The Revolutionising History of Afric an National Congress ... revolutionising history of...The Revolutionising History of Afric an National Congress Youth League ANC YL POLITICAL EDUCATION MANUAL

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  • The Revolutionising History of AfricanNationalCongressYouthLeague

    ANCYLPOLITICALEDUCATIONMANUAL

  • IntroductoryRemarks The History of the AfricanNationalCongressYouthLeague

    isundeniablyarevolutionalisinghistory of SouthAfrica. The younganddedicatedactivistswhogathered

    at the BantuMen'sSocialCentrein1944became the trueanddedicatedrevolutionarieswhochangedSouthAfrica'spoliticalatmosphere.

    When the foundinggeneration of the ANC YL proclaimedFREEDOMINOURLIFETIMEin1944,fewpeoplehad the hopethattherewasapossibilitythatultimately,blackpeopleandwomeninSouthAfricawillgain the freedom,rightsandindependencewecurrentlyenjoy.

    TheformationoftheANCYLradicallyreshapedthemethodsofstruggleagainstoppressionandgavenewenergytotheNationalLiberationMovement.

  • TheideaoftheYouthLeague InSA,therewasgrowingmilitancyoftheTradeUnionMovement

    andtheCommunistPartyofSouthAfrica. TheYouthfelttheneedtoformamilitantyouthleagueoftheANC. Theyouththerebychosetotakeastanceoppositetothatoftheir

    parentorganisation,whichtheyincreasinglyviewedaspacifistandliberal.

    LionelMxolisiMajombozi,amedicalstudentatWitsUniversity,wasthefirsttomoottheideaofformingtheANCYouthLeaguearguingthatitbepresentedtothetotheANColdguardasmovetorecruityoungpeopleandthushidingitsrealintentions,viz.Oftransformingamoribundorganisationintoamilitantagentofpoliticalchange.

    DuringtheANCAnnualConferencein1942,theemergenceofmilitancyamongsttheAfricanyouthgroupswasnoted,andtheconferenceinstructedtheANCNationalExecutiveCommitteetoformtheYouthLeagueoftheANC.

  • Theformativeyears Therewasnoapparentprogressthroughtheremainderof1943,and

    theDecember1943ConferenceoftheANCagaincalledfortheformationoftheCongressYouthLeague.

    ThiscallwasfollowedbytheformationoftheNationalProvisionalCommitteeinMarch1944,whichconsistedofthefollowingleaders: WilliamNkomo(Chairperson) LionelMxolisiMajombozi(Secretary) AntonLambede OliverTambo WalterSisulu(JointConvenor) CongressMbatha(JointConvenor) DavidBopape WilsonZConco D.V.Maqanda J.Malepe A.B.Sililo AndThabethe

  • The1944Manifesto TheNPCmandatedWilliamNkomo,AntonLambedeand

    NelsonMandelatodrawupthefoundingpolicydocument,andthiswastobecometheYouthLeaguesManifesto.

    TheManifestoserved asaguidingcompassfortheprogrammesoftheYouthLeague. AsthefirstdocumenttodefinethegoalsoftheYouthLeague

    andgiveititsideologicaldirection. TheManifestowasissuedanddeclaredthatAFRICAN

    PEOPLEELECTEDTODETERMINETHEIROWNFUTUREBYTHEIROWNEFFORTS andstressedtheYLsloyaltytotheleadershipoftheANCintheNationalRevolution.

    Atthisstage,therewasstrongideologicalinclinationtowardsAfricanNationalism.

  • The1944Manifesto

    TheManifestoalsoannouncedaProgrammeofActionwhichintendedtoachievethefollowing: DraftaConstitution WinovertheYouth MobiliseFinancialSupportfortheANC Andmakeastudyofthepoliticalandeconomicchallengesfacingtheliberationmovement.

  • OfficialLaunchoftheANCYL TheofficiallaunchoftheANCYLtookplaceonSeptember10,1944

    attheBantuMensSocialCentreinJohannesburg. TheManifestowasunveiledthesameday. AntonLambedewaselectedPresidentandNelsonMandela/Oliver

    TamboelectedSecretary. TheNationalExecutiveCommitteeelectedintheCongress

    included: WilliamNkomo WalterSisulu A.P.Mda RobertResha RobertSobukwe OliverTambo MxolisiMajombozi DilizintabaMji

  • AfricanNationalism

    TheANCYLwasformedtosupplement,consolidateandgivenewimpetustothestruggleagainstracialoppressionaschampionedbytheANC.

    YetemphasiswasplacedonAfricanNationalism,whichaffirmedtheroleofAfricansastheirownliberatorswithinSAandabroad.

    TheAfricanNationalismespousedbytheANCYLdidnotimplyreverseracism,butemphasisedtheemancipationofAfricansastheprimaryfocusofpoliticalengagementsandprogrammes.

    WhilstaffirmingAfricanLeadership,AfricanNationalismdidnotsuggesttheexclusionofwhitesasinterpretedbythePACin1959.

  • The1948BasicPolicyDocument Beforethe1949ANCNationalConference,theANCYLwas

    facedwitharesponsibilitytomakeameaningfulimpactontheANC.

    ABasicPolicyDocumentwasthenadoptedbytheANCYLasaguidelinedocumentonhowtheYouthLeagueleadershipintendedtoshapeandinfluencetheANC.

    TheBasicPolicyDocumentwassomewhatarevisionofthe1944sradicalAfricanNationalismanddemonstratedprogresswithintheANCYLintermsofthequalityofdebatesandoriginalideas.

    TheBasicPolicyDocumentamongstotherssaid:TheCongressYouthLeagueholdsthatpoliticaldemocracyremainsanemptyformwithoutsubstance,unlessitisproperlygroundedonabaseofeconomicand,especiallyindustrialdemocracy

  • TheANCYLImpactontheANC In1948,OliverTamboandWalterSisuluwereelectedto

    theANCNationalExecutiveCommittee,andbecamethefirstYouthLeagueleaderstobeelectedtotheleadershipoftheANC.

    Afterthe1949CongressoftheANC,therewasacallformoreurgentandradicalmethodsofwagingthestrugglepromptedbydomesticandinternationalrealities.

    TheANCYLscallformoreradicalmethodsmarkedtheLeaguespartingofwayswiththenANCPresidentA.BXuma,whopatronisinglyreferredtotheYouthLeagueleaders(Lambede,Mandela&Tambo)asmykindergartenboys,whentheypressedforanindependentapproach.

    Inturn,theYLleadershipaccusedtheANCleadershipofbeingtooconcernedwiththecolonialregimesframeworkandprovisionsoftheNativesRepresentativeCouncil,thuscompromisingthestrugglefornationalliberation.

  • ANCYLfoughtdespitesetbacks

    ThefirstPresidentAntonLambedediedundermysteriouscircumstancesin1947andDr.MxolisiMajombozidiedinacaraccidentin1949.

    Despitetheserealities,theANCYLsuccessfullyintroducedtheconceptofmilitancyattheANCAnnualConferencein1949.

    Fromthattime,theANCputliberalismandpacifismbehinditandfoughtthecolonialoppressionwithdedicationandfocus.

    TheANC1949sProgrammeofActionwasanexpressionofyouthsdissatisfactionwithliberalismandmoderatemodelsoffightsrepression.

    TheProgrammeheraldedanendtodeputationsandpetitionstothecolonialMasters,whichwaspartofthemethodsofgainingfreedomfortheAfricanmajority.

    In1949,WalterSisuluwaselectedANCSecretaryGeneralandNelsonMandela,OliverTamboandDumaNokweintotheANCNEC.

  • ThesignificanceoftheANC1949Conference.

    DespiteelectingWalterSisuluasSecretaryGeneralandgettingamoreyouthleagueleadersintotheNEC,theANCYLsupportedDr.J.SMorokatobePresidentoftheANC,althoughhehadjustjoinedtheANC.

    TheProgrammeofActionadoptedinthe1949ANCConferenceprimarilyaimedtodestroy,asamatterofpriority,alldiscriminatoryinstitutionsofgovernance,includingtheNativesRepresentativesCouncil(NPC).

    FormerANCPresidentXumasoughttofightracismwithintheprovisionsoftheNPC,andtheYouthLeaguecalledfortheimmediatedismantlingofthisandallotherracistinstitutionsofgovernance.

  • TheDefianceCampaign TheANCledDefianceCampaigngrewfromtherisingmilitancyofthe

    increasinglyagitatedandradicalisedyouth. NelsonMandelawasVolunteerinChiefoftheDefianceCampaign

    (laterelectedPresidentoftheTransvaalANC)andmobilisedasmanypeopletojoinindefyingapartheidlaws.

    FromtheDefianceCampaignemergedaprogrammaticalliancebetweentheANC,SouthAfricanIndianCongress,AfricanPeoplesOrganisation(Colouredmembers),andtheCommunistPartyofSouthAfrica.

    Together,thesealliescalledajointstrikeonthe1st ofMay1950,whichwaswidelysupported.

    Onthe26th ofJune1950,theANCcalledandparticipatedinthestrikeagainsttheSuppressionofCommunismAct.

    26JunewasthenconsideredasSouthAfricanFreedomDay. Duringthisperiod,theANCbegantoappreciatetherealitythat the

    repression,imprisonmentanddeathwerepartofthestruggleagainstracism.

  • TheradicalisationoftheANC

    TheradicalisationoftheANCalsohaditsrootsintheworkersstrugglesofthetimeandtheCommunistPartyofSouthAfrica,whichwasbyandlargearadicalorganisationinitsownright.

    TheactivitiesoftheANCYLduringdefiancecampaign,andthecrisisyearsoftheearly1950shadaconsiderableontheANCitself.

    YouthLeagueleaderswerefocusedonamissionwhichtheyperceivedtobeconsolidationofradicalviewsandthepromotion ofmilitantactionoftheANC.

    ThisledtoarrestsofmanyleadersoftheANC,includingANCPresidentJ.SMorokawhoafterthearrest,distancedhimselffromtheANCduringthetrial,andwasrepresentedbyaseparateLawyer.

    ThisalienatedthemassesandledtotheelectionofCheifAlbertLuthuliasPresidentoftheANCinthe1952AnnualConference.

    PresidentLuthuliledtheANCduringandtowardsthemobilisationfortheFreedomCharter.

  • TheFreedomCharter ProposedbyProfessorZ.KMatthewsattheCapeAnnualConferencein1953,aftertheDefianceCampaignandmilitantactionsofthetime.

    ResolvedintheANC42nd NationalConferencein1953,andreaffirmedinthe43rd Conference1954.

    AdoptedaftermassivemobilisationacrossthecountryinKliptownonthe26th (SouthAfricanFreedomDay)ofJune1955.

    Fromthereforth,leadersoftheANCYLwereatthehelmoftheANCatNationallevelandvariousregionsofSouthAfrica.

    TheconstituteacropthatledtheANCinexile,prisonandundergroundandthefirstleadersofademocraticSouthAfrica.

  • FromFreedomCharter,toArreststoMilitarystruggles:

    DuringthepostFreedomCharteryears,theracistStatecontinuedwithsuppressionandinMarch21,1960massacred69ProtestorsinSharpeville.

    Inthesameyear,theANCwasbannedundertheSuppressionofCommunismAct,andNelsonMandelawasaskedbytheregimetoresignfromtheANCbeforeitwasbanned.

    NelsonMandelainitiatedtheprocessthatledtotheformationofUmkhontoWeSizwe,militarywingoftheANC.

    OnDecember16,1961,UmkhontoWeSizwe(MK)carriedoutitsfirstactofmilitarysabotage,andthearmedstrugglebegan.

    ANCYLmilitantswerebehindtheformationofMK. NelsonMandelasaidatthetime:ITWOULDBEWRONGAND

    UNREALISTICFORAFRICANLEADERSTOCONTINUEPREACHINGPEACEANDNONVIOLENCEATATIMEWHENTHEGOVERNMENTMETOURDEMANDSWITHVIOLENCE.

  • Youngpeoplekeptthefiresburning Inpracticalterms,theANCYLhadceasedtoexistasamass

    basedorganisationwhenthebanningwasimplementedin1960.

    Despitethese,youngpeopleinsidethecountryandinexilewereattheforefrontofin