Die Konferensie van Kabwe en die ANC/SAKP se gewapende stryd

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ANC/SAKP se bewerings dat sy gewapende stryd ’n hoë morele inhoud had, word in dié artikel onder die loep geneem. Die gevolgtrekking is dat dit tot 1983 inderdaad ten doel gehad het om burgerlike ongevalle te vermy. Die eskalasie van die stryd het egter in 1983 gelei tot die Kerkstraatbom, toe 19 mense – met inbegrip van 12 burgerlikes – gedood is. Te Kabwe het die ANC in 1985 verder ooreengekom dat die moontlikheid van burgerlike ongevalle nie meer in die pad van die gewapende stryd kon staan nie. Dit is met die voetsoolvlak gekommunikeer op ’n manier dat die operateurs kon verstaan dat alle vroeëre morele grense oorskry mog word, en die gevolg was ’n ordinêre terreurveldtog wat moreel met dié van Al-Kaïda gelykstaan. Teen 1987 het die leiers vir die slegte publisiteit geskrik en MK probeer inhou, maar die gewapende vleuel was buite beheer. Bowendien het die gewapende stryd, volgens ANC-leiers se eie erkenning, misluk.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The ANC/SACP alliance has always defended their armed struggle by referring to the long nonviolent struggle against apartheid before 1961 and the fact that the then Government’s intransigence forced their recourse to violence. The alliance further contends that their armed struggle never included indiscriminate terrorism and attacks against civilians, but that the Government’s own brutal violence caused a situation where the liberation movement had to accept that civilians would be caught in the cross-fire. The purpose of this article is to analyse this contention and the role the Conference of Kabwe in Zambia in June 1985 played in the movement’s decision making. It is argued that the armed struggle, up to 1983, did indeed testify to a moral unwillingness to shed blood. But the South African attack on ANC targets in Matola, Maputo in 1981, caused a mindshift, and Oliver Tambo promised vengeance. The upshot was the Church Street Bomb of 1983, in which 19 people, including 12 civilians, were killed. At Kabwe the ANC National Consultative Conference decided that the avoidance of civilian casualties could no longer stand in the way of military operations. This was communicated to the operatives on the ground in a way in which they understood that no holds were barred any more, and the result was an indiscriminate wave of terrorism against restaurants, disco’s, sports venues, shopping malls, and the like. The ANC leadership became worried about the adverse publicity and in 1987 tried to reign in MK, but the armed wing was basically out of control. The later years’ armed campaign is weighed against the Geneva Convention, and the conclusion is that MK’s actions in the latter years were not only inefficient but morally dubious.
CITATION: Scholtz, L. & Scholtz, I. 2011. Die Konferensie van Kabwe en die ANC/SAKP se gewapende stryd. Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, 51(4):552-574.
The original publication is available at http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_issuetoc&pid=0041-475120110004&lng=en&nrm=iso
African National Congress, South African Communist Party, Kabwe Conference, Terrorism -- South Africa -- 20th century, South Africa -- Politics and government -- 1948-1994, Anti-apartheid movements
Scholtz, L. & Scholtz, I. 2011. Die Konferensie van Kabwe en die ANC/SAKP se gewapende stryd. Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, 51(4):552-574.