- Under the direction of young members, the ANC had managed to mobilise parts of the population into political action during the 50s. However, by the end of the decade, the ideology and strategy of the Congress alliance was challenged by the PAC who were less concerned to develop leadership.
- Sobukwe had little experience of political campaign but settled on the pass laws as his major focus. Sobukwe announced that the PAC would mount its own mass action on 21st March despite knowing the ANC looked to undergo a campaign on the 31st
- The ANC was deeply disturbed, Mandela later wrote ' they sought to destroy us'. Strangely, the PAC, chose a strategy similar to the Defiance Campaign. Activists would offer themselves up for arrest in such numbers at police stations that they would render the pass laws.
- They hoped to cripple the police stations through overcrowding and the economy through a strike.
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The Sharpville massacre and its significance
- PAC organisers managed to mobilise at branch level and develop grass roots support. Sharpvielle was a centre of protest and the name became synonymous with apartheid repression. But Sharpeville was only one of many major confrontations. At the time events in Cape Town were perhaps more important in shaping the direction of South African politics
- Sharpeville, founded in 1942, had been planned as a model township, with more facilities than usual, including a clinic and library. Three major factors politicised the community:
- Firstly, Numbers were swelled by the arrival of about 10,000 people removed from another location by force under the Group Areas act. Little new housing left an angry addition to the population and rents increased
- Secondly, The area was favoured by migrant workers from Lesotho, a separate British colony that had even more insecure rights than people from Sout African rural areas.Some came illegally
- Thirdly, a PAC branch was founded in Sharpeville in 1959 by a few able organisers by a few organisers. When Sobukwe announced the campaign the local PAC were able to respond quickly
- PAC membership in Sharpeville was probably not more than a few hundred but they set up a task force that encouraged participation and threatened those who wanted to go to work.
- On the night of 1960 youths moved onto the streets and a policeman was stabbed. The police responded in force and as a result 2 protestors died.
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The sharpvielle massacre
- On the morning of 21 March, about 5,000 gathered outside the fence surrounding the Sharpvielle police station. PAC leaders requested the police to arrest them all & the crowd believed that due to the impossibility of this task, the government would announce the suspension of pass laws
- The crowd were not all PAC members and interviews revealed that many were there out of curiosity. The crowd were described as relaxed and friendly, a friendly interaction
- By 1pm, there were about 200 policemen with rifles. They came from outside of the area & were nervous and some incorrectly said that they faced a crowd of 20,000. They knew 9 policemen had been killed at Cator manor a few weeks before and this may have triggered the shooting
- When Tsolo refused to order the crowd to disperse he was arrest which led the crowd to move forward. Pienaar lined up the police and ordered them to load. Shortly before 2pm one of the policemen shouted fire which left 69 dead 187 injured. Most were shot in the back when running
- Witnesses accused the police of kicking and killing wounded people. Sobukwe was arrest in Soweto
- The massacre provoked international denunciation. The UN condemned sharp vielle and called for a reversal of apartheid and both Britain and the US supported a later resolution declaring aparthei to be a violation of the UN charter
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The banning of poltiical parties/ state of emergen
- On the 30th of march, Kogosana led a march to Cape Town. The police promised the Minister of justice would meet a PAC if the crowd disperse. However, later that evening Kogosana was arrested.
The banning of political parties and the state of emergency
- The state of emergency was declared on 30th March 1960 and it strengthened police powers. Public meetings were outlawed and the police could detain people without fear of restriction by courts. They used the Public safety act 1953 which required no warrants.
- Mandela was arrested at home In Orlando while he was preparing for the ANC stay away
- He and some other leaders were still involved in the Treason Trial and were taken to Pretoria prison to appear in court.
- On 8 April, soon after the Sharpeville massacre and Cape Town protests, the government passed the Unlawful organisations act banning parties that threatened public order. It was aimed at the ANC and PAC. Mandela recorded in his autobiography ' we were now, all of us, outlaws'
- A day later Verwoerd was shot after giving speech i Johannesburg and was done by an English speaking white man who was unhappy with the conflict in South Africa.
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- By the early 60s, Verwoerd felt confident to announce a whites-only referendum on the question of a republic.
- The 1958 election had given the nationalists a secure majority, with 55% of the whites vote
- Verwoerd saw the referendum as an opportunity to rally support beyond the constituency that usually backed the National party. He was determined to stamp his authority as a representative of hardline Transvalers. Verwoerd also bolstered his support in the Broederond.
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Macmillan wind of change speech.
- Macmillan visited South Africa in February 1960 as part of a month-long tour of Africa. Macmillan started in Ghana. His visit was in part to confirm Britain's decision to decolonise more broadly
- Macmillan was also deeply aware of the Cold War and was attempted to keep African countries on the side of Western democracies
- Macmillan made his famous 'wind of change speech' and gave the speech in Ghana but did not make much impact there because Ghana was already independent. In South Africa, the media was more attentive. Macmillan celebrated 50 years of the Union of South Africa and responded to Verwoerds call for a republic without polarising the position
- Macmillan spent much of his speech to the white members of parliament & praised South Africans achievement & the beauty of the countryside.He noted that much of the progress in industry was a result of British investment (nearly 2/3rd external investment was from Britain
- Macmillan's memorable phase the wind of change blowing through Africa' was not intended to call for radical change but articulated the C realism that was guiding his government to decolonisation.He hoped that rapid decolonisation would facilitate strong links with colonies
- Macmillan presented African nationalism as natural and that white South Africans had to accept it. He did not directly say hat white south Africans should give black people political but was implied ' some aspect of your policies.
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Establishing the Republic and leaving the Commonwe
- Establishing the Republic
- In 1960, white South Africans voted by a narrow majority for a Republic (52%)
- The black opposition parties rejected the move as it was done without the consultation with the majority of the population. For English-speaking white opposition, he link with Britain and the Commonwealth remained an important part of their identity
- South Africa became a republic on 31 may 1961. A new decimal currency called the rand replaced the British pound. The 'crown' was replaced by the 'state'
- Leaving the Commonwealth
- In March 1961, a Commonwealth Conference was called to consider South Africa's position. Verwoerd attended with an application to remain as a republic lie India had done so.
- The Asian and African heads of states were strongly against South Africa remaining in the Commonwealth as long as Apartheid was government policy.
- However, the new Commonwealth leaders, such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, were not keen to polarise the position while there was hope South Africa might shift direction.
- A compromise might have been possible but when Verwoerd was asked if he would allow diplomatic representation for Pretoria he said he didn't want a capital crowded with embassies. In the face of Undiplomatic behaviour, Verwoerd withdrew the application.
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International relations after leaving the Commonwe
- Britain was keen to keep some pressure on South Africa through international regional channels. Britain was still the colonial power of 3 territories that neighboured South Africa (Swaziland, Botswana, and Lesotho) became occasional havens for routes for escape.
- The AAM was founded in Lond and also became a global focus for opposition
- However, as Macmillan had noted, South Africa was economically important for Britain. The Conservative party was uneasy about decolonisation and keen to support white settlers from Britian in South Africa.
- During the 1960s, British companies remained the largest external investors. Left-wing critics like Ruth first, wife of Slovo, attributed Britains caution in taking any action against apartheid to such economic topic and wrote a book on the it called 'The South African Connection'
- Gold supplies remained important for western economies and in the 60s provided global backing for currencies. South Africa was the major global supplier of uranium that was essential for nuclear weapons and power stations in western countries
- The ANC called for sanctions against South Africa in 1959. In 1962 the UN passed a resolution to ban imports and exports to and from South but these were voluntary. Western powers with interests in the South African economy did not take up sanctions
- In 1963 the UN passed a resolution advocating an arms embargo against South Africa so that external powers were not supporting the government with weapons o suppres people.
- In 1964 Harold Wilson decided to impose it
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Moves to armed struggle
- Throughout the 50s and early 60s, African activists expressed themselves through violence against property or people -at east London in 1952 and Durban in 1959. Politica protests against whites had not been mounted with violence against whites and the ANC were not ready to do so
- It held to its commitment to peaceful protest and civil disobedience and the movement recognised that government retaliation was likely to be particularly harsh if it resorted to violence as a political strategy
- Mandela and Sisulu claimed that they had discussed the possibility of armed struggle as far back as 1952. Violence was occasionally mentioned as an option in speeches. The banning of the movements in 1960 and their inability to operate peacefully made a decision all the more urgent.
- Anc leaders had to be cautious, especially while the Treason Trial continued. Their lawyers had managed to establish that the organisation wasn't committed to the violent overthrow of the state
- Those linked 2 the ANC held an All-in African conference 2 advocate a national constitutional convention. They argued All South Africans should participate in decisions about the future.
- The CP operating underground, was the first to adopt the armed struggle in principle, even though some members such as Kontane were doubtful. In June 1961, the ANC itself explicitly decided on armed struggle. Lituhli and Indian congress were still against violence
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The ANC and MK
- MK was set up as an organisation that was not formally linked to the ANC or CP. It was, in theory, an independent military wing acting in support of the liberation movement led by Mandela representing the ANC and Slovo for the CP
- This was done partly to protect the ANC against further repression and partly because it was not fully united by this decision
- Communist links proved important for the armed struggle. The Soviet Union made the largest financial contribution & other communist governments such as East Germany helped with training and education
- In 1961, 5 African men were sent to China for training in guerilla tactics
- Attempts were made to set up MK regional commands within South Africa. It was decided that targets would include strategic sites rather than places where losses of life was at risk
- The first major act of sabotage was planned for 16 December 1961, which was the public holiday called Dingaans day when White South Africa commemorated the Boer victory over the Zulu at the Battle of Blood river
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The PAC and Poqo
- The PAC also turned to underground organisation. It's grass roots networks among migrant workers in Cape Town provided a vehicle for covert. action. For example, an informal PAC cell was founded among Africans from the Eastern Cape. In the African townships, the focus was on political education through small meetings, with an emphasis on history
- They managed to get hold of texts y Nkrumah and those with education explained them to those without. The PAC's leader Sobukwe was kept in prison and unable to influence the new direction of strategy. At this stage, he was clearly regarded as dangerous. Kogosana and Leballo escaped into exile and the PAC attempted to establish a new headquaters in Lesotho
- In 1961, Poqo was formed as a movement that was prepared to go beyond non-violent protest
- Poqo was essentially a movement among migrant workers with little central control y the PAC. It maintained its Africanist ideologies and justified violence against white. One PAC cell planned to blow up the blue train which proided a luxury railway journey from Prestoria and Cape town
- Poqo was als responsible for the Paarl march in 1962, which led to the killings of 2 whites and 5 protestors
- Poqo was not commited, as in the case of MK, to selective sabotage of non-human targets. Poqo killings were well publicised, and savage but they saw their actions as political.
- Despite this, neither the ANC or PAC had the capacty for a sustained armed struggle
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The Rivionia trial & significance for Mandela
- Mandela and MK were tried at the Pretoria supreme court in Johannesburg. Altogether there were ten leading lights f the ANC and the trial lasted from 1963 to 1964.
- They were accused of recruiting fightings, attempting to commit sabotage, having links with communist organisations and soliciting money from foreign states
- Mandela gave a resounding speech from the dock that echoed down the years as a major statement of political courage&hope.He did not deny that he had called for armed struggle
- The Rivonia accused were defended by an able group of white lawyers sympathetic to the liberation struggle. They were led by Bram Fischer, an Afrikaner who joined the CP in South Africa.
- The prosecutor called for the death penalty but the Afrikaner judge, perhaps influenced by Mandela speech and sensing the possibility that ANC leadership might be needed for negotiations in the future, gave life imprisonment
- While the imprisonment of Mandela and Sisulu was major news, it is important not to overstate its significance at the time. The free Nelson Mandela movement in the 80s can distort the lens through which we look back at 1964.
- Mandela's communication with the outside world was limited & they were particularly isolated for the rest of the 60s. Mandela was unable to lead the MK. Slovo remained a major strategist
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The impact of exile on the ANC (Tambo)
- Tambo, deputy of the ANC, went into exile in order to salvage the movement, establish the 'external mission and win international support, He was driven secretly to Botswana by Segal
- Tambo travelled widely in Europe and Africa. He was invited to address the UN in New York ad focused on the plight of political prisoners in South Africa. The UN responded with a resolution calling for their release.
- After a trip to the Soviet Union, he was able to secure significant funding for the movement from that source.The SovietUnion made the most important financial contribution to the ANC in exile.
- Tambo's tireless travelling, and his obvious sincerity and commitment, gave the ANC significant international legitimacy in the early years of exile.
- By the end of 1963, there were few active members of the African political leadership stil living free in south Africa. Those who had avoided prison sentences had gone into exile or accepted that open politics was too dangerous
- Without leadership on the ground, the ability to organise opposition with South Africa became very difficult and stifled much ANC and PAC activity.
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The global AAM in the 1960s
- The AAM was formally founded in 1960 in London. This was a global movement against apartheid rather than an organisation within South Africa or the ANC in exile.
- In Britain, the most important to black south Africans cause were Christians in the Anglican church who had worked in South Africa
- Huddlestone had served in Sophiatown and witnessed its destruction. He was a central figure in the AAM as vice-president from 1961-81 and president from 1981-94
- They saw apartheid as morally wrong and in conflict with Christian teaching that all were equal before God. In 1959 they started a boycott movement, focussing on South African products. It was supported by newspapers such as the Guardian and the Observer. Those in the ANC like Tambo didn't participate formally in the AAM but met regularly with activists
- Reddy, an Indian who worked at the UN in New york, played a key role over many years in highlighting apartheid. He found increasing support as newly independent African states were admitted to the UN.
- Despite some success in boycotts of South African goods, the movement struggled to find widespread support
- Sport was identified by campaigners as an issue dear to white South Africans had they wre excluded by Fifa from international football in 1963. The AAMplayed a key role in increasing pressure on international sporting bodies
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Economic recovery (Part 1)
- After a difficult period between two wars, the world economy as a whole grew quickly after the second world war, especially from 1950 until the oil crisis of 1973. South Africa had an economic growth of over 5% a year in the 60s which was faster than Europe
- Manufacturing benefited from this era of growth as Employment, mostly of black people, doubled between 1951 &1975 from 855,000 to 1.6 million. The number of Africans doing white colour work went from 75k to 420,000.The numbers in gold mining rose from 300k to 400k
- However, a colour bar entrenched in law meant that certain jobs were reserved for whites only. African people could not be trained plumbers or electricians
- The complexity of apartheid in practice also made it possible to circumvent some restrictions e.g they put an end to slum near the city & moved Africans to new townships on urban margins
- Urban municipalities received budgets to build a huge number of cheap homes, e.g state-building housing in Johannesburg increased from 10,000 in 1946 to 62,000 in 1965
- Whites moved out of government jobs in the townships so Schools, nurseries, and hospitals were absorbed by more Africans and were involved in private sector work
- Manufacturers and marketers began to identify an African market and advertised heavily In newspapers and magazines to sell clothes, drinks and cigarettes.
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Economic recovery (part 2)
- Per capita income in the 60s increased by 23% for black South Africans and the African population surged from 11 million to 15. Industrial workers were among the beneficiaries with wages rising about 50% in that decade. There was also economic opportunity for Africans
- The national party still wanted to reduce the number of African in cities and make as many migrant workers as possible. Economic forces undermined Afrikaner strategy and in this decade, the number of Africans in the cities rose by 1.5 million to over 6 million
- Whites benefited far more from these decades of growth. The 1960s saw an increase of about 250k white immigrants. The nationalists changed their mind about immigration and white immigrants from all over Europe brought numbers.
- The 1960s were in many ways the best times for White South Africans.. Whites incomes icnrease by 50% in the period and they were on average 12 times black incomes.
- South Africa produced 95,000 cars in 1960 and 195,000 in 1970, among whites, per capita car ownership ranked about 4th in the world with 1 car for every 3 people. African people probably owned about 1 car per 100 people.
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The burgeoning townships
- New urban communities were being formed just as the old were destroyed. Social change in part shaped African life and politic in the 1960s. Some of the new townships became the base for less politicised urban culture where people's lives was more focused on work and chilling
- The organisations in Witwatersrand townships were churches, choirs and football clubs. Women associations in the churches were strong and there were saving clubs as well
- In 1965, Leo Kuper published 'An African Bourgeoisie'The study was based on interviews with Zulu's &found that far from all Zulu people were descendants of a warrior nation & traditionalist
- Kuper showed the rapid growth of a new middle-class African community running football and boxing clubs that were absorbed in churches and choirs. They were part of an increasingly global culture.The study cut across apartheid ideas that African people belonged in rural areas. The book was banned in South africa
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- Social change in the 50s and 60s also benefited African women, who were able to assert a new freedom from rural patriarchal society by migrating to town. There they could make a living as domestic servants, run small business or teach .There was a new class of skilled and professional women& a broader determination to express new freedoms.
- Drum magazine, launched in 1951, captured the changes of life in the townships int he 60s as well as broader political development. Drum covered fashionable people and urban styles.
- Social freedoms were not rewards of apartheid. Had South free society, developments would surely have been more rapid. However, these years of growth did defuse political conflict as black people channeled their aspirations in the direction of consumer culture, churches and survival in the cities.
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Developing the Bantustans
- The 1959 Bantu Self-government act attempted to transform the homelands into self-governing African states within South Africa
- In December 1963, the first self-governing homeland was established when the Transkei Legislative Assembly was opened in Umtata.
- The national party required that elections be held in the homelands before they could achieve self-government. An opposition Democratic party, led by Victor Poto, won the election for the Transkeian assembly. They believed that South Africa should remain 1 nation.
- The Transkei government was rewarded wit substantial funding from Pretoria and provided a model for homeland development. The education system and health provision expanded quickly. Poor black rural areas had been starved of government funds in earlier years but homeland development brought considerable economic benefits and opportunities for employment to a rising rural middle class.
- Trading stations were purchased by homeland government agencies and redistribute to African owners
- African businessmen were able to start retail outlets in the rural towns.
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- South Africa's position became more isolated during the 60s While strong relations were maintained with western countries, most newly independent African states were reluctant to deal with the National party
- In 1964 the organisation of African unity, made up of independent African states was formed and initiated a series of procedures against South Africa. However, Pretoria was shielded by Namibia under its direct rule & Zimbabwe under white rule, and 2 Portuguese colonies. M&A
- When Vorster became prime minister in 1966,he tackled South Africas isolation b being pragmatic and reaching out to several African countries offering trade relations and economic advice Pretoria was concerned to expand trade with Africa and cut bases for the ANC.
- Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland were all economically dependent on South Africa and had little choice but main connection with their strong neighbour.
- Despite pressure from the AAM and UN, diplomatic ties with western powers, including Britain, the US and much of western Europe continued. Japan became an increasingly important trading partner and established motor vehicle factories in South Africa.
- Many familiar British, German and American companies, from Barclays bank to Volkswagen and Coca-Cola, were well established in South Africa and advertised heavily
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