|Nelson Mandela "Amadelakufa!" (Death Defiance!)|
The following is a section of the manuscpit of the recording of the Rivonia Trial.
JUSTICE QUARTUS DE WET: Yes Mr Fischer.
BRAM FISCHER: May it please your lordship, Lord, your lordship would have realised from the cross-examination of the State witnesses, that there is, that there are certain important parts of the State evidence which will be admitted by some of the accused. Your lordship will also have realised from the cross-examination that there are certain equally important parts of that evidence which will be denied, and which we shall maintain are false. My lord, I wish to mention some of the more important issues, some of the more important allegations of the State which will be placed in issue, and which I think ought properly to be stated by the defence before it leads its evidence. Amongst the matters which will be placed in issue are the following my lord. First, that the accused numbers one to seven were all members of the National High Command of Umkhonto we Sizwe. The defence evidence my lord will show that accused numbers three, five, six and seven of the High Command were not members of the High Command of Umkhonto, or members of Umkhonto at all. The defence evidence will also explain what the relationship was between accused numbers one, two and four, and Umkhonto, and the High Command of Umkhonto.
Secondly my lord, the issue will be, the allegation by the Crown that Umkhonto was a section of the ANC, to use the phrase so frequently used by the State, the 'military wing' of the African National Congress. My lord, here the defence will seek to show that the leaders both of Umkhonto and of the African National Congress, for sound, valid reasons which will be explained to your lordship, endeavoured to keep these two organisations entirely distinct. They did not always succeed in this, for reasons which will also be explained my lord. That we will suggest that the object of keeping the two organisations separate was always kept in mind, and every effort was made to achieve that object. And thirdly my lord, that the ANC was a tool of the Communist Party, in that the aims and objects of the ANC were the aims and objects of the Communist Party. Your lordship will remember that great point was made of this in the State's opening.
The defence evidence will deny this emphatically my lord; it will show that the African National Congress is a broad national movement embracing all classes of Africans within its ranks, and having the aim of achieving equal political rights for all South Africans. The evidence will show further that it welcomes not only the support which it received from the Communist Party, but also the support which it receives from many other quarters. Now on this point my lord the evidence will show how Umkhonto we Sizwe was formed, and that it was formed in order to undertake sabotage only for the achievement of political rights. And finally on this point my lord, the evidence will deny the allegation made in the State's case, that Umkhonto and the African National Congress relied in order to obtain support upon what was referred to as being 'the alleged hardships' suffered by people.
Well all this will be relevant particularly to the fourth point, and that is this, the fourth issue, that Umkhonto had adopted a military plan called Operation Mayibuye, and intended to embark upon guerrilla warfare during 1963, or had decided to embark upon guerrilla warfare.
JUSTICE DE WET: What are you saying, will that be denied?
BRAM FISCHER: That will be denied. Here the evidence will show that while preparations for guerrilla warfare were being made from as early as 1962, no plan was ever adopted, and the evidence will show why it was hoped through argument that such a step could be avoided. My lord, in regard particularly to the last issue, the court will be asked to have regard to the motives, the character and the political background of the men in charge of Umkhonto we Sizwe and its operations. In other words, to have regard amongst other things to the tradition of non-violence of the African National Congress; to have regard to the reasons which led these men to resort to sabotage in an effort to achieve their political objectives; and why in the light of these facts they are to be believed when they say why Operation Mayibuye has not been adopted, and that they would not have adopted it while there was still some chance, however remote, of achieving their objectives by the combination of mass political struggle and sabotage. My lord, the defence case will commence with a statement from the dock by accused number one, who personally took part in the establishment of Umkhonto, and who will be able to inform the court of the beginnings of that organisation, and of its history up to August when he was arrested.
JUSTICE DE WIT: Well the microphone will have to be given to accused number one if he...if he wishes to make a statement. [installing microphone]
NELSON MANDELA: My lord, I am the first accused.
PERCY YUTAR: Before number one starts my lord, my lord I don't think it's really necessary to resort to a formality in this case, seeing as number one is represented by counsel, but your lordship may deem it advisable nevertheless to just apprise number one, who I undertake knows it already, that the statement from the dock, not sworn to, does not carry the same effect as...
JUSTICE DE WET: ...I take it counsel has explained that to him.
BRAM FISHER: I have in fact.
JUSTICE DE WET: Mr Fischer would have explained that to him. Yes, very well. [.....]
NELSON MANDELA: My lord, I am the first accused. I hold a bachelor's degree in Arts, and practised as an attorney in Johannesburg for a number of years, in partnership with Mr Oliver Tambo, a co-conspirator in this case. I am a convicted prisoner, serving five years for leaving the country without a permit, and for inciting people to go on strike at the end of May 1961. I admit immediately that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto we Sizwe, and that I played a prominent role in its affairs until I was arrested in August 1962. In the statement which I am about to make, I shall correct certain false impressions which have been created by State witnesses; among other things I will demonstrate that certain of the acts referred to in the evidence were not and could not have been committed by Umkhonto. I will also deal with the relationship between the African National Congress and with the part which I personally have played in the affairs of both organisations. I shall deal also with the part played by the Communist Party. In order to explain these matters properly, I will have to explain what Umkhonto set out to achieve, what methods it prescribed for the achievement of these objects, and why these methods were chosen.
I will also have to explain how I came, I became involved in the activities of these organisations. At the outset I want to say that the suggestion made by the State in its opening that the struggle in South Africa is under the influence of foreigners or communists is wholly incorrect. I have done whatever I did, both as an individual and as a leader of my people because of my experience in South Africa, and my own proudly felt African background, and not because of what any outsiders might have said. In my youth in the Transkei, I listened to the elders of my tribe telling stories of the old days. Among the tales they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defence of the fatherland. The names of Dingane and Bambatha, Hintsa and Makanna, Squngthi and Dalasile, Moshoeshoe and Sekhukuni were praised as the pride and the glory of the entire African nation. I hoped then that life might offer me the opportunity to serve my people, and make my own humble contribution to their freedom struggle.
This is what has motivated me in all that I have done in relation to the charges made against me in this case. [.....] Having said this, I must deal immediately and at some length with the question of sabotage. Some of the things so far told to the court are true, and some are untrue. I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love for violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites. [pause] I deny that Umkhonto was responsible for a number of acts which clearly fell outside the policy of the organisation, but which have been charged in the indictment against us. I do not know what justification there was for these acts, or who committed them, but to demonstrate that they could not have been authorised or committed by Umkhonto. I want to refer briefly to the roots and policy of the organisation. I have already mentioned that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto. I and the others who started the organisation did so for two reasons.
Firstly, we believed that as a result of Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and that unless a responsible leadership was given to canalise and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreak of terrorism which would produce an intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of the country which is not produced even by war. Secondly, we felt that without sabotage there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority or to defy the Government. We chose to defy the Government. With that broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence. When this form was legislated against, and when the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence. But the violence which we chose to adopt was not terrorism. We who formed Umkhonto were all members of the African National Congress, and had behind us the ANC tradition of non-violence and negotiation as a means of solving political disputes. We believed that South Africa belonged to all the people who lived in it, and not to one group, be it black or white. We did not want an interracial war, and tried to avoid it to the last minute.
If the court is in doubt about this, it will be seen that the whole history of our organisation bears up what I have said, and what I will subsequently say when I describe the tactics which Umkhonto decided to adopt. I want therefore to say something about the African National Congress. [.....] The African National Congress was formed in 1912 to defend the rights of the African people, which had been seriously curtailed by the South Africa Act, and which was then being threatened by the Native Land Act. For thirty-seven years, that is until 1949, it adhered strictly to a constitutional struggle. It put forward demands and resolutions; it sent delegations to the Government, in the belief that African grievances could be settled through peaceful discussion, and that Africans could advance gradually to full political rights. But white Governments remained unmoved, and the rights of Africans became less instead of becoming greater. In the words of my leader, Chief Luthuli, who became President of the ANC, and who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I quote: 'Who will deny that thirty years of my life have been spent knocking in vain, patiently, moderately and modestly at the closed and barred door? What have been the fruits of moderation? The past thirty years have seen the greatest number of laws restricting our rights and progress, until today we have reached a stage where we have almost no rights at all.' Unquote.
If, after 1949, the ANC remained determined to avoid violence, at this time however there was a change from the strictly constitutional means of protest which had been employed in the past. The change was embodied in a decision which was taken to protest against apartheid legislation by peaceful but unlawful demonstrations against certain laws. Pursuant to this policy, the ANC launched a defiant campaign in which I was placed in charge of volunteers. This campaign was based on the principles of passive resistance. More than 8,500 people defied apartheid laws and went to jail, yet there was not a single instance of violence in the course of this campaign. I and nineteen colleagues were convicted for the role, and this conviction was under the Suppression of Communism Act, although our campaign had nothing to do with communism. But our sentences were suspended, mainly because the judge found that discipline and non-violence had been stressed throughout. This was the time when the volunteer section of the ANC was established, and when the word amadelakufa was first used, this was a time when the volunteers were asked to take a pledge to uphold certain principles. Evidence. Dealing with volunteers and their pledges has been introduced into the case, but completely out of context.
The volunteers were not, and are not, the soldiers of a black army, pledged to fight a civil war against whites. They were and are the dedicated workers who are prepared to lead campaigns initiated by the ANC, to distribute leaflets, to organise strikes, or to do whatever the particular campaign required. They are called volunteers because they volunteer to face the penalties of imprisonment and whippings which are now prescribed by the legislature for such acts. The Defiance Campaign, the Public Safety Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act were passed. These statutes provided harsher penalties for offences committed by way of protest against laws. Despite this, the protest continued, and the ANC adhered to its policy of non-violence. [.....] In 1956, 156 leading members of the Congress Alliance, including myself, were arrested on a charge of high treason, and charged under the Suppression of Communism Act. The non-violent policy of the ANC was put in issue by the State. But when the court gave judgement some five years later, it found that the ANC did not have a policy of violence. We were acquitted on all counts, which included a count that the ANC sought to set up a communist state in place of the existing regime.
The Government has always sought to label all its opponents as communists. These allegations have been repeated in the present case, but as I will show you, the ANC is not and never has been a communist organisation. In 1960 there was a shooting at Sharpeville which resulted in the proclamation of a state of emergency, and the declaration of the ANC as an unlawful organisation. My colleagues and I, after careful consideration, decided that we would not obey this decree. The African people were not part of the Government, and did not make the laws by which they were governed. We believed, in the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the government. And for us to accept the banning was equivalent to accepting the silencing of the African people for all time.
The ANC refused to dissolve, but instead went underground. We believed it was our duty to preserve this organisation which had been built up with almost fifty years of unremitting toil. I have no doubt that no self-respecting white political organisation would disband itself if declared illegal by a government in which it had no say. [pause] [.....] I now want to deal my lord with evidence which misrepresents the true position in this case. In some of the evidence the end plan has been completely misrepresented. It was nothing more than a method of organising, planned in 1953 and put into operation with varying degrees of success thereafter. After [inaudible], 1960, new methods had to be devised, for instance by relying on smaller committees. The end plan was referred to in evidence at the treason trial, but it had nothing whatsoever to do with sabotage or Umkhonto we Sizwe, and was never adopted by Umkhonto. The confusion, particularly by certain witnesses from the Eastern Cape, is I think due to the use of the word of the same High Command. [inaudible] was coined in Port Elizabeth during the emergency when most of the ANC leaders were jailed and a jail committee set up to deal with complaints, was called the High Command after the emergency.
This phrase stuck, and was used to describe certain of the ANC committees in that area. That we have heard witnesses talking about the West Bank High Command, and the Port Elizabeth High Command. These so-called High Commands came into existence before Umkhonto was formed, and were not concerned in any way with sabotage. In fact, as I will subsequently explain, Umkhonto as an organisation was, as far as possible, kept separate from the ANC. This explains my lord why persons like Bennett, Mashian and Reginald Umtobi heard nothing about sabotage at the meetings they attended, but as has been mentioned, the use of the phrase 'High Command' caused some dissension in ANC circles in the Eastern Province. I travelled there in 1961, because it was alleged that some of these so-called High Commands were using juries in order to enforce the new plan. I did not find evidence of this, but nevertheless forbade it, and also insisted that the term 'High Command' should not be used to describe any ANC committee. My visit and the discussions which took place have been described by Zizingigella [?], and I admit his evidence in so far as it relates to me.
Although it does not seem to have much relevance, I deny that I was taken to the meetings by the taxi driver, John Chingani [?], and I also deny that I went to [inaudible] with him. [pause] [.....] My lord, I would like now to deal with the immediate causes. [pause] In 1960 the Government held a referendum which led to the establishment of a republic. Africans, who constituted approximately seventy per cent of the population of South Africa, were not entitled to vote, and were not even consulted about the proposed constitutional change. All of us were apprehensive of our future under the proposed white republic, and a resolution was taken to hold an All-in African conference to call for a national convention, and to organise mass demonstrations on the eve of the unwanted republic if the Government failed to call the convention. The conference was attended by Africans of various political persuasions. I was the Honorary Secretary of the conference, and undertook to be responsible for organising the national stay-at-home, which was subsequently called to coincide with the declaration of the Republic.
As all strikes by Africans are illegal, the person organising such a strike must avoid arrest. I was chosen to be this person, and consequently I had to leave my home and my family, and my practice, and go into hiding to avoid arrest. The stay-at-home, in accordance with ANC policy, was to be a peaceful demonstration. Careful instructions were given to organisers and members to avoid any recourse to violence. The Government's answer was to introduce new and harsher laws, to mobilise its armed forces, and to send Saracens - armed vehicles - and soldiers into the townships in a massive show of force, designed to intimidate the people. This was an indication that the Government had decided to rule by force alone, and this decision was a milestone on the road to Umkhonto. Some of this may appear irrelevant to the trial; in fact I believe none of it is irrelevant, because it will I hope enable the court to appreciate the attitude towards Umkhonto essentially adopted by the various persons and bodies concerned in the National Liberation Movement.
When I went to jail in 1962 the dominant idea was that loss of life should be avoided. I now know that this was still so in 1963. I must return, however, my lord to June 1961. What were we, the leaders of our people, to do? Were we to give in to the show of force and the implied threat against future action, or were we to fight it out, and if so, how? We had no doubt that we had to continue the fight. Anything else would have been abject surrender. Our problem, my lord, was not whether to fight, but was how to continue the fight. We, of the ANC, had always stood for a non-racial democracy, and we shrank from any action which might drive the races further apart than they already were. But the hard facts were that fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation, and fewer and fewer rights. It may not be easy for this court to understand, but it is a fact that for a long time these people have been talking of violence, of the day when they would fight the white man and win back their country. And we, the leaders of the ANC, have nevertheless always prevailed upon them to avoid violence and to pursue peaceful methods. When some of us discussed this in June of 1961, it could not be denied that our policy to achieve a non-racial state by non-violence had achieved nothing, and that our followers were beginning to lose confidence in this policy, and were developing disturbing ideas of terrorism.
It must not be forgotten, my lord, that by this time violence had in fact become a feature of the South African political scene. There had been violence in 1957 when the women of Zeerust were ordered to carry passes. There was violence in 1958 with the enforcement of Bantu Authorities in cattle culling in Sekhukhuneland. There was violence in 1959 when the people of Cato Manor protested against pass raids. There was violence in 1960 when the Government attempted to impose Bantu Authorities in Pondoland. Thirty-nine Africans died in these Pondoland disturbances. In 1961 there had been riots in Warmbaths. And all this time my lord, the Transkei had been a seething mass of unrest. Each disturbance pointed clearly to the inevitable growth amongst Africans of the belief that violence was the only way out. It showed that a government which uses force to maintain its rule teaches the oppressed to use force to oppose it. Already small groups had arisen in the urban areas and were spontaneously making plans for violent forms of political struggle. There now arose a danger that these groups would adopt terrorism against Africans as well as whites if not properly directed. Particularly disturbing was the type of violence engendered in places such as Zeerust, Sekhukhuneland and Pondoland amongst Africans.
It was increasingly taking the form, not of struggling against the Government, though this is what prompted it, but of civil strife between pro-Government chiefs and those opposed to them, conducted in such a way that it could not hope to achieve anything other than a loss of life and bitterness. [.....] At the beginning of June 1961, after a long and anxious assessment of the South African situation I and some colleagues came to the conclusion that as violence was inevitable it would be unrealistic and wrong for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the Government met our peaceful demands with force. This conclusion, my lord, was not easily arrived at. It was when all, only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe. We did so, not because we desired such a course, but solely because the Government had left us with no other choice. In the manifesto of Umkhonto, published on the 7th of December '61, which is Exhibit AD, we said, I quote: 'The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices, submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit, and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defence of our people, our future and our freedom.' Unquote. This was our feeling in June of 1961 when we decided to press for a change in the policies of the National Liberation Movement. I can only say that I felt morally obliged to do what I did. [.....]
We, who had taken this decision, started to consult leaders of various organisations, including the ANC. I will not say whom we spoke to, or what they said, but I wish to deal with the role of the African National Congress in this phase of the struggle, and with the policies and objectives of Umkhonto we Sizwe. As far as the ANC was concerned, it formed a clear view which can be summarised as follows: A. It was a mass political organisation, with a political function to fulfil. Its members had joined on the express policy of non-violence. B. Because of all this, it could not and would not undertake violence. This must be stressed. One cannot turn such a body into the small, closely-knit organisation required for sabotage. Nor would this be politically correct, because it would result in members ceasing to carry out its essential activity, political propaganda and organisation. Nor was it permissible to change the whole nature of the organisation. C. On the other hand, in view of this situation I have described, the ANC was prepared to depart from its fifty-year-old policy of non-violence to this extent, that it would no longer disapprove of properly-controlled sabotage. Hence members who undertook such activity would not be subject to disciplinary action by the ANC.
I say 'properly-controlled sabotage' because I made it clear that if I helped to form the organisation, I would at all times subject it to the political guidance of the ANC, and would not undertake any different form of activity from that contemplated without the consent of the ANC. And I shall now tell the court how that form of violence came to be determined. [.....] As a result of this decision, Umkhonto was formed in November 1961. [pause] When we took this decision, and subsequently formulated our plans, the ANC heritage of non-violence and racial harmony was very much with us. We felt that the country was drifting towards a civil war, in which blacks and whites would fight each other. [jump in recording] .....the situation with alarm. Civil war would mean the destruction of what the ANC stood for. With civil war, racial peace would be more difficult than ever to achieve. We already had examples in South African history of the results of war. It has taken more than fifty years for the scars of the South African War to disappear. How much longer would it take to eradicate the scars of inter-racial civil war, which could not be fought without a great loss of life on both sides? The avoidance of civil war has dominated our thinking for many years.
But when we decided to adopt sabotage as part of our policy, we realised that we might one day have to face the prospect of such a war. These had to be taken into account in formulating our plan. We required a plan which was flexible and which permitted us to act in accordance with the needs of the times. Above all, the plan had to be one which recognised civil war as the last resort, and left the decision on this question to the future. We did not want to be committed to civil war, but we wanted to be ready if it became inevitable. Four forms of violence are posited. There is sabotage; there is guerrilla warfare; there is terrorism; and there is open revolution. We chose to adopt the first method, and to test it fully before taking any other decision. In the light of our political background, the choice was a logical one. Sabotage did not involve loss of life, and it offered the best hope for future race relations. Bitterness would be kept to a minimum, and if the policy bore fruit, democratic government could be become a reality. This is what was said at the time, and this is what was said in our manifesto. Exhibit AD. I quote: 'We of Umkhonto we Sizwe have always sought to achieve liberation without bloodshed and civil clash. We hope, even at this late hour, that our first actions will awaken everyone to a realisation of the disastrous situation to which Nationalist policy is leading. We hope that we will bring the Government and its supporters to their senses before it is too late, so that both the Government and its policies can be changed before matters reach the desperate state of civil war.' Unquote.
The initial plan was based on a careful analysis of the political and economic situation of our country. We believed that South Africa depended to a large extent on foreign capital and foreign trade. We felt that planned destruction of power plants, and interference with rail and telephone communications, would tend to scare away capital from the country, make it more difficult for goods from the industrial areas to reach the seaports on schedule, and would in the long run be a heavy drain on the economic life of the country, thus compelling the voters of the country to reconsider their position. Attacks on the economic lifelines of the country were to be linked with sabotage on Government buildings and other symbols of apartheid. These attempts would serve as a source of inspiration to our people, and encourage them to participate in non-violent mass actions such as strikes. In addition, they would provide an outlet for those people who were urging the adoption of violent methods, and would enable us to give concrete proof to our followers that we had adopted a stronger line and were fighting back against Government violence. In addition, if mass action were successfully organised, and mass reprisals was taken, we felt that sympathy for our cause would be aroused in other countries, and that greater pressure would be brought to bear on the South African Government. [.....] This then my lord was the plan. Umkhonto was to perform sabotage, and strict instructions were given to each member right from the start, that on no account were they to injure or kill people in planning or carrying out operations.
These instructions have been referred to in the evidence of X and Z . [pause] The affairs of Umkhonto were controlled and directed by a National High Command which had powers of co-option, and which could and did appoint regional commands. The High Command was the body which determined tactics and targets, and was in charge of training and finance. Under the High Command there were regional commands which were responsible for the direction of the local sabotage groups. Within the framework of the policy laid down by the National High Command, the original command had authority to select the targets to be attacked. They had no authority whatsoever to go beyond the prescribed framework, and thus had no authority to embark upon acts which endangered life, or which did not fit in to the overall plan of sabotage. For instance, Umkhonto members were forbidden ever to go armed into operations.
Incidentally, the terms 'High Command' and 'Regional Command' were an importation from the Jewish national underground organisations, the Irgun Zvai Leumi, which operated in Israel between 1944 and 1948. Umkhonto had its first operation on the 16th of December 1961, when Government buildings in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Durban were attacked. The selection of targets is proof of the policy to which I have referred. Had we intended to attack life we would have selected targets where people congregated, and not empty buildings and power stations. The sabotage, which was committed before the 16th of December 1961 was the work of isolated groups, and had no connection whatsoever with Umkhonto. In fact my lord, some of these, and a number of later acts, were claimed by other organisations. Now my lord, at this stage I would like to refer very briefly to a number of newspaper cuttings.
JUSTICE DE WET: Yes, well before you get there, the court will now take the adjournment. [break in recording] [.....]
NELSON MANDELA: I was just about to refer your lordship to a number of newspaper cuttings. It's not my intention my lord to hand them in, but I merely wish to use them...
JUSTICE DE WET: Yes.
NELSON MANDELA: ...to illustrate the point I had made, that before December 1961 it was common knowledge in the townships and throughout the country that there existed a number of bodies other than Umkhonto which planned and carried out acts of sabotage, and that some of the acts which took place during the period of indictment were in fact claimed by some of these organisations. The first newspaper cutting I wish to refer your lordship to is the Rand Daily Mail of the 22nd of December 1961, an article that appears on the front page. The caption my lord reads as follows: '"We bombed two pylons" group claims.' And then I just wish to refer your lordship just to two passages.
'The bombing of two power pylons at Rembrandt Park in Johannesburg on Wednesday night was claimed as the work of the National Committee for Liberation, in a typewritten document on a sheet of common writing paper, put into the Rand Daily Mail Christmas band jackpot box during Wednesday night or early yesterday.' And then the penultimate passage in the article reads as follows: 'The statement said that the NCL was not aligned with MK.' I presume my lord that is the spear of the nation, which is a translation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. 'The group which claimed responsibility for the bomb outrages during the weekend, although both supported the liberatory movement, the NCL was non-racial, it was [inaudible].' That is the first cutting I wish to refer to my lord. Then the second one is also a copy of the Rand Daily Mail of the 15th of April 1963, and the article I wish to refer to is on page two. It's a very short article my lord, I will read it. The caption is, 'Forty-three held in petrol bomb incident'. 'Forty-three Africans are now being held by Johannesburg police in connection with the petrol bomb attack last week on a store in Pritchard Street, Johannesburg.
Most of the Africans were arrested in Johannesburg's south-western townships. They were alleged to have threatened a watchman after telling him they wanted to steal garments from the shop. Police said that five more Africans had been arrested in the vicinity of King William's Town after last week's attack on the town's police station. This brings the total number of arrests to forty-one. Africans arrested after the two incidents are alleged members of the Poqo organisation. Although it is believed that a number of other Poqo members were arrested on the [inaudible] and in other areas, no figures were available last night. Police..... [jump in recording] ....and a final figure of the total number of Poqo suspects arrested so far cannot yet be given.' Then the third one my lord is again a copy of the Rand Daily Mail of the 9th of November 1963. And the particular article appears my lord on page ten. Your lordship will probably remember this matter; it was referred to during the argument on the second application to quash the indictment. Reference was made both by the State and the defence to the judgement of Mr Justice von Heerden of the Cape Provincial Division. The accuseds in this case my lord were arrested on the 12th of July 1963, according to the report, and presumably for acts which were alleged to have been committed during the period prior to 12th of July 1963, and I assume that that will cover the period of the indictment.
It relates to what is known as the Yu Chin Chan Guerrilla Warfare Club, and according to this report - I will not read it my lord, but just to mention that they were preparing a revolution and guerrilla warfare. I wish to refer to a photostatic copy of the Rand Daily Mail of the 29th of November 1962. We couldn't get the actual copy of the Mail itself. And the article of which I want to refer to appears on the first page. I just want to refer again just to two passages. The caption reads, 'Police put on strict guard after Rand blast.' 'Security police yesterday threw a tight cordon around an FCOM power pylon which was dynamited in the early hours of the morning, disrupting train services in Germiston and Pretoria. A senior police spokesman said, quote, 'There is no doubt it was sabotage.' Unquote. Then the last paragraph reads as follows: 'A woman telephoned the Rand Daily Mail last night and said,' quote, '"The explosion at Footfontein last night was the work of the National Committee of Liberation."' Unquote. 'Then she put down the telephone.'
In other words my lord, there were a number of bodies which, during the period of indictment, planned and carried out acts of sabotage. [pause] [.....]: Now my lord, the manifesto of Umkhonto was issued on the day that operations commenced. The response to our actions and manifesto among the white population was characteristically violent. The Government threatened to take strong action, and called upon its supporters to stand firm and to ignore the demands of the Africans. The whites failed to respond by suggesting change. They responded to our call by retreating behind the laager. In contrast, the response of the Africans was one of encouragement. Suddenly there was hope again. Things were happening. People in the townships became eager for political news. A great deal of enthusiasm was generated by the initial successes, and people began to speculate on how soon freedom would be obtained. But we in Umkhonto weighed up the white's response with anxiety. The lines were being drawn. The whites and blacks were moving into separate camps, and the prospects of avoiding a civil war were diminishing. The white newspapers carried reports that sabotage would be punished by death. If this was so, how could we continue to keep Africans away from terrorism? [pause] [.....]
I now wish my lord to turn to the question of guerrilla warfare, and how it came to be considered. By 1961 scores of Africans had died as a result of racial friction. In 1920 when the famous leader, Masabala, was held in Port Elizabeth jail, twenty-four of a group of Africans who had gathered to demand his release were killed by the police and white civilians. More than one hundred Africans died in the Bulhoek affair. In 1924 over 200 Africans were killed when the Administrator of South-West Africa led a force against a group which had rebelled against the imposition of dog tax. On the 1st of May 1950 eighteen Africans died as a result of police shootings during the strikes. On the 21st of March 1960 sixty-nine unarmed Africans died at Sharpeville. How many more Sharpevilles would there be in the history of our country? And how many more Sharpevilles could the country stand without violence and terror becoming the order of the day? And what would happen to our people when that stage was reached? In the long run we felt certain we must succeed, but at what cost to ourselves and the rest of the country? And if this happened, how could black and white ever live together again in peace and harmony?
These were the problems that faced us, and these were our decisions. Experience convinced us that rebellion would offer the Government limitless opportunities for the indiscriminate slaughter of our people. But it was precisely because the soil of South Africa is already drenched with the blood of innocent Africans that we felt it our duty to make preparations as a long-term undertaking to use force in order to defend ourselves against force. If war became inevitable, we wanted to be ready when the time came, and for the fight to be conducted on terms most favourable to our people. The fight which held out the best prospects for us, and the least risk of life to both sides, was guerrilla warfare. We decided therefore, in our preparations for the future, to make provision for the possibility of guerrilla warfare. [pause] [.....] All whites undergo compulsory military training, but no such training is given to Africans. It was in our view essential to build up a nucleus of trained men who would be able to provide the leadership which would be required if guerrilla warfare started.
We had to prepare for such a situation before it became too late to make proper preparations. It was also necessary to build up a nucleus of men trained in civil administration and other professions, so that Africans would be equipped to participate in the government of this country as soon as they were allowed to do so. At this stage my lord, the ANC decided that I should attend the conference of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for Central, East and Southern Africa, which was to be held in 1962 in Addis Ababa. And it was also decided that after the conference I would undertake a tour of the African states with a view to soliciting support for our cause and obtain scholarships for the higher education of matriculated Africans. At the same time the MK decided I should investigate whether facilities were available for the training of soldiers, which was the first stage in the preparation for guerrilla warfare. Training in both fields would be necessary even if changes in South Africa came about by peaceful means. As I have just explained, administrators would be necessary, who would be willing and able to administer a non-racial state and so would men be necessary to control the army and police force of such a state. [.....] It was on this note that I left South Africa to proceed to Addis Ababa as a delegate of the ANC.
My tour was successful beyond all our hopes. Wherever I went I met sympathy for our cause, and promises of help. All Africa was united against the stand of white South Africa. And even in London I was received with great sympathy by political leaders such as the late Mr Hugh Gaitskell and Mr Grimmond. In Africa I was promised support by such men as Julius Nyerere, now President of Tanganyika; Mr Kawawa, then Prime Minister of Tanganyika; Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia; General Abboud, President of the Sudan; Habib Bourguiba, President of Tunisia; Ben Bella, now President of Algeria; Modibo Kéita, President of Mali; Léopold Senghor, President of Senegal; Sekou Toure, President of Guinea; President Tubman of Liberia; Milton Obote, Prime Minister of Uganda; and Kenneth Kaunda, now Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia. It was Ben Bella who invited me to visit Oujda, the headquarters of the Algerian Army of National Liberation, the visit which is described in my diary, one of the exhibits. [pause] [.....] I had already started to make a study of the art of war and revolution, and whilst abroad underwent a course in military training.
If there was to be guerrilla warfare I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people, and to share the hazards of war with them. Notes of lectures which I received in Ethiopia and Algeria are contained in exhibits produced in evidence. Summaries of books on guerrilla warfare and military strategies have also been produced. I have already admitted that these documents are in my writing, and I acknowledge that I made these studies to equip myself for the role which I might have to play if the struggle drifted into guerrilla warfare. I approached this question as every African nationalist should do. I was completely objective. The court will see that I attempted to examine all types of authority on the subject from the East and from the West, going back to the classic works of Clausewitz, and cover such a variety as Mao Tse-tung, Che Guevara on the one hand, and the writings on the Anglo-Boer war on the other. Of course these notes, my lord, are merely summaries of the books I read, and do not contain my personal views. [.....] I also made arrangements for our recruits to undergo military training, but here my lord, it was impossible to organise any scheme without the co-operation of the ANC offices in Africa.
I consequently obtained the permission of the ANC in South Africa to do this. To this extent then, there was a departure from the original decision of the ANC that it would not take part in violent methods of struggle, that it applied outside South Africa only. The first batch of recruits actually arrived in Tanganyika when I was passing through that country on my way back to South Africa. I returned to South Africa and reported to my colleagues on the results of my trip. On my return I found that there had been little alteration in the political field, save that the threat of a death penalty for sabotage had now become a fact. The attitude of my colleagues in Umkhonto was much the same as it had been before I left. They were feeling their way cautiously and felt that it would be a long time before the possibilities of sabotage were exhausted. The ANC had also not changed its attitude; in fact my lord, the view was expressed by some that the training of recruits was premature. This is recorded by me in the document which is Exhibit R14, which are very rough notes of comments made by others on my report that meeting.
After full discussion however, it was decided to go ahead with the plans for military training because of the fact that it would take many years to build up a sufficient nucleus of trained soldiers to start a guerrilla campaign, and whatever happened, the training would be of value. [pause] [.....] I want to deal now with some of the evidence of the witness X. Immediately before my arrest in August 1962, I met members of the Regional Command in Durban. This meeting has been referred to in X's evidence. Much of his account is substantially correct, but much of it is slanted, and is distorted, and in some important respects untruthful. I want to deal with the evidence as briefly as possible. A. I did say that I had left the country early in the year to attend the PAFMECSA conference, that the conference was opened by the Emperor Haile Selassie, who attacked the racial policies of the South African Government, and who pledged support to the African people in this country. I also informed them of the unanimous resolution condemning the ill-treatment of the African people here, and promising support. I did tell them that the Emperor sent his warmest felicitations to my leader, Chief Luthuli. B. But I never told them of any comparison made between Canadian and South African recruits, and could not have done so for very simple reasons.