from the big cities. It may be
that if researchers move quickly it will be found that
earlier attempts to rebuild the Party took place in some
of the rural strongholds and on a different basis
(Discussions with Phil Bonner, on basis of published and
Around the moment of establishment of the SACP
underground, the ANC initiated processes to prepare for
underground, known as the M (Mandela) Plan, with secret
work accompanied by political lectures which appear to
have had a Marxist tinge. The approach to underground
was strictly hierarchical, with orders passed down.
Although the extent of implementation of the M Plan is
underrated in much of the literature, it did not take
off. This is partly because people found it hard to
prepare for what seemed an abstract event. (Suttner,
2008, ch 2). It would however be used later when the ANC
was banned, in the early post-Rivonia underground and
even in the 1980s. (SADET, vol 1, 2004, Interview
Treason Trial, Sharpeville Emergency and Illegality of
The proceedings of the Congress of the People at
Kliptown had been halted at the point of adoption and
the Charter was used as a basis for the prosecution in
the Treason Trial, first involving the arrest of 156
people, later reduced to 30 and ultimate acquittal of
all after almost 5 years. While this was a blow to
organisation, at a leadership level it provided
opportunities for meetings and friendships to develop,
one of the most noteworthy being that between Luthuli
and Moses Kotane, General Secretary of the SACP, who
became Luthuli's closest adviser and confidant.
Before acquittal, the Sharpeville massacre occurred in
1960, followed by banning of the ANC and PAC and
detention of many leaders under the state of emergency.
Of great symbolic importance at this time were
photographs of Luthuli, Mandela and Sisulu setting their
passes alight. People still speak today of how these
images stirred them. This is an example of the Gandhian
principle referred to, that the type of leadership of
the time would set the example for their followers by
being the first to take daring action, which others were
urged to follow. (This is not to suggest that being in
the frontline is invariably the best way to lead).
The ANC issued a statement to the effect that it did not
recognise its banning and would continue to operate.
Taking a mass organisation underground and at great
speed unlike the SACP, which was small, was a very
difficult undertaking and did not succeed for long. Many
individuals did not accept the need to alter their modes
of operation and wanted to continue taking minutes of
meetings or wearing Congress uniforms. (Interviews
Noloyiso Gasa, C. Ndlovu). This continuation of
practices which had passed or embryonic indications of
what was to come is an example of a constant theme in
ANC history of ruptures and continuities and
continuities within ruptures.
Because the ANC was unprepared for underground work and
the SACP had already been in the field for some time it
was of considerable assistance in providing safe houses,
communicating techniques to avoid detection and other
methods of adaptation. But it was all too rushed. And
this applied not only to the rank and file but to the
ANC leadership who were publicly known and moved from
public visibility one day to underground the next. This
made them obvious members of the underground, targeted
In December 1961, mKhonto we Sizwe (MK -- the Spear of
the Nation) was formed as a joint ANC/SACP venture,
though to protect those ANC members who were not
participants it was described as an independent
organisation. It made some forays into sabotage and
caused minimal civilian deaths as was their policy.
Soon the ANC top leadership was arrested and appeared in
the Rivonia trial, followed by a series of smaller
trials all over the country, especially in the Eastern
Cape. Many were tortured, many made brave statements of
defiance, and the change in police techniques to use of
extensive torture, unlike previously, led some to turn
and give valuable information and become itinerant state
witnesses and ultimately work for the police. Some of
these, like Bartholomew Hlapane a former member of the
SACP Central Committee (CC) were later executed by MK.
Piet Beyeleveld, a former president of the Congress of
Democrats and Central Committee member of the SACP, who
had not been tortured, shocked his comrades by providing
crucial evidence convicting Bram Fischer.
The Rivonia trial saw defiance of the right of the South
African government by all the prisoners, declaring `not
guilty, the government should be in the dock'. Later
Mandela made his famous statement that he was willing to
live but if necessary to die to realise the ideals of
the liberation movement. (On preparedness for this, see
quotation in Sampson, 1999).
Between Rivonia and 1976
With the leadership in prison and some like Tambo and
Dadoo having been sent out in order to start the
international solidarity campaign, history books record
that a `lull' reigned over SA politics, for the ANC was
dead. Inkatha (with initial qualified support from the
ANC) used the opening to claim to be the heir to the
ANC. This also created space for the fresh and defiant
strands of black consciousness (BC) to emerge.
In fact, it is not true that the ANC ceased to exist and
underground structures were re-constituted by a number
of groupings, especially MaSisulu, John Nkadimeng,
Martin Ramokgadi, who served two terms of imprisonment,
Elliot Goldberg Tshabangu and separate groupings
surrounding Nomzamo Winnie Mandela and others in Gauteng
and people like Mandla Judson Khuzwayo in Natal and
Peter Nchabaleng in Northern Transvaal.
They started on a small scale, but gradually developed
the capacity to help families of those in jail or
detention, send out individuals for training and receive
MK cadres who returned. It was slow, patient work, too
slow for some of the emerging BC, many of whom entered
into dialogue with the underground and later came to
appreciate the need for this careful, patient building
of organisation. (Suttner, 2008, ch 4).
ANC Sinking Morale, Morogoro and Soweto
Many of those who left the country to be trained for MK
activities expected to return within six months, gun in
hand. (Interview, Eric Mtshali). This was not to be and
there was a restive atmosphere in the late 1960s and
this was one of the reasons for MK joining with ZAPU in
the Wankie and Sipolilo campaigns, with some successes
but on the whole being unsuccessful and costing many
lives. (There were more on the Rhodesian side than is
generally conceded. See Karis and Gerhart, 1997,
Suttner, 2008, ch 4.). Some retreated to Botswana, where
like Chris Hani they spent time in prison and others
made their way back to South Africa, individuals whose
heroic stories remain untold.
It should be noted that independent of this campaign
there were other small but significant and heroic
entries in the country, such as Matthews Ngcobo, Amos
Lengisi and Linus/Themba Dlamini, as stowaways, with no
papers for entry or exit, spending 12-20 days on a ship
from Dar es Salaam and Mombasa, hiding in a wardrobe not
eating, only drinking water. On arrival, they did
considerable MK work and organising in urban and rural
areas before arrest and their appearance in the Dorothy
Nyembe trial in 1969.
Those who returned from the Wankie campaign were deeply
critical (as were many others) of the leadership, who
they depicted as living in luxury and unwilling to
pursue the armed struggle. They were seen as preferring
to travel round the world doing solidarity work. The
most important document was known as the Hani memorandum
and almost led to the execution of Chris Hani. (See
Shubin, 2008). Divisions were rife and as a result a
consultative conference was held in Morogoro in Tanzania
to try to overcome these and map a way forward in 1969.
While the divisions were not healed, the conference
emerged with a strategy and tactics document, which
would have a significant effect for generations to come.
Gramsci in writing on intellectuals is widely known for
his work on `organic intellectuals'. More central to his
thinking is his notion that an intellectual is not
distinguished by the qualifications that he or she
holds, but the role that is played. (Gramsci, 1971, ch
1).Thus, one might, like Elias Motsoaledi, have had
standard 2 level formal education but still play an
intellectual role. Now Gramsci also argues that a
party can act as an intellectual and the Morogoro
strategy statement is a very important example of this
intellectual phenomenon, a political organisation
producing a document, acting as a `collective
intellectual'. (ANC, 1969, Suttner, 2005).
While many of the rifts in Tanzania and Zambia were not
then healed, this document was an intervention which
drew many people to the ANC and gave those already there
a feeling that the apartheid regime was not invincible,
it was part of the overall sense that there was both
power and weaknesses in the make up of the `enemy' and
its opponents. These had both to be exploited in a way
that strengthened the resistance and weakened the
The period that followed saw some limited attempts at
realising these overall goals, some with a measure of
success, others representing attempts but without much
The 1976 uprising was not initiated by the ANC. But many
BC individuals and leaders had contact with leading ANC
underground figures, on a strictly secret,
conspiratorial basis. Many listened to Radio Freedom,
the ANC illegal broadcasting station, located at various
times in Lusaka, Ethiopia, Malagasy Republic and other
African states. Many were impatient to leave BC, but
they were counselled to stay in their place by the older
people like Joe Gqabi. (Suttner, 2008, ch 4, interviews
with Murphy Morobe, Nat Serache).
When the rising broke out first in Soweto, the guiding
of the process needed advice from the veterans and
individuals like Gqabi, MaSisulu and many others
assisted in advising ways of unifying resistance and not
alienating the community, many of whom feared the
rising. (Interviews Morobe, Serache). Also, assistance
was provided to those who were hunted by the police,
first by providing shelter and then to leave the
country. (Interview, Phumla Tshabalala).
Many of these people who left did not know what ANC was
nor the difference between ANC and PAC, but gradually
most drifted to the ANC, which was better equipped to
host them. Many of them describe their reception, where
leaders explained what the ANC was, that they would not
live in luxury but have sufficient to survive
adequately. Most of the youth were advised to undertake
education first and join MK later (though this may not
have been consistent), but many were inclined to go to
the army, thinking that they would quickly return and
`shoot the boers'. (For the various positions, see
Interview M Mandubu, P Tshabalala, F Radebe).
The huge influx of new and young and optimistic people
into the ANC and MK gave a spurt to those whose morale
had been flagging and in the late 1970s led to a wave of
MK attacks, including assaults on police stations that
had participated in forced removals or were notorious in
communities for their violence.
The rise of PW Botha to Prime Minister and Presidency,
together with Niel Barnard as head of intelligence, led
to an attempt by the regime to `normalise' the
situation, but not intending to lose control. (Sanders,
2006). The lesson drawn from Rhodesia was that if you
did not open up you would lose everything. They would
instead create some space which they assumed they would
control, contain and accommodate political
manifestations on their own terms. Unfortunately, for
them that was not to be.
A wide range of popular organisations including trade
unions, community organisations and media emerged,
drawing thousands of people into activity on the fringes
between legality and illegality, reviving the Freedom
Charter and often burying people under the ANC flag. In
the 1980s this process continued with the formation of
the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1983, an
organisation which was both autonomous of and linked in
various ways to the ANC and the underground. This
provided a more concerted challenge to the regime.
In the meantime, on the international front from the
earliest beginnings of Tambo's work, the international
solidarity movement was making history as the biggest
international social movement in history and changing
the notion of international relations, which is supposed
to be between states, by entering as a non-state actor.
All over the world, South African apartheid products
were boycotted, movements in the distant villages of
Nordic and other countries sang South African freedom
songs (personal experience in rural villages of Sweden),
apartheid was isolated and trade sanctions were
sometimes applied, UN resolutions proliferated and the
ANC had more international representatives than the
South African government. Apartheid was declared an
international crime by the UN and various associated
authoritative legal bodies.
MK grew in strength and the range of its activities, but
there was a gap between popular imagination which saw it
as capable of defeating the apartheid regime in battle
and attacks that were of great symbolic significance,
such as the blowing up of SASOL. MK training from the
1970s had been inside as well as primarily outside the
country. (Interview Murphy Morobe)
It became clear that the rising of the mid 1980s, which
the ANC and SACP officially intended to turn into an
insurrection, was making apartheid unworkable and South
African ungovernable, as urged daily in the words of the
ANC through Radio Freedom and SACP publications like
Umsebenzi. At the same time, also at the urging of the
exiled leadership, organs of popular power were
established in a range of forms, founded mainly on the
basis of street committees, and in a sense being the
first example of popular, direct democracy in South
Africa. (ANC, 1985, 1986).
It seemed apparent that governability was unlikely to be
re-established. At the same time, this did not mean that
the power of resistance was able to defeat the enemy on
the battlefield. Many of the leadership were taken out
of action by the arrest of over 50,000 during the states
of emergency from 1985 onwards. This had the unfortunate
effect of leaving younger people and often gangsters in
the street committees leading to various abuses, such as
In the meantime, Radio Freedom continued to call for
insurrection and the SACP conference, held in Cuba in
1989 mapped out and elaborated a strategy for its
achievement. (SACP, 1989).This conference was chaired by
Thabo Mbeki and included delegates from inside the
country, the late Billy Nair and late Stan Nkosi and
possibly others. It had been preceded by inputs from
inside the country, coordinated by Mac Maharaj, then
still a member of the SACP, and in his capacity of
leader of Operation Vula.
The initiation of Operation Vula, under the leadership
of Mac Maharaj, reporting to Oliver Tambo and Joe Slovo,
aimed at joining the external and the internal
leadership, some individuals from outside worked
underground for over four years. (See O'Malley, 2007).
The boldness of this venture was such that the ANC's
much prized January 8 statement appeared on doorsteps in
1989, next to the morning's newspaper.
When neither side is able to defeat the other, there
exists what Gramsci calls a `reciprocal siege' (Gramsci,
1971) and that creates the possibility of talks and
negotiations that may lead to a democratic settlement.
At the time, unknown to most individuals inside and
arousing some suspicion amongst those who sensed it
outside, talks with the government had begun inside the
country by Nelson Mandela and outside by Thabo Mbeki and
Jacob Zuma, meeting with apartheid intelligence
officials. (Sanders, 2006)
There are some procedural necessities in initiating
talks, leading to negotiations. One cannot initiate such
a process by public announcement if one wants to
succeed; it is often a condition of success that much
happens, at least initially, in camera. Nevertheless
Mandela has always said that he had initiated talks
without consultation because he knew that had he
consulted he would have been stopped. An interesting
statement, which while vindicated in retrospect by a
successful result in most respects raises questions
about collective leadership, which would reappear from
time to time.
Equally, while the talks in Europe were apparently
initiated with Tambo's approval, Hani amongst others
raised objections to the lack of report backs. (Shubin,
2008).There was an element of deception in a situation
where an insurrectionary platform for the SACP was being
initiated, with Mbeki as chair and Zuma and other
participants like A Pahad as Central Committee members,
but parallel processes were in motion to avert this.
For those who were throwing themselves in the face of
gunfire and being tortured, this smacked of an element
of cynicism and left much bitterness after 1990. The ANC
in fact handled the transition badly, with insufficient
sensitivity towards those inside as well as MK in
particular, many of the latter and their supporters
(mistakenly) believing that if left to fight they could
have been successful.
That the possibility of a negotiated settlement had been
reached is wrongly attributed to the foresight of two
great men, de Klerk and Mandela. Great as Mandela may
be, the range of forces arrayed against apartheid
compelled the apartheid regime to concede the unbanning
of organisations, although they did so on an unequal
basis, ensuring that the ANC was disabled by violent
attacks. It was this combination of factors that enabled
Mandela to start talks and win elections in 1994.
The forces responsible for this were the popular actors
inside South Africa, the ANC exiled leadership, MK, the
underground informal ANC supporters, and international
solidarity. These interacted with foreign governments
and other actors who played various ad hoc or more
continuous roles to ensure the sustainability of the
struggle and the weakening of the regime.
Rebuilding the ANC and Negotiations
Put briefly, the process of legalisation created a
mammoth task for the ANC. It could not simply pick up
from 1960 and draw in new members on the same basis. It
had to rethink its approach, as members flooded in, many
knowing little about the organisation and speaking many
languages and without adequate organisational and
political education structures in place. Meetings were
very complicated to conduct and it was hard to ensure
adequate participation and translation into all the
languages that were spoken in an area like Gauteng.
It was one thing inducting new members who would
undertake illegal tasks and were steeled to face danger
and torture. It was quite another to induct thousands
who had merely to pay R 12, and could not be screened.
There was no way of stopping money makers, former
torturers (where unknown) and similar people from
joining the organisation.
While serious efforts were made to build the
organisation with some success, this is merely to
indicate the scale of the problem, occurring also when
the conditions were new and the international
conjuncture had also changed with the gradual collapse
of the socialist states, headed by the USSR, on whose
support the ANC had counted.
1990 had ushered in a period where the ANC was rebuilt
under completely different conditions from any that it
had previously experienced. At the same time it brought
together individuals from a range of political
traditions -exiled civilians and bureaucrats, MK,
underground, popular democratic and the neglected
category of freelance supporters and actors in illegal
activities in advancing the aims of the ANC, as they saw
it. All of these forms of struggle or involvement in the
ANC carried varying modes of operation, more or less
democratic or hierarchical, conspiratorial or open,
including patronage networks of various types or highly
ideological or other forms of connecting individuals to
Binding these traditions together was difficult and the
early trends of ANC leadership after 1990 set a pattern
which tended to cast the membership and the masses
generally as a reserve army to be called on where
necessary, to be informed of victories, which they
should applaud or into which they would make limited
This is not a tradition derived purely from exile as is
sometimes suggested, for it was found in various ways on
the Island [Robben Island, where political prisoners had
been held -- moderator] and in some sections of the UDF.
The membership and supporters cannot be involved in
every element of organisational activity. The question
essentially was whether there was any conscious attempt
to ensure mass-centred and driven- activities. The
answer I believe is that this combination of the popular
and the representative democratic activity is always
difficult, but that it met with resistance at the top.
The announcement of negotiations was not well managed in
consequence of the earlier emphasis on insurrection,
just as the leadership-initiated suspension of armed
action in September 1990 left many of the ANC membership
angry and excluded. Had these decisions been carefully
explained they would not necessarily have left pockets
The entire period of negotiations saw a leadership-
driven process where the membership was only called on
from time to time where it was necessary to break
deadlocks. They would be used as a battering ram to
break the resolve of the NP [National Party, the ruling
party of apartheid -- moderator].
Elections: New Conjuncture
When elections were announced yet another change of
conjuncture set in with the establishment of ANC as
government and the downgrading of the importance of the
ANC as organisation. Important policy statements like
the adoption of GEAR [the Growth, Employment and
Redistribution plan of the ANC government -- moderator]
were not passed through ANC constitutional structures
but simply announced in a manner that made these both
government and ANC policies.
At that point the UDF period of popular involvement in
political activity remained fresh in peoples' minds but
they were to be quickly disabused of any notion that
they would play a significant part in government.
The ANC as organisation became insignificant as a driver
of policies. Insofar as its conferences decided on
particular issues, whether or not they were implemented
depended on the individual ministers. In both the
Mandela and especially Mbeki period individuals were
appointed as Ministers and deputies who had little merit
or were so lacking in merit in certain cases as to evoke
ridicule. In some or most cases the persons were
competent and developed in doing the work but there was
a sense that many others outside of Mbeki's circle could
have done the job equally well. There was a perception
that Mbeki operated with a tight circle of followers and
only outsiders who were in no sense personally
threatening. This was a paradox for someone who is
undoubtedly intellectually powerful.
Because of the incompetence of many of those appointed
the president or when deputy president Mbeki was
stretched in order to ensure that those who did not
perform could have their non-performance contained and
his ideological legacy was maintained through a range of
in-depth speeches written almost entirely by him and a
weekly letter on the ANC website.
The choice of heads of parastatals and similar
allocation of posts that provided power or wealth was
strictly within this circle or to individuals who were
not antagonistic to it. In this sense it cannot be said
that exclusively individuals from exile were appointed,
although there were individuals who had surrounded Mbeki
for decades that followed him in various capacities from
Lusaka in his various journeys and positions in the
country. At the same time, some of the internal
leadership were also brought in, but as with others few
were prepared to voice their opinions if they calculated
that these would run counter to that of the president.
It was a common practice to keep ideas to oneself until
`the chief' had spoken.
The ANC had never developed a clear, democratic system
for running a civil service in a transformatory society.
Consequently the centralised leadership was replicated
in more extreme form in the steep hierarchies of the
civil service particularly the security sector, where
those at the bottom tended to feel they had to wait for
the DG (Director General) to pronounce on anything
before they could act, and the information and ideas
flow from the bottom was consequently constrained and in
the security sector practically excluded.
In this context, the SACP and COSATU [Congress of South
African Trade Uniions -- moderator], initially still
vibrant and full of interesting ideas and people, were
pushed to the sidelines, and as they said treated like
`small boys'. It was common for tripartite alliance
[including the ANC, COSATU and SACP -- moderator]
meetings to be called and for these to be cancelled just
as some were about to leave from other parts of the
country to attend.
Shaik Trial, Zuma Dismissal, Demagoguery. Revolt No 1.
After a year or two of democratic rule a range of
longstanding ANC veterans left jobs under clouds of
allegations of wrongdoing, were convicted or appear to
have used office or connections to enrich themselves in
one way or another. Many of the allegations or
convictions or dismissals from office surrounded the
arms deal where arms were procured with allegations or
proof that there were payoffs.
But this was part of a range of areas of enrichment
engaged in by youth leaguers as well as famous veterans,
which cast doubt on the previously relatively
untarnished image of the ANC-with regard to honesty on
financial matters. Some of these issues are ongoing and
involve senior police with ANC origins, alleged top
gangsters and others. When Brett Kebble was assassinated
and later shown to be a crook of the highest order,
members of the ANCYL carried his coffin and ANC leaders
attended his memorial service. When Yengeni and Boesak
were jailed for fraud/theft they were seen off as heroes
by crowds which included ANC leaders.
The atmosphere became increasingly one where people from
outside the liberation struggle saw themselves
retrospectively justified or represented themselves as
not having participated because of this dishonest
conduct that appeared to be so rife. (Personal
experience of smug sense that having been in the
liberation struggle required `justification' to the non-
Shabir Shaik, member of a family who had played a
significant role in the liberation struggle, was charged
with fraud and much of the fraud related to his dealings
with Zuma. Zuma was not in Shaik's trial but every
evening in 2005, the TV carried evidence of money doled
out to Zuma and his bank statements. At the time, I
personally felt some sympathy for Zuma, who was not on
trial, being embarrassed in this way. However, when
judgement was delivered the court found that Shaik and
Zuma were in a generally corrupt relationship. A later
statement by the then Director of Prosecutions and
Minister of Justice said that while there was a prima
facie case against Zuma there was insufficient for a
prosecution. This was a strange statement in that a
prima facie case is sufficient to bring a prosecution.
Nevertheless Mbeki acted and it is not clear to what
extent with the consent of Zuma, for their accounts
differ. He dismissed Zuma as State Deputy President,
while he remained ANC deputy president with curtailed
powers. There was a sense of outrage amongst sections of
the ANC support base who believed that Zuma was a victim
of a conspiracy on the part of Mbeki to deny Zuma the
presidency and mass demonstrations occurred where images
of Mbeki were burnt.
The SACP and COSATU leadership involved themselves
deeply in this rising against the ANC presidency. Zuma
himself was quick to step into the role of a popular
leader who differed from Mbeki in listening to the
people, not being aloof and promising to attend to the
needs of the poor. This approach found resonance in the
2005 ANC consultative conference where some of Zuma's
ANC powers were reinstated.
The SACP and COSATU leaderships depicted Zuma as part of
a socialist project, belied by Zuma having resigned from
the SACP, along with his long time partner Mbeki, in
1990. Later in the year preparations were made to
prosecute Zuma for corruption and other charges.
In the meantime, however, in late 2005, a woman laid a
charge of rape against Zuma. This trial followed in the
beginning of 2006. The woman, known as Khwezi, was the
daughter of a former Robben Island comrade of Zuma and
had known him since childhood, referring to him as
`malume' (uncle). The trial was conducted in a classic
sexist manner where the rape complainant was transformed
into the accused, where her `sexual history' (in fact
cases of abuse) was allowed as evidence and Zuma was
permitted to pronounce on what was and was not Zulu
custom, that a Zulu man could not leave a woman who was
aroused and similar phrases, that were unchallenged by
the prosecution and the judge.
Zuma was acquitted, though a better prepared
prosecution, better able to contest Zuma on cultural
issues, could well have led to the allegation of rape
being proved beyond reasonable doubt. Instead there was
a meeting of minds between judge and Zuma and
acquiescence by the prosecution. At this point Zuma is
technically not guilty, which does not make him
innocent. Detailed study of the court records could well
provide strong arguments to show how this was in fact a
decision that could have gone the other way.
Every day Zuma was supported outside the courts by large
crowds who threatened the complainant and anyone who
supported her, and circulated her name and address.
Zuma did not act with modesty or humility and would
emerge each day from the court room to sing what was now
called his favourite song (forgotten between 1990 and
the trial), meaning in English `bring me my machine
gun'. The gun is a phallic symbol and shooting bullets
can be taken to connote ejaculation. That is why the
katyusha rockets, used by the Cubans against the SADF
[South African Defense Forces -- moderator] were known
as Stalin's organs. The movements while singing the song
also could be taken to mimic a sexual act. What Zuma was
doing was re-enacting the rape he claimed not to have
performed. (Suttner 2009). Thus, Terror Lekota of COPE
grasps elements of the problem with Zuma singing this
song when he refers to its belonging to a different
phase of history. But only some elements, because Lekota
does not relate it to its moment of revival, a rape
trial and how the song evokes the imagery related to sex
It should be noted that the overall diagnosis of the
rape trial made by the SACP, COSATU and other Zuma
supporters was that it was an element of an overall
conspiracy against Zuma. At the same time the mode of
defence of Zuma, an artillery style onslaught on the
dignity of the complainant, was not criticised by the
previously gender-sensitive SACP and any who criticised
this stance were labelled as devious, counter -
revolutionary or similar phrases.
Having been acquitted then, Zuma has repeatedly appeared
in court between 2006 and 2009 with his corruption
charges dismissed or reinstated on technical grounds. He
is now scheduled to stand trial in August 2009 when he
is likely to be president of the country, following
elections due in April 2009.
The cash strapped SACP allowed its General Secretary
Blade Nzimande to dog the trail of Zuma, following from
court case to court, rally to rally, and the lot of
COSATU and the SACP became more and more absorbed in the
Zuma project. It is true that each of these
organisations had important programmatic documents but
they were not publicised in the same way as the
necessity of Zuma leadership.
Another trend that emerged over this period was
reassertion of ethnic chauvinism, with individuals
wearing T shirts describing Zuma as 100% Zulu. In a
sense this breached the unified nature of the ANC from
its inception, a unity that is not absolute and has not
always adequately encouraged expression for distinct
identities within the unity. But the Zulu chauvinism was
also a tilt at Xhosa- speaking Thabo Mbeki who was
sometimes described as not being a real man
These events formed the backdrop leading to the ANC
conference of December 2007 where a new presidential
election would be held. Mbeki was defeated by Zuma. It
may have been Mbeki's initial plan to use the `Soviet
option', that is retire to the ANC presidency but
declare that the revolution is led by the revolutionary
organisation and direct whoever succeeded him.
Unfortunately, he found that option played out against
him and finally his dismissal from office.
Before that happened the results of Polokwane saw the
rise of a different ANC leadership from any seen before,
some 10% being convicted criminals or facing
investigations that may lead to conviction. It saw
election of a large number of individuals who had never
had grievances against Mbeki until they fell out of
favour and lost jobs or other non-political reasons for
In general the Zuma project was not a political project
counterposed to that of Mbeki. He and Mbeki had worked
together for years, and in government had formulated the
very policies that angered many on the left. Zuma was
never heard to utter a word of disagreement with GEAR or
any other anti-popular measure or with centralisation in
the presidency and cabinet.
The new ANC inaugurated a period of unprecedented
threats and incitements to violence and other forms of
lawlessness and political intolerance. This emanated
particularly from the ANC and Communist youth sections
but very little was said to dissociate the ANC
leadership from such statements or if there were
reprimands similar statements would quickly follow.
Very recently Julius Malema has ridiculed `Khwezi',
saying that she must have enjoyed the encounter because
people who do ask for taxi money and stay there the
whole night, and those `who don't enjoy it leave'. (The
Times, 30.01.2009, The Star, 24.01.2009). This has
elicited no response from ANC, but a complaint to the
Commission on Gender Equality about Malema and a
different allegedly gender offensive statement of Tokyo
Sexwale by COPE.
What seems clear is that the battle of Polokwane was not
about ideology but one for positions of power and loot.
What has ensued in the period that has followed are more
and more excessive statements, defections from the
previous Mbeki camp to Zuma and the continued creation
of an atmosphere of fear and disrespect for
constitutionalism, manifested in repeated attacks and
ill-judged statements about the courts.
Revolt No 2
After the dismissal of Mbeki, following a judgement that
has now been overturned, claiming that he interfered in
the prosecution case, he was recalled by the ANC and
Kgalema Motlanthe, ANC deputy president, installed as
president. This led to resignation of a number of
ministers who had been in the Mbeki camp. One of these,
Terror Lekota, also a former UDF leader, entered into a
range of spats with the Zumaites and was joined by
Mbhazima Shilowa, the former premier of Gauteng, the
grouping becoming known as `Shikota'. They gradually
moved to announce the formation of an alternative to the
ANC, true to the principles of the Freedom Charter,
which they claimed that the Zuma ANC had abandoned.
What was interesting was that large crowds appeared to
endorse this breakaway and some 5 to 8000 people
attended their first launch meeting in Sandton. Other
meetings drew varying levels of attendance, some very
large. Many of these led to violence emanating from ANC
supporters, covered on TV. Again while there has been
verbal condemnation, the attacks on meetings have
continued, thus threatening freedom of speech,
association, assembly and political organisation. This
is part of what may be an emerging systemic crisis.
The name Congress of the People (COPE) was contested by
the ANC in litigation where it claimed that the words
were part of the ANC's brand, a claim flying in the face
of its own history where the original Congress of the
People and the Freedom Charter were repeatedly commended
to others as a popular document for all. By the time of
their defeat in court they had retreated from a position
which they must have realised was self-defeating.
It has now become habitual and caused the IEC
[Independent Election Commission] to intervene, for the
ANC to hold large meetings in close proximity to those
where COPE is meeting and when COPE launched its
manifesto with a crowd of 35000 (the ANC drew about
80,000 for the launch of its manifesto), there were
disruptions. Informally a COPE official was asked
whether the figure was genuine. The response was that
the numbers were larger but that ANC people had diverted
buses away from the venue. (Personal informant).
It is not possible to assess the degree of COPE's
success. It may take 10% of the vote or a little more or
less. There are continual defections of individuals and
one of the misjudgements of the COPE leadership is to
match the Zuma practice by drawing in individuals with
tarnished reputations like former Cape premier Pieter
Marais who has a very shady past and the Reverend Allan
Boesak, a powerful orator of the 1980s, who served time
for theft and fraud. They both bring no evidence of
political vision, but purely oratorical skills in the
case of Boesak.
The importance of COPE lies in its initial demonstration
that the support base of the ANC is not invincible and
that they were capable of denting it. It also showed
that there was another home and unprecedented for an
opposition party for most of its leadership to come from
a liberation movement background. There was an
alternative to the ANC not associated in any way with
the apartheid past.
But that initial momentum was not maintained by
demonstrating that they were a definite alternative to
the Zuma-ites. Many of their leaders are Mbeki
`retreads', some with the same centralised tendencies
that was part of his downfall. Both Shilowa and Lekota
have been part of that. It may also be that COPE is
over-estimating the level of support for some of their
leaders in key regions like the Eastern Cape where some
of these inspire as much respect in some parts as they
evoke enmity in others. This has just been shown in
recent by-elections, where COPE fared badly.
At the moment there is a moral question mark hanging
over a Zumafied ANC, especially over gender issues, in
the light of Zuma's conduct and the theme of gender
inequality being trashed by some of his followers.
Instead of offering a clear gender platform COPE has
hardly raised the issue until the recent complaint
There is no doubt that COPE appears less seedy than the
current ANC and that it generally but not consistently
avoids the disreputable elements that can be found in
the ANC. Its decision to adopt Bishop Mvume Dandala as
its presidential candidate has demonstrated a desire to
counter the corrupt image attached to the Zuma group.
But his statements demonstrate little political depth or
COPE appears to have lost momentum, lost the opportunity
to make real gains, by actually advancing a
qualitatively different programme. They are a revamped
version of Mbeki-ism, with certain new warts. No
violence nor apparent corruption but nothing to grab
At the same time, there seem some poor judgments, such
as Lekota's willingness to `go to the grave' with Helen
Zille [leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance
party -- moderator], something that could limit the
extent to which ANC supporters are drawn, which appears
to have been a large part of their base. Also, one must
wonder where the two white female executive members who
appear to know nothing about politics come from. What
are the qualities required for leadership in COPE?
Both organisations have succeeded in drawing large
crowds. At the same time, beneath the surface there are
differences within their immediate support base and
backers that could lead to contradictions that could
split both the Zumafied ANC and COPE.
Both ANC and COPE (judging from film footage of those
who attend their meetings) have substantial working
class support, people who want relief from recession,
poverty and generally hope for a better life, sometimes
with ideological convictions more or less developed.
At the same time, the backers of both COPE and ANC
include sections of business and it is likely from past
experience that some of these businesses back both and
maybe other parties as well. COPE appears to make sounds
to the effect that it will move to a centrist position,
reconsidering affirmative action and towards other pro-
business stances that may not be the position of the
organisation as a whole and the substantial number of
workers who appear to attend its meetings. Its processes
of policy making are not totally transparent and bear
similarities to that of the Mbeki period. If space is
created for this working class base this may provide
pressure for a more radicalised organisation, after the
election and in turn pressurise the ANC as well.
The Zumafied ANC depicts itself as the party of the
poor, while many of its youth are billionaires, backers
are sections of business, some of a somewhat unsavoury
kind. Now while SACP and COSATU are apparently driving
the Zuma project and one of the reasons why some people
are critical, the question is whether this is in fact
true. My view is that SACP and COSATU are being
swallowed, at a leadership level by Zuma, not the other
way round. Furthermore, it must be asked whether this is
a unified project and whether Zuma will not have to
choose. Like Mbeki, will the measure of stability he can
achieve not dictate that preference is given to the
wishes of business and particularly white business with
its contact with overseas capital and the rating
agencies? The SACP has few constituents to whom it
reports. COSATU however stands to lose if it does not
deliver to fairly well organised unions.
The Zumafied ANC is fundamentally a coalition founded on
greed and lust for power and thirst for loot. It has
drawn on the dregs of the earth who sit alongside some
refined or seasoned ANC leaders. They are united by a
desire for wealth and position. But there are not enough
positions to meet everyone's needs, nor enough wealth to
pillage. Consequently there are some who will emerge
dissatisfied and that may create instability of a
similar kind when some were excluded from the Mbeki
What we have seen is a movement from patronage to
patronage plus warlordism and from conservative, anti-
popular policies to no debate and probable continuation
of elite politics, combined with lawlessness. The latter
is more dangerous and less respectful of the best in
ANC's legacies. COPE claims to have revived these but
their version is a re-run of Mbeki-ism, which was an
elite project, whatever its strengths compared with that
of Zuma. There is much more to the Freedom Charter
(repeatedly referred to as the reason for establishing
COPE) than opposition to unlawful and violent behaviour.
COPE does not address these wider issues, colluding in
the broader de-ideologisation that characterised the
earlier Mbeki/Zuma conflict.
We have a poisoning of the character of the ANC as an
ethical organisation on certain key issues, such as
anti-racism. This is starkly illustrated by the Hajaig
[Fatima Hajaig, Deputy Foreign Minister of South Africa
-- moderator] statements on Jews which might have
emerged from classic anti-Semitic texts like the
protocols of Zion. What it also means is that the ANC
leadership houses such a person, who also does not know
or care about the distinction between Zionists and Jews,
a distinction that the ANC has striven long and hard to
make clear to the South African public, as have
The problem for those who are less crude, less devious,
more honest and are in good faith serving in leadership,
that they, like the gangsters, will be elected not
purely because of the qualities they may have, but on
the same shoulders who along with certain other leaders
disgrace the ANC and its name.
All of this internal and inter-party feuding is not
purely a narrow political issue but is beginning to have
systemic consequences. There is a danger to the courts,
to freedom of political organisation and speech and the
functioning of certain government departments and the
The Way Forward
Anyone who has been in the struggle has to end or say
something about the way forward. It is bleak. There is
no clear and easy route to peace and protection of our
freedoms and constitution, while the Zuma leadership
remains at the helm. That there is this incipient
instability within that group is encouraging, but the
problem is that there is not yet an alternative that can
be inclusive and popular and involve us all.
The Marxist starting point is that one should not rely
on `great men' or people. Now I want to depart from that
and stress the importance of leadership and lack of
leadership in this crisis. We have had a situation where
leadership was conducted in a manner where a powerful
mind and those around him decided on things and
delivered the good things of life to the masses, who
We have now moved to someone and his followers who
combine promises with threats and inspire dread rather
than trust. There is a break with the leadership
tradition that has been bequeathed to us, the legacy of
Luthuli, Sisulu, Mandela, Kotane, Tambo, Lilian Ngoyi,
Ruth First, Chris Hani and others.
That leadership tradition needs to be revived in public
debate and teachings and the emphasis that one can make
on its selflessness, the willingness to serve rather
than to gain, to benefit the people as a whole rather
than to secure one's own wealth or position.
Returning to the title, the election is different from
all others because it is overshadowed by a range of
other factors inside the ANC particularly, fears and
defections and purges and secretiveness and excessive
At the same time the election will not provide an
adequate indication of the potential strength and
influence of COPE. It may well dwindle into
insignificance, but that seems less likely than most
because it is like the ANC primarily a child of the
liberation struggle, something unique and unthinkable in
Angola and in Zimbabwe. In that sense residual
constitutionalism does set barriers on what the ANC
breaches may do. The emergence of COPE has been ad hoc
and it still has not had time to regularise the
relationship between membership and leadership. Insofar
as the leadership is primarily from the Mbeki
experience, the likelihood is that they may try to
minimise the role of the membership. As indicated, that
membership may be able to determine whether or not COPE
is radicalised, depending on the space it is allowed and
whether it can become a force within the organisation.
Up till now its policies have been more or less
`thumbsucks' and not based on transparent processes from
functioning structures. Time will tell whether this
changes and how.
The emergence of COPE may be an opening for alternative
visions and also pressurise the ANC. But at the present
moment, which as indicated is still early, it seems
unlikely. The situation is not looking rosy. But we are
not at the end of history and we can in our different
ways help turn our course, over time, towards a
sustainable democratic and transformative route. There
are no definite time frames or strategies that I can
offer. All that I say is that passivity is the one way
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`What women want is taxi money, says Julius', The Times,
Ruth First. 1982. Speech on occasion of 70th birthday of
Walter Sisulu, Maputo. (CD in author's possession, but
will be made publicly available).
Y.M. Gasa Johannesburg, 23 December 2002 and subsequent
discussions especially, 9 July 2006, 18 July 2006.
Phumla Tshabalala 13 July 2003, Johannesburg.
Cleopas Ndlovu, 30 June 2003, Durban.
Eric Mtshali, 8 February, 2003, Johannesburg.
Murphy Morobe, 26 August 2003, Midrand.
Nat Serache, 31 August 2002.
M Mandubu, 29 July 2004, East London.
Faith Radebe, 11 October, 2004, Johannesburg.
Nomphumelelo Setsubi, 20 August 2004, Pretoria.
Willie Williams. 15 April 2005, Pretoria.
1 Initially presented as a seminar at Centre for Policy
Studies, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 25 February 2009. I
wish to thank participants at the seminar for
contributing towards the revisions I am making and to
Greg Rosenberg, who read the paper independently and
made important suggestions.
2 This historical overview is not intended as a step by
step documentation, but a broad overview. For those who
wish to read further I refer to the volumes edited by
Karis and Carter (1973), then Karis and Gerhart (1977)
and then Karis and Gerhart (1979), Walshe (1971), Simons
and Simons, (1983 ), Pampallis, 1991, Lodge, 1983
and many others.
3 It is interesting that Che Guevara, when embarking on
dangerous activities, makes reference to his family, but
does not rely on God but the Cuban state to provide.
(See Suttner, 2008, ch 7).
4 This is not exceptional in Mandela's career, though it
is in the case of Sisulu.
5 At that time all Communist Parties were described as
part of the Communist International, whose headquarters
were in the Soviet Union.
6 I was told by one cadre that it was only when he was
in exile that he realized that Motsoaledi was not an
`academician'. Interview Willie Williams.
7 The RDP conference of 1993 decided that the ANC NEC
would appoint the cabinet. Mandela decided that he would
do it on his own, explicitly referring to the RDP
decision, which he considered unworkable. He repeated
this on television at the ANC conference in Stellenbosch
8 While Luthuli's name is most often spelt with an h
nowadays, Luthuli himself preferred to be known as
Lutuli. I do not know why the convention now is in
conflict with his wishes. But his family appear to use
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