Comrade President, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, a most eloquent exponent and defender of the cause of liberation in South Africa and Namibia, an unrelenting freedom fighter who has never abandoned the battle front from the day, in his youth, when he first joined the struggle, to this very hour,
Today, as the struggle against the apartheid system grows more intense, more extensive and more explosive, President Kaunda, together with his Party, UNIP, and its Government and the brotherly people of Zambia, stands as a great pillar of strength for the peoples of southern Africa; for the people of South Africa and Namibia - a pillar that is visible from across the continent and beyond the oceans. His presence and participation with us today makes January 8, 1987, the 75th anniversary of the ANC, a truly historic occasion for the ANC and the people of South Africa - indeed for the people of Africa.
Comrade President of UNIP and the Republic of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth
His Honour, the Secretary-General of UNIP, Comrade Grey Zulu,
The Right Honourable Prime Minister, Comrade Kebby Mosukotwane,
Comrades Members of the Central Committee of UNIP and Ministers,
Dr. Dawitt, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the OAU,
Comrade Hage Geingob of SWAPO of Namibia,
Comrades leaders and members of SWAPO, the PLO, the ANC and the
South African Congress of Trade Unions,
Comrades, ladies and gentlemen
This is for us a proud historic day, the 75th birthday of our movement, the African National Congress. It comes at a time when the issue in front of our people and the international community is how soon and at what cost we shall succeed to end the apartheid system and rebuild South Africa as a democratic society.
The determination and the ability of our people to fight on until victory cannot be questioned. The justice of our cause is unchallengeable. The depth of the permanent crisis confronting the apartheid system is patently manifest. Three-quarters of a century of unrelenting struggle under the leadership of the ANC has brought us to the moment when few have the temerity to question the certainty of our victory.
It is in this situation that the National Executive Committee of our movement, the ANC, has designated 1987 as the Year of Advance to People`s Power. That decision constitutes a challenge both to us and to the masses of our country actually to advance towards our goal of the transfer of power to the people. We are confident that our people, their democratic organisations, the ANC and the people`s army, Umkhonto we Sizwe, will indeed live up to this challenge.
After 75 years of struggle under the leadership of our movement, our people are united as never before. They are as united in their resolve to bring about majority rule, under a system of one person one vote, in a united South Africa as they are clear about the ways and means of attaining this result. Such is the progress that we have achieved since January 8, 1912, when the founding fathers set as one of the central objectives of the ANC, the burial of the demon of tribalism and the fostering of fraternal relations between black and white on the basis of nonracialism and a common nationhood. Our possibility to move forward towards people`s power is firmly based on this truly remarkable level of common purpose among so many millions of our people.
The unity of the international community on the question of apartheid is also a source of great strength to us. Today there can be no doubt about the determination of the overwhelming majority of the nations of the world to take concerted action to help us liquidate the apartheid crime against humanity. As within our country, internationally, only a minority continues to refuse to act against the apartheid system, a minority that in both instances, derives benefits of one kind or another from racism.
Established by representatives drawn from as far afield as this country, Zambia, the ANC saw itself as and remains a parliament of the people rather than a party representing one political or ideological school of thought. Furthermore, it was a movement of the peoples of southern Africa, committed to the liberation of the African continent as a whole.
As we observe our 75th anniversary today, we can be justly proud of the fact that indeed Africa has rid herself of the scourge of colonial and racist domination. What remains to be done is finally to liberate Namibia and South Africa, to end white minority rule in this area of Africa where it is most entrenched, stubborn and brutal. We must also draw inspiration from the fact that what was born of the vision and efforts of what were then despised subject people is today accepted by the world as the representative of our people, the political formation which holds the future of our country in its hands.
These achievements are all the more remarkable because we have won them in the face of the determined opposition of our adversaries who have sought to divide the African people, to set the black people apart from one another and incite a racial war between black and white. Similarly, the enemy has tried desperately to induce splits within our national liberation movement and physically to liquidate us so as to create conditions for it to impose its own puppets on our people.
We know that the enemy will continue to pursue this strategy of divide and rule. We therefore take advantage of this august occasion to reiterate the call to our people to guard the unity we have achieved and further to reinforce it through united struggle against the common enemy. We must continue to render ineffective the divisions that the racists seek to foster through the bantustan system, the so-called "tricameral parliament" and all other "separate development" institutions.
Equally, we must continue to reject and put in their proper place those who have elected to help perpetuate the criminal apartheid system by serving in these institutions. We must spurn with utter contempt the so-called National Statutory Council which will be nothing but an ill-disguised device to give a semblance of legitimacy to the self-same apartheid system which we must destroy entirely.
In the ANC and its allies, as well as the mass democratic organisations such as the United Democratic Front, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the National Education Crisis Committee, we have our genuine representatives, created by the people themselves for their liberation. The only meaningful negotiations would have to be carried out with these forces and other legitimate organisations of the people. We also know who our leaders are. Among them are to be found such outstanding fighters for our liberation as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Harry Gwala, Elias Motsoeledi, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, the leaders of the mass democratic movement and the activists who are confronting the racists everyday. Our people must and will continue to rally behind these outstanding sons and daughters of our nation, as well as the organisations they lead, and not those whom the enemy appoints as our leaders and maintains on monthly retainers.
As a token of our resolve further to build our unity, we hereby wish to announce that our National Executive Committee has decided that, in honour of our 75th anniversary, we shall readmit into our ranks those who were expelled and have now recognised their errors and wish to return to the fold. Furthermore, we have decided on an amnesty and will, accordingly, pardon some of those who were pressured and intimidated by the apartheid regime to infiltrate our movement as its secret agents to carry out various criminal acts against our movement, the struggle and the people.
We also take this opportunity to invite all genuine patriots who find themselves in groups that contribute nothing to the struggle, to join the fighting echelons of our broad movement for national liberation. Let the false prophets continue alone the worthless duplicity of claiming to be in favour of liberation while in fact spending sterile days attacking the ANC and the democratic movement of our country.
When we started off 75 years ago today, we were a movement of black oppressed masses only. At that time, the white world community, with a few notable exceptions, thought our claim to the right to self-determination both seditious and the height of impudence. Colonial governors and intellectuals inspired by notions of imperial glory spoke of the colonial domination of the Third World as the natural and permanent order of things.
One of the historic achievements of our struggle is that today many of our white compatriots are reaching towards the ANC as their political home. A little more than ten years ago, the peoples of Africa in Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola, Sao Tome and Principe, contributed decisively to the defeat of fascism in Portugal. The Zimbabwe national liberation movement helped the white population of that country to rid itself of a self-seeking ruling group of racists and demonstrated to our own white compatriots the depth of the anti-racist and nonracial commitment of the African revolution.
Once more, our own movement and struggle speak to the whites of South Africa in action, that they too should join hands with their black compatriots to rid our country of yet another ruling group of self-seeking racists and as South Africans, help to rebuild our country as a truly independent, united, democratic and nonracial entity. The same apartheid regime, which has led the whites of our country to the state of crisis they have to endure today, argues that any solution to the conflict afflicting South Africa must guarantee what the racists call "group" or "minority" rights. The international allies of this regime echo this demand.
Our advice to our white compatriots is, beware of false friends. Beware of those who offer to guarantee you so-called minority rights; because, the rights they dangle in front of you are nothing but the same privileges which neither we nor anybody else will tolerate. A truly democratic perspective demands that we uphold equal rights and oppose special privileges. It requires that we visualise a common destiny for all our people without exception. We shall never be fooled into accepting that to end racist rule, we must perpetuate racism. South Africa must and shall belong to all who live in it, black and white. She must and will be governed by an authority which derives its legitimacy from the will of all our people.
As we observe our Year of Advance to People`s Power, during which we shall concentrate our efforts at moving towards our goal of a nonracial democracy, the apartheid regime has flung a gratuitous insult at our people and the international community. To assert what it vainly believes is the permanence of white minority rule, it is organising an election for whites only. Once more, a hide-bound racism is intent on emphasising in practice its belief that the whites have an exclusive and God-given right to decide the fate and destiny of our country and people.
Enough is enough. Whatever the results of those racist elections we shall consider them, like the elections themselves, null and void and without legitimacy. The majority of our people will vote against racism and apartheid not in any polling booths but in the streets of our cities, towns, townships and villages, in the factories, the mines and the farms. They will assert their will in mass political struggle and through a heightened armed offensive to put paid to the arrogant designs of the Bothas and the Malans and transform these white elections into the swan-song of the apartheid system.
The international community has both the possibility and the obligation to act now to impose comprehensive and mandatory sanctions against apartheid South Africa. It is of some importance that at one of its first meetings this year, the United Nations Security Council will meet to consider this question. We mention this question of timing because, if those who refuse to heed our views on sanctions were to listen to the demand being made at the great number of meetings being held today across the face of the globe, they would see that the peoples throughout the world are demanding sanctions now.
For there are meetings being held today almost everywhere in the world to mark the 75th anniversary that we have convened here to observe. From Africa to Asia, from Europe to the Americas and Australias, the peoples have come together to reaffirm their support for our movement and our struggle, to express their support for SWAPO and the heroic people of Namibia as well as the Frontline and independent States of southern Africa. Millions have gathered today to demonstrate their opposition to the criminal apartheid system and to demand sanctions against racist South Africa.
In the face of this united world view, surely the time has come that the Security Council should live up to its responsibilities and decide on meaningful sanctions. That, in any case, is the message that all the ANC 75th anniversary meetings address on this historic day, January 8th, 1987, to that important body, the United Nations Security Council.
From this rostrum of the peoples of southern Africa, we extend our warm greetings to these millions of activists against the apartheid system and the billions of people they represent. We salute the OAU, the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations Organisation as our reliable allies. We greet also the anti-apartheid organisations throughout the world and other mass organisations and individuals everywhere who have joined hands with us to defeat tyranny in our region. Together with all those we constitute a formidable force which will liquidate the apartheid system sooner rather than later.
We are especially honoured to be speaking today from this liberated African territory. Seventy-five years ago, African patriots travelled from this country to Bloemfontein in South Africa, there to participate in the formation of the African National Congress. In the intervening years, we have fought side by side to achieve the noble objective of the total liberation of our continent.
When the day of victory dawns, we will expect that once more African patriots from this country will travel to the liberated South Africa to celebrate with us a common victory that is long overdue. On that day, the masses of our people will have the possibility properly to acknowledge the contribution that the peoples have made to end the apartheid system. Among the founders of the democratic South Africa, we shall surely count such eminent Africans as our dear brothers and leaders, President Kaunda, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Robert Mugabe, Agostinho Neto, Samora Machel, Seretse Khama and many others. That day is not far off.
Freedom in our lifetime!
Long Live the 75th Anniversary of the ANC!
Amandla ngawethu! Maatla ke a Rona!