South African Police
The South African Police was the national police force and law enforcement agency in South Africa from 1913 to 1994. After South Africa's transition to majority rule in 1994, the SAP was reorganised into the South African Police Service; the South African Police was the successor to the police forces of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Orange River Colony, the Transvaal Colony in law enforcement in South Africa. Proclamation 18 formed the South African Police on 1 April 1913 with the amalgamation of the police forces of the four old colonies after the founding of the Union of South Africa in 1910; the first Commissioner of Police was Colonel Theo G Truter with 5,882 men under his command. The SAP policed cities and urban areas, while the South African Mounted Riflemen, a branch of the Union Defence Force, enforced the state's writ in rural areas. During World War I, the SAP took over the Riflemen's jurisdiction, most Riflemen personnel were transferred to the SAP by the end of the 1910s.
By 1926, the South African Mounted Riflemen were disbanded and their duties taken over by the South African Police. In 1939, the SAP took over the South West African Police and became responsible for policing South West Africa, under South African administration at that time. Police officials called on the army for support in emergencies. In turn, one SAP brigade served with the 2nd Infantry Division of the South African Army in North Africa during World War II. After the war, the South African Police joined INTERPOL on 1 January 1948; when the conservative National Party edged out liberal opponents in South Africa's elections in 1948, the new government enacted legislation strengthening the relationship between the police and the military. The police were armed after that when facing unruly or hostile crowds; the Police Act of 1958 broadened the mission of the SAP beyond conventional police functions, such as maintaining law and order and investigating and preventing crime, gave the police extraordinary powers to quell unrest and to conduct counterinsurgency activities.
The Police Amendment Act of 1965 empowered the police to search without warrant any person, vehicle, aircraft, or premise within one mile of any national border and to seize anything found during such a search. This search-and-seize zone was extended to within eight miles of any border in 1979 and to the entire country in 1983. Among the SAP's spies during the apartheid era were the infamous Craig Williamson and his best-known female recruit Olivia Forsyth; the SAP relinquished its responsibility for South West Africa in 1981. It took over the South African Railways Police Force in 1986; the following people have served as the Commissioner of the South African Police: 1913 - 1928 Colonel Sir T. G. Truter 1928 - 1940 Major General I. P. de Villiers 1940 - 1945 Brigadier G. R. C Baston 1945 - 1951 Major General R. J Palmer 1951 - 1954 Major General J. A. Brink 1954 - 1960 Major General C. I. Rademeyer 1960 - 1962 Lt General H. J. du Plooy 1962 - 1968 Lt General J. M. Keevy 1968 - 1971 General J. P. Gous 1971 - 1973 General G.
J. Joubert 1973 - 1975 General T. J. Crous 1975 - 1978 General G. L. Prinsloo 1978 - 1983 General M. C. W. Geldenhuys 1983 - 1987 General P. J. Coetzee 1987 - 1989 General H. G. de Witt 1990 - 1996 General J. V. van der Merwe There were a number of special units within the police. They were formed either to deal with a particular area of crime; the Koevoet, translating into English as'crowbar', but known as the Police Counter-Insurgency Unit or'Operation K' were a major paramilitary police unit in South African-administered South West Africa, now the Republic of Namibia. Active within the Namibian War of Independence from 1979 to 1989, they were held responsible for committing multiple human rights violations, alongside the South West African Police, they were disbanded following Namibian independence in 1989, were replaced by the Special Field Force in modern-day Namibia. Formed following a need to defend the border between South Africa and Rhodesia during the Rhodesian Bush War, the Special Task Force were unofficially founded in 1967, began to be trained to use advanced tactics, such as survival and bush skills, to carry out COIN operations, drastically reduce police casualties - this unit was known as the'Bliksems'.
By 1975, support of creating the Special Task Force reached the Bureau of State Security, following both the Fox Street Siege, in which the police were unable to deal with a hostage crisis at the Israeli embassy in Johannesburg, the outbreak of the conflict in South West Africa, stretching the demand of COIN operatives. Authorization of creating the Specialist Task Force was given, following multiple recommendations, the issues described beforehand; this unit is still in action in modern-day South Africa. Formed in 1992 in the run-up to the 1994 South African election following the end of Apartheid,'Division: Internal Stability' were tasked with the important role of combating violence in the turbulent years leading up to and after the elections; the unit consisted of 41 divisions, proved detrimental to preventing thousands of killings during major political violence. During South Africa's rule under apartheid, the SAP operated to quell civil unrest amongst the country's disenfranchised non-white majority.
During emergencies they were assisted by the military. Beyond the conventional police functions of upholding order and solving crime, the SAP employed counter-insurgency and intimidation tactics against anti-apartheid activists and critics of the white minority government. From 1961 to 1990, a total of 67
F. W. de Klerk
Frederik Willem de Klerk is a South African politician who served as State President of South Africa from 1989 to 1994 and as Deputy President from 1994 to 1996. As South Africa's last head of state from the era of white-minority rule, he and his government dismantled the apartheid system and introduced universal suffrage. Ideologically a conservative and an economic liberal, he led the National Party from 1989 to 1997. Born in Johannesburg, British Dominion of South Africa, to an influential Afrikaner family, de Klerk studied at Potchefstroom University before pursuing a legal career. Joining the National Party, to which he had family ties, he was elected to parliament and sat in the white-minority government of P. W. Botha, holding a succession of ministerial posts; as a minister, he supported and enforced apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged white South Africans. After Botha succumbed to ill health, in 1989 de Klerk replaced him, first as leader of the National Party and as State President.
Although observers expected him to continue Botha's defence of apartheid, de Klerk decided to end the policy. He was aware that growing ethnic animosity and violence was leading South Africa into a racial civil war. Amid this violence, the state security forces committed widespread human rights abuses and encouraged violence between Xhosa and Zulu, although de Klerk denied sanctioning such actions, he permitted anti-apartheid marches to take place, legalised a range of banned anti-apartheid political parties, freed imprisoned anti-apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela. He dismantled South Africa's nuclear weapons program. De Klerk negotiated with Mandela to dismantle apartheid and establish a transition to universal suffrage. In 1993, he publicly apologised for apartheid's harmful effects for apartheid itself, he oversaw the 1994 multi-racial election in which Mandela led the African National Congress to victory. After the election, de Klerk became a Deputy President in Mandela's ANC-led coalition, the Government of National Unity.
In this position, he supported the government's liberal economic policies. De Klerk had desired a total amnesty for political crimes committed under apartheid and opposed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to investigate past human rights abuses by both pro and anti-apartheid groups, his working relationship with Mandela was strained, although he spoke fondly of him. In May 1996, after the National Party objected to the new constitution, de Klerk withdrew it from the coalition government. In 1997, he retired from active politics and since has lectured internationally. De Klerk is a controversial figure; the recipient of a wide range of awards—including the Nobel Peace Prize—he was praised for dismantling apartheid and bringing universal suffrage to South Africa. Conversely, anti-apartheid activists criticised him for offering only a qualified apology for apartheid and for ignoring the human rights abuses carried out by his state security forces, while South Africa's white right-wing claimed that by abandoning apartheid he had betrayed the interests of the country's white minority.
F. W. de Klerk was born on 18 March 1936 in a suburb of Johannesburg. His parents were Johannes "Jan" de Klerk and Hendrina Cornelia Coetzer – "her forefather was a Kutzer who stems from Austria", he was his parents' second son, having a brother, eight years his senior. De Klerk's first language is Afrikaans and the earliest of his distant ancestor to arrive in what is now South Africa did so in the late 1680s. De Klerk's family had played a leading role in Afrikaner society, his paternal great-grandfather, Jan van Rooy, had been a senator, while his paternal grandfather, had been a clergyman who fought in the Anglo-Boer War and who stood twice, unsuccessfully, as a National Party candidate. His paternal aunt's husband was a former Prime Minister, his own father, Jan de Klerk, was a Senator, having served as the secretary of the National Party in Transvaal, president of the senate for seven years, a member of the country's cabinet for fifteen years under three Prime Ministers. In this environment, de Klerk was exposed to politics from childhood.
He and family members would be encouraged to hold family debates. Willem became a political analyst and split from the National Party to found the liberal Democratic Party; the name "de Klerk" is derived from Le Clerc, Le Clercq and De Clercq, is of French Huguenot origin. De Klerk noted that he is of Dutch descent, with an Indian ancestor from the late 1600s or early 1700s, he is said to be descended from the Khoi interpreter known as Krotoa or Eva. De Klerk's upbringing was comfortable; when de Klerk was twelve years old, the apartheid system was institutionalised by the South African government. He therefore was, according to his brother, "one of a generation that grew up with the concept of apartheid", he was inculturated in the norms and values of Afrikaner society, including festivals like Kruger Day, loyalty to the Afrikaner nation, stories of the "age of injustice" that the Afrikaner faced under the British. He was brought up in the Gereformeerde Kerk, the smallest and most conservative of Sout
Pan Africanist Congress of Azania
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania is a South African Black Nationalist movement, now a political party. It was founded by an Africanist group, led by Robert Sobukwe, that broke away from the African National Congress; the PAC was formally launched on 6 April 1959 at Orlando Communal Hall in Soweto. A number of African National Congress members broke away because they objected to the substitution of the 1949 Programme of Action with the Freedom Charter adopted in 1955. Further they objected to the inclusion of other national groups such as the Communist Party of South Africa. Robert Sobukwe was elected as the first president, Potlako Leballo as the Secretary General. On 21 March 1960, the PAC organised a campaign against pass laws. People gathered in the townships of Sharpeville and Langa where Sobukwe and other top leaders were arrested and convicted for incitement. Sobukwe was sentenced to Potlako Leballo to two years in prison. Sobukwe died in 1978 of lung cancer. After the Sharpeville massacre the National Party Government banned both the ANC and PAC on 8 April 1960.
The PAC responded by founding the Azanian People's Liberation Army. The PAC followed the idea that the South African Government should be constituted by the African people owing their allegiance only to Africa, as stated by Sobukwe in the inaugural speech of the PAC: "We aim, politically, at government of the Africans by the Africans, for the Africans, with everybody who owes his only loyalty to Africa and, prepared to accept the democratic rule of an African majority being regarded as an African." It is Pan Africanism with three principles of African nationalism and continental unity. Its body of ideas drew from the teachings of Anton Lembede, George Padmore, Marcus Garvey, Martin Delany, Kwame Nkrumah, W. E. B. Du Bois; the PAC has been beset by infighting and has had numerous changes of leadership since its transition to a political party. In 1996, Clarence Makwetu, who led the party in the 1994 elections, was removed on the basis of "bringing the party into disrepute'. In August 2013, the PAC elected Alton Mphethi as president, after previous leader Letlapa Mphahlele was expelled in May amidst allegations of attempting to cause division in the party, financial impropriety and poor quality leadership.
A faction of the PAC continued to regard Mphahlele as leader. The matter was resolved in the courts, with Mpheti being confirmed as party leader for the 2014 election. Mpheti has since been charged with murder for the death of Mthunzi Mavundla. Luthando Mbinda was elected president at the 2014 congress in Botshabelo, while Letlapa Mphahlele was elected in July 2015 in Manguang. Mbinda claimed that Mphahlele's election was not valid, as he was not a valid member, while Mphahlele is challenging his expulsion in court; the Independent Electoral Commission suspended the party's statutory fund’s allocations until there was clarity about who leads the party, in October 2015 the high court confirmed that Mbinda was the recognised leader. Conflict arose between Mbinda and Chief Executive Officer Narius Moloto. Mbinda was subsequently charged by the PAC and expelled for bringing the organisation into disrepute; the current president, Narius Moloto was elected party leader in December 2017.. Azanian National Youth Unity Azanian People's Liberation Army Freedom Charter History of South Africa Official Website of the Pan Africanist Congress Pan Africanist Congress Publications Collection 1958-1995 Archival Information can be found at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York: Congress of South Africa
Coloured vote constitutional crisis
The Coloured vote constitutional crisis known as the Coloured vote case, was a constitutional crisis that occurred in the Union of South Africa during the 1950s as the result of an attempt by the Nationalist government to remove Coloured voters in the Union's Cape Province from the common voters' rolls. It developed into a dispute between Parliament and the judiciary, on the one hand, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, on the other hand, over the power of Parliament to amend an entrenched clause in the South Africa Act and the power of the Appellate Division to overturn the amendment as unconstitutional; the crisis ended when the government enlarged the Senate and altered its method of election, allowing the amendment to be enacted. Before the creation of the Union of South Africa, elections in the Cape Colony were conducted on the basis of the qualified franchise; this meant that the right to vote was limited to men meeting property and literacy qualifications, but not restricted on the basis of race.
This differed from the other South African colonies: in Natal the franchise was limited to white men in practise though not in law, while in the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony the franchise was limited by law to white men. The South Africa Act, an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, unified these four colonies to form the Union but preserved their franchise arrangements unchanged. Section 35 of the South Africa Act provided that no law could disenfranchise voters in the Cape Province on the basis of race, unless that law was passed by an absolute supermajority of two-thirds of the members of both Houses of Parliament sitting together in a joint session. Section 35 was entrenched by section 152, which provided that neither section 35 nor section 152 itself could be amended without a similar supermajority in joint session. In 1931, the Statute of Westminster ended the power of the British Parliament to legislate for dominions such as South Africa and gave those dominions the power to repeal or amend British laws in force within their territories.
In 1936, the South African Parliament enacted the Representation of Natives Act, removing "native" voters from the common voters' rolls and allowing them to elect, three members of the House of Assembly instead. Although this Act was passed by the required joint-session supermajority, its validity was challenged by an affected voter in the case of Ndlwana v Hofmeyr; the challenge was rejected for a number of reasons, of which the most significant was the Appellate Division's ruling that because Parliament was a sovereign legislative body, courts could not invalidate one of its Acts on the basis of the procedure used to pass it. In 1948, the National Party, campaigning on a platform of apartheid, won that year's general election; the following year, Prime Minister D. F. Malan addressed the question of Coloured voting rights in a speech to Parliament, claiming that Coloured voters were corrupt and immature and that they posed a threat to white control in South Africa; the government sought to echo the 1936 Representation of Natives Act by introducing, in 1951, the Separate Representation of Voters Bill, whereby Coloured voters would lose the right to vote for ordinary constituency members of the House of Assembly and instead elect four members at separate elections.
Besides the Nationalists' ideological belief in white supremacy, the bill was motivated by the electoral power of Coloured voters to swing a number of Cape constituencies from the National Party to the United Party. The bill attracted much opposition both outside Parliament; the United Party leader J. G. N. Strauss was against it both because he saw it as a breach of commitments given by earlier National Party leaders and because he believed it would lead Coloured people to form political alliances with black and Indian groups opposed to the white control of South Africa. A group of Coloured activists formed the National Convention Co-ordinating Committee to oppose the bill within constitutional limits; the Franchise Action Council, a multi-racial organisation, led a campaign of rallies and civil disobedience. The Torch Commando was founded by white Second World War veterans in response to the bill but expanded into a more general movement against the government's policies; the National Party did not have enough seats in Parliament to pass the bill with the two-thirds majority in joint sitting that would be required if the entrenchment of sections 36 and 152 was still valid.
Based on the ruling in Ndlwana's case and the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, Malan's government decided to enact it by following the normal parliamentary procedure of a simple majority in each house separately. The Governor-General gave his assent on 15 June 1951 and the act was promulgated on 18 June. G. Harris, E. Franklin, W. D. Collins and E. A. Deane, four voters affected by the Separate Representation of Voters Act, challenged its validity in the Supreme Court in a case that became known as Harris v Dönges or Harris v Minister of the Interior, as T. E. Dönges was at the time Minister of the Interior; the case was dismissed by the Cape Provincial Division, which followed the precedent of Ndlwana v Hofmeyr to rule that the court had no authority to question the validity of an act of Parliament promulgated and published by the proper authority. This decision was taken on appeal to the Appellate Division; the government's first contention was that the act did not disqualify voters on the basis of race, as all voters qualified were still able to vote, albeit in segregated constituencies.
The court dismissed this argument as untenable. The government argued that the entrenched clauses in the South Africa Act had been
The Black Sash was a non-violent liberal white women's resistance organisation, founded on 19 May 1955 in South Africa by Jean Sinclair, Ruth Foley, Elizabeth McLaren, Tertia Pybus, Jean Bosazza, Helen Newton-Thompson. The Black Sash was founded on 19 May 1955 by six middle-class women, Jean Sinclair, Ruth Foley, Elizabeth McLaren, Tertia Pybus, Jean Bosazza and Helen Newton-Thompson; the organisation was founded as the Women’s Defence of the Constitution League but was shortened by the press as the Black Sash due to the women's habit of wearing black sashes at their protest meetings. These black sashes symbolised the mourning for the South Africa Constitution; the founding members gathered for tea in Johannesburg before they decided to organise a movement against the Senate Act. They succeeded to hold a vigil of 2 000 women who marched from Joubert Park to the Johannesburg City Hall; the Black Sash campaigned against the removal of Coloured or mixed race voters from the voters' roll in the Cape Province by the National Party government.
As the apartheid system began to reach into every aspect of South African life, Black Sash members demonstrated against the Pass Laws and the introduction of other apartheid legislation. It would open Advice Offices to provide information concerning their legal rights to non-white South African's affected by that legislation, its members "used the relative safety of their privileged racial classification to speak out against the erosion of human rights in the country. Their striking black sashes were worn as a mark of mourning and to protest against the succession of unjust laws, but they were not only on the streets. Volunteers spent many hours in the national network of advice offices and in the monitoring of courts and pass offices." Between 1955 and 1994, the Black Sash provided widespread and visible proof of white resistance towards the apartheid system. Its members worked as volunteer advocates to families affected by apartheid laws. Many members were vilified within their local white communities, it was not unusual for women wearing the black sash to be physically attacked by supporters of apartheid.
In the 1980s it was part of the National Land Committee assisting the non-white communities that were subject to forced land removals. It would be involved on the Rural Women's Movement, supporting rural non-white women rights in regards to inheritance and land ownership. In 1983, the organisation called for the abolition of military conscription. Ruth Foley 1955 - 1957 Molley Petersen 1958 - 1959 Eulalie Doreen Stott 1960 - 1961 Jean Sinclair 1961 – 1975 Sheena Duncan 1976 – 1978 Joyce Harris 1979 - 1982 Sheena Duncan 1983 – 1986 Maria Macdiarmid "Mary" Burton 1987 – 1990 Jennifer de Tolly 1991 – 1994 The Black Sash's resistance movement came to an end in the early 1990s with the end of apartheid, the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela from imprisonment, its role was recognised by subsequent political leaders. The organisation was reformed in 1995 as a non-racial humanitarian organisation, working to'make human rights real for all living in South Africa'. In May 2015, the organisation celebrated its 60th anniversary as it shifted its focus towards education, training and community monitoring.
The celebration of the Black Sash history was marked by the launching of two books, namely Standing on Street Corners: a History of the Natal Midlands Region of the Black Sash and a biography by Annemarie Hendrikz. Sandra Botha Sheena Duncan Ruth Hayman Mary Renault Helen Zille Official website Bernstein, H. 1975. For their triumphs and for their tears - Women in Apartheid South Africa, International Defence & Aid Fund, United Kingdom. A small collection of Black Sash papers can be found at the Borthwick Institute, University of York UCT Libraries Digital Collections - Black Sash Collection
Activism consists of efforts to promote, direct, or intervene in social, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from mandate building in the community, petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage of businesses, demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, sit-ins, or hunger strikes. Activism may be performed on a day-to-day basis in a wide variety of ways, including through the creation of art, computer hacking, or in how one chooses to spend their money. For example, the refusal to buy clothes or other merchandise from a company as a protest against the exploitation of workers by that company could be considered an expression of activism. However, the most visible and impactful activism comes in the form of collective action, in which numerous individuals coordinate an act of protest together in order to make a bigger impact. Collective action, purposeful and sustained over a period of time becomes known as a social movement.
Activists have used literature, including pamphlets and books to disseminate their messages and attempt to persuade their readers of the justice of their cause. Research has now begun to explore how contemporary activist groups use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action combining politics with technology; the Online Etymology Dictionary records the English words "activism" and "activist" as in use in the political sense from the year 1920 or 1915 respectively. The history of the word activism traces back to earlier understandings of collective behavior and social action; as late as 1969 activism was defined as "the policy or practice of doing things with decision and energy", without regard to a political signification, whereas social action was defined as "organized action taken by a group to improve social conditions", without regard to normative status. Following the surge of so-called "new social movements" in the United States in the 1960's, a new understanding of activism emerged as a rational and acceptable democratic option of protest or appeal.
However, the history of the existence of revolt through organized or unified protest in recorded history dates back to the slave revolts of the 1st century BC in the Roman Empire, where under the leadership of former gladiator Spartacus 6,000 slaves rebelled and were crucified from Capua to Rome in what became known as the Third Servile War. In English history, the Peasant's Revolt erupted in response to the imposition of a poll tax, has been paralleled by other rebellions and revolutions in Hungary and more for example, Hong Kong. In 1930 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi thousands of protesting Indians participated in the Salt March as a protest against the oppressive taxes of their government, resulting in the imprisonment of 60,000 people and eventual independence for their nation. In nations throughout Asia and South America, the prominence of activism organized by social movements and under the leadership of civil activists or social revolutionaries has pushed for increasing national self-reliance or, in some parts of the developing world, collectivist communist or socialist organization and affiliation.
Activism has had major impacts on Western societies as well over the past century through social movements such as the Labour movement, the Women's Rights movement, the civil rights movement. Activists can function in a number of roles, including judicial, environmental and design. Most activism has focused on creating substantive changes in the policy or practice of a government or industry; some activists try to persuade people to change their behavior directly, rather than to persuade governments to change laws. For example, the cooperative movement seeks to build new institutions which conform to cooperative principles, does not lobby or protest politically. Other activists try to persuade people or government policy to remain the same, in an effort to counter change. Activism is not always an activity performed by those; the term activist may apply broadly to anyone who engages in activism, or be more narrowly limited to those who choose political or social activism as a vocation or characteristic practice.
Judicial activism involves the efforts of public officials. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. - American historian, public intellectual, social critic - introduced the term "judicial activism" in a January 1946 Fortune magazine article titled "The Supreme Court: 1947". Activists can be public watchdogs and whistle blowers, attempting to understand all the actions of every form of government that acts in the name of the people and hold it accountable to oversight and transparency. Activism involves an engaged citizenry. Environmental activism takes quite a few forms: the protection of nature or the natural environment driven by a utilitarian conservation ethic or a nature oriented preservationist ethic the protection of the human environment (by pollution prevention or the protection of cultural heritage or quality of life the conservation of depletable natural resources the protection of the function of critical earth system elements or processes such as the climate; the power of Internet activism came into a global lens with the Arab Spring protests starting in late 2010.
People living in the Middle East and North African countries that were experiencing revolutions used social networking to communicate information about protests, including videos recorded on smart phones
Congress of South African Trade Unions
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is a trade union federation in South Africa. It was founded in 1985 and is the largest of the country's three main trade union federations, with 21 affiliated trade unions. On 30 Nov 1985, 33 unions met at the University of Natal for talks on forming a federation of trade unions; this followed four years of unity talks between competing unions and federations that were opposed to apartheid and were "committed to a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa." COSATU was established on 1 December 1985. Among the founding unions was the Federation of South African Trade Unions. Elijah Barayi was Jay Naidoo the first general secretary. Several resolutions were passed at this first meeting that defined the aim of the federation and how the federation operates, namely: To establish one union for each industry within six months. To focus on the exploitation of women workers. To call for the lifting of the state of emergency, withdrawal of troops from the townships and release of all political prisoners.
To continue the call for international pressure, including disinvestment. To demand for the right to strike and picket. To determine a national minimum wage. To extend the struggle for trade union rights in the homelands; the COSATU congress decided in 2012 to affiliate with the class-struggle oriented World Federation of Trade Unions, while maintaining its membership within the International Trade Union Confederation. During the 2016 congress, held in Durban, Michael Mzwandile Makwayiba, president of COSATU affiliate NEHAWU Michael Mzwandile Makwayiba was elected President of the World Federation of Trade Unions. On 5–6 May 1987 a strike as part of COSATU's Living Wage Campaign was held coinciding with 1987 General Election. More than 2.5 million workers took part in the stay-away. On 7 May 1987, in the early hours of the morning two bombs exploded near the support columns in the basement of the federation headquarters, COSATU House; the resulting damage caused the building to be declared unsafe.
At the second national congress held from 14–18 July 1987, the Freedom Charter was adopted by the federation after the resolution was proposed by the National Union of MineworkersAt the third congress held from 12–16 July 1989, a resolution was adopted that called on the members of COSATU to "join a campaign of sustained action against apartheid" in the week leading up to the 1989 General Election of South Africa. On 26 July 1989, COSATU, the United Democratic Front and the Mass Democratic Movement, instigated the National Defiance Campaign, in which facilities reserved for whites were invaded, organisation, banned by the state declared themselves ‘unbanned’; the following unions are listed by COSATU as their affiliate unions: Chemical, Paper, Printing and Allied Workers' Union Creative Workers Union of South Africa National Education and Allied Workers' Union National Union of Mineworkers Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union South African Commercial and Allied Workers Union Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union South African Democratic Nurses' Union South African Democratic Teachers Union South African Medical Association South African Municipal Workers' Union SASBO – The Finance Union South African Security Forces Union South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (South African Emergency Medical Services Union The following affiliated unions have suspended their participation in COSATU due to the expulsion of the National union of Metalworkers of South Africa.
Food and Allied Workers Union South African State and Allied Workers' Union South African Football Players Union The following union has been expelled by COSATU. National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa On 8 November 2014, Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the largest COSATU affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, announced that the union had been expelled from the COSATU after a vote at a special central executive committee had been convened resulting in a 33-24 vote in favour of the expulsion. NUMSA was charged with violating the constitution of COSATUOn 6 November 2014, an urgent legal application by NUMSA to prevent the special central executive committee from being convened was postponed by South Gauteng High Court, thus allowing the meeting to take place. On 10 November 2014, 7 unions announced they were voluntarily suspending their participation in COSATU's decision making bodies due to the expulsion of NUMSA and called for a special national congress to be convened.
Irvin Jim described the expulsion as "a dark day for workers". COSATU is part of an alliance with the ANC and the South African Communist Party, called the Tripartite Alliance. COSATU's role in the alliance has been the subject of debate, since the organisation has been critical of some of the ANC government's policies. While some affiliates have argued for greater independence from the ruling political party, others have argued that the arrangement gives COSATU a political influence beneficial to its members. COSATU's former secretary general, Zwelinzima Vavi, has described Jacob Zuma's government as a "predator society." South Africa has one of the largest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the world, with a 2005 estimate of 5.5 million people living with HIV — 12.4% of the population. The trade union movement has taken a role in combating this pandemic. COSATU is a key partner in the Treatment Action Campaign, a registered charity and political force working to