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
Bantu Stephen Biko was a South African anti-apartheid activist. Ideologically an African nationalist and African socialist, he was at the forefront of a grassroots anti-apartheid campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 1970s, his ideas were articulated in a series of articles published under the pseudonym Frank Talk. Raised in a poor Xhosa family, Biko grew up in Ginsberg township in the Eastern Cape. In 1966, he began studying medicine at the University of Natal, where he joined the National Union of South African Students. Opposed to the apartheid system of racial segregation and white-minority rule in South Africa, Biko was frustrated that NUSAS and other anti-apartheid groups were dominated by white liberals, rather than by the blacks who were most affected by apartheid, he believed that when well-intentioned, white liberals failed to comprehend the black experience and acted in a paternalistic manner. He developed the view that to avoid white domination, black people had to organise independently, to this end he became a leading figure in the creation of the South African Students' Organisation in 1968.
Membership was open only to "blacks", a term that Biko used in reference not just to Bantu-speaking Africans but to Coloureds and Indians. He was careful to keep his movement independent of white liberals, but opposed anti-white racism and had various white friends and lovers; the white-minority National Party government were supportive, seeing SASO's creation as a victory for apartheid's ethos of racial separatism. Influenced by Frantz Fanon and the African-American Black Power movement and his compatriots developed Black Consciousness as SASO's official ideology; the movement campaigned for an end to apartheid and the transition of South Africa toward universal suffrage and a socialist economy. It organised Black Community Programmes and focused on the psychological empowerment of black people. Biko believed that black people needed to rid themselves of any sense of racial inferiority, an idea he expressed by popularizing the slogan "black is beautiful". In 1972, he was involved in founding the Black People's Convention to promote Black Consciousness ideas among the wider population.
The government came to see Biko as a subversive threat and placed him under a banning order in 1973 restricting his activities. He remained politically active, helping organise BCPs such as a healthcare centre and a crèche in the Ginsberg area. During his ban he received repeated anonymous threats, was detained by state security services on several occasions. Following his arrest in August 1977, Biko was beaten by state security officers, resulting in his death. Over 20,000 people attended his funeral. Biko's fame spread posthumously, he became the subject of numerous songs and works of art, while a 1978 biography by his friend Donald Woods formed the basis for the 1987 film Cry Freedom. During Biko's life, the government alleged that he hated whites, various anti-apartheid activists accused him of sexism, African racial nationalists criticised his united front with Coloureds and Indians. Nonetheless, Biko became one of the earliest icons of the movement against apartheid, is regarded as a political martyr and the "Father of Black Consciousness".
His political legacy remains a matter of contention. Bantu Stephen Biko was born on 18 December 1946, at his grandmother's house in Tarkastad, Eastern Cape; the third child of Mzingaye Mathew Biko and Alice'Mamcete' Biko, he had an older sister, Bukelwa, an older brother, a younger sister, Nobandile. His parents had married in Whittlesea. Mzingaye was transferred to Queenstown, Port Elizabeth, Fort Cox, King William's Town, where he and Alice settled in Ginsberg township; this was a settlement of around 800 families, with every four families sharing a water supply and toilet. Both Bantu African and Coloured people lived in the township, where Xhosa and English were all spoken. After resigning from the police force, Mzingaye worked as a clerk in the King William's Town Native Affairs Office, while studying for a law degree by correspondence from the University of South Africa. Alice was employed first in domestic work for local white households as a cook at Grey Hospital in King William's Town.
According to his sister, it was this observation of his mother's difficult working conditions that resulted in Biko's earliest politicisation. Biko's given name "Bantu" means "people"; as a child he was nicknamed "Goofy" and "Xwaku-Xwaku", the latter a reference to his unkempt appearance. He was raised in his family's Anglican Christian faith. In 1950, when Biko was four, his father fell ill, was hospitalised in St. Matthew's Hospital and died, making the family dependent on his mother's income. Biko spent two years at St. Andrews Primary School and four at Charles Morgan Higher Primary School, both in Ginsberg. Regarded as a intelligent pupil, he was allowed to skip a year. In 1963 he transferred to the Forbes Grant Secondary School in the township. Biko topped the class in his exams. In 1964 the Ginsberg community offered him a bursary to join his brother Khaya as a student at Lovedale, a prestigious boarding school in Alice, Eastern Cape. Within three months of Steve's arrival, Khaya was accused of having connections to Poqo, the armed wing of the Pan Africanist Congress, an African nationalist group which the government had banned.
Both Khaya and Steve were interrogated by the police.
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
Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu was a South African anti-apartheid activist, the wife of fellow activist Walter Sisulu. She was affectionately known as Ma Sisulu throughout her lifetime by the South African public. In 2004 she was voted 57th in the SABC3's Great South Africans, she died on 2 June 2011 in her home in Linden, South Africa, aged 92. Born Nontsikelelo Thethiwe in the Tsomo district of the Transkei on 21 October 1918, she was the second of five children of Bonilizwe and Monikazi Thethiwe. Sisulu's mother survived the Spanish Flu, but was ill and weak because of this, it fell as the eldest girl, to take on a motherly role for her younger siblings. She had to stay out of school for long periods of time, which resulted in her being two years older than the rest of her class in her last year of primary school, she adopted the name Albertina when she started her schooling at a Presbyterian mission school in Xolobe. Her leadership qualities and maternal instincts underlined the respect she earned during the struggle when she was referred to as the ‘Mother of the Nation’.
Sisulu excelled at school in cultural and sporting activities and she showed leadership skills at an early age when she was chosen as head girl in standard five. Her classmates did not seem a major inconvenience at the time she finished primary school when Sisulu entered a competition to win a four-year high school scholarship this counted against her as she was disqualified from the prize though she had come in first place. Angered by the unfair treatment Sisulu's teachers wrote to the local Xhosa language newspaper, Imvo Zabantsundu, making a strong case for Sisulu to be given the prize; the article caught the attention of the priests at the local Roman Catholic Mission who communicated with Father Bernard Huss at Mariazell. Father Huss arranged for a four-year high school scholarship for Sisulu at Mariazell College; the Mnyila family was happy and celebrated Sisulu's achievement with the entire village, Sisulu recalls that the celebration saying "you would have thought it was a wedding".
In 1936 Sisulu left for Mariazell College in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape and although nervous she was excited to find that a local girl from Xolobe was a prefect at Mariazell. The school's routine was rigid and strict, pupils were woken up at 4am to bath and clean their dormitories, they would proceed to the chapel for morning prayers. Although Sisulu's scholarship covered her board and lodging, she had to pay it back during the school holidays by ploughing the fields and working in the laundry room. Sisulu only went home during the December holidays but she found this a small price to pay for the opportunity to attend high school. With high school ending in 1939 Sisulu had to decide, she decided that she would not marry but rather become a working professional so that she could support her family back in Xolobe. Whilst at Mariazell Sisulu had converted to Catholicism and, because she had resolved never to marry, she decided that she would become a nun, as she admired the dedication of the nuns who taught at the college.
However, Father Huss advised Sisulu against this, as nuns did not earn a salary nor did they leave the mission post, so she would not have been able to support her family in the way she wanted to. Instead he advised her to consider nursing. Attracted by the practical solution nursing offered Sisulu took his advice and applied to various nursing schools, she was accepted as a trainee nurse at a Johannesburg "Non-European" hospital called Johannesburg General. After spending Christmas with her family in Xolobe she left for Johannesburg in January 1940. After being orphaned as a teenager, she was obliged to help provide for her younger brothers and sisters. Abandoning her ambition to train as a teacher, she left the Transkei to train as a nurse at Johannesburg's Non-European Hospital in 1940, as nurses were paid during training, she graduated from Mariazell College in 1939, chose a career in nursing. Sisulu started work in Johannesburg as a midwife in 1946 walking to visit patients in townships. "You know what it means to be a midwife?
You have got to carry a big suitcase full of bottles and for your lotions that you are going to use, bowls and receivers, we used to carry those suitcases on our heads," she said. Sisulu first met Walter Sisulu in 1941 while working at Johannesburg General Hospital, they married in 1944. The Sisulus – a lawyer and a nurse – married in 1944 at a ceremony in which Nelson Mandela was the best man. Present were Anton Lembede and Evelyn Mase; the couple had five children, Max Vuyisile, Zwelakhe and Nonkululeko, adopted four others. An adopted daughter, Beryl Rose Sisulu, served as ambassador from the Republic of South Africa to Norway, they were married for 59 years, until he died in his wife's arms in May 2003 at the age of 90. Sisulu said of her marriage: "I was told that I was marrying a politician and there was no courtship or anything like that." Yet at his funeral their granddaughter read a tribute to him on her behalf: "Walter, what do I do without you? It was for you who I woke up in the morning, it was for you who I lived...
You were taken away by the evils of the past the first time. Now the cold hand of death has taken you and left a void in my heart." Her husband, Walter Sisulu was found guilty of high treason and sabotage, but was spared the death sentence. He instead spent 25 years in custody on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela, whom he had brought into the ANC. While her husband was on Robb
The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, meaning Afrikaner Resistance Movement known by its abbreviation AWB, is a South African neo-Nazi separatist political and paramilitary organisation described as a white supremacist group. Since its founding in 1973 by Eugène Terre'Blanche and six other far-right Afrikaners, it has been dedicated to secessionist Afrikaner nationalism and the creation of an independent Boer-Afrikaner republic or "Volkstaat/Boerestaat" in part of South Africa. During bilateral negotiations to end apartheid in the early 1990s, the organization terrorized and killed black South Africans; as of 2016, it is reported that the organization has around 5,000 members, uses social media for recruitment. On 7 July 1973 Eugène Terre'Blanche, a former police officer, called a meeting of several men in Heidelberg, Gauteng, in the then-Transvaal Province of South Africa, he was disillusioned by what he thought were Prime Minister B. J. Vorster's "liberal views" of racial issues in the white-minority country, after a period in which black majorities had ascended to power in many former colonies.
Terre'Blanche worried about what he characterized as communist influences in South African society. He decided to form a group with six other like-minded persons, which they named the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, to promote Afrikaner nationalism, his associates elected him as head of the group, a position he held until he was killed on his farm in April 2010. Their objective was to establish an independent Boerestaat for Boer-Afrikaner people only, it was to be independent of apartheid South Africa. The AWB was formed to try to regain the ground. During the 1970s and 1980s, the AWB attracted several thousand white South Africans as members, they opposed the reform of apartheid laws during the 1980s, harassing liberal politicians and holding large political rallies. Terre'Blanche used forceful personality to win converts, he railed against the lifting of many so-called "petty apartheid" laws, such as the law banning interracial sex and marriage, mixing of the races, as well as the government providing limited political rights to Indians and Coloureds.
During the State of Emergency, AWB violence and murders of unarmed non-whites were reported. The AWB opposed the then-banned African National Congress, which worked to achieve political rights for the indigenous native South Saharan Africans; the ruling National Party considered the AWB to be little more than a fringe group. The group operated unhindered until 1986, when white police officers took the unprecedented step of using tear gas against the AWB when they disrupted a National Party rally. In 1988, the organisation was estimated to have had support amongst 5 to 7 percent of the white South African population. In the Nick Broomfield documentary film, His Big White Self, he claimed the organisation reached a peak of half a million supporters in its heyday. During the negotiations that led to South Africa's first multiracial elections, the AWB engaged in violence and murder. During the Battle of Ventersdorp in August 1991, the AWB confronted police in front of the town hall where President F. W. de Klerk was speaking, "a number of people were killed or injured" in the conflict.
In the negotiations, the AWB stormed the Kempton Park World Trade Centre where the negotiations were taking place, breaking through the glass front of the building with an armoured car. The police guarding the centre failed to prevent the invasion; the invaders took over the main conference hall, threatening delegates and painting slogans on the walls, but left again after a short period. Six AWB members were sentenced to death for the murder of four black people at a fake roadblock they set up to terrorize black travellers. In 1988, the AWB was beset by scandal when claims that Terre'Blanche had had an affair with journalist Jani Allan surfaced. In July 1989, Cornelius Lottering, a member of a breakaway AWB group Orde van die Dood, attempted to assassinate Allan by placing a bomb outside her Sandton apartment. Nick Broomfield's 1991 documentary The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife claimed that Terre'Blanche had sex with Allan, a claim she denied; this led to Allan taking libel proceedings against the documentary broadcaster Channel 4 in 1992 in the London High Court.
During the trial, several transcripts of their alleged unconventional sexual positions appeared in the South African and British press. Terre'Blanche submitted a sworn statement to the London court denying that he had had an affair with Allan. Although the judge found that Channel 4's allegations had not defamed Allan, he did not rule on whether or not there had been an affair. AWB members provided training to members of the Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party to help them defend themselves against the ANC and fight for a Zulu homeland. In 1994, before the advent of majority rule, the AWB gained international notoriety in its attempt to defend the dictatorial government of Lucas Mangope in the homeland of Bophuthatswana; the AWB, along with a contingent of about 90 Afrikaner Volksfront militiamen, entered the capital Mmabatho on 10 and 11 March. The black policemen and soldiers of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force who were out in force to support president Mangope
The Rivonia Trial took place in South Africa between 9 October 1963 and 12 June 1964. The Rivonia Trial led to the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela and the others among the accused who were convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life at the Palace of Justice, Pretoria; the Rivonia Trial was named after Rivonia, the suburb of Johannesburg where leaders had been arrested at Liliesleaf Farm owned by Arthur Goldreich, on 11 July 1963. The farm had been used as a hideout by various people and groups including the African National Congress. Among others, Nelson Mandela had moved onto the farm in October 1961 and evaded security police while masquerading as a gardener and cook called David Motsamayi. Arrested were: Lionel Bernstein and member of the South African Communist Party Denis Goldberg, a Cape Town engineer and leader of the Congress of Democrats Arthur Goldreich Bob Hepple James Kantor, brother-in-law of Harold Wolpe Ahmed Kathrada Nelson Mandela Govan Mbeki Raymond Mhlaba Andrew Mlangeni Elias Motsoaledi, trade union and ANC member Walter Sisulu Harold Wolpe, prominent attorney and activistGoldberg, Wolpe and Goldreich were Jewish South Africans.
The leaders who were prosecuted in the Rivonia Trial included Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg's Fort prison serving a five-year sentence for inciting workers to strike and leaving the country illegally. Most of the Rivonia defendants were to be convicted, in turn sentenced to life imprisonment; the government took advantage of legal provisions allowing for accused persons to be held for 90 days without trial, the defendants were held incommunicado. Withstanding beatings and torture and Wolpe escaped from jail on 11 August, their escape infuriated the prosecutors and police who considered Goldreich to be "the arch-conspirator". The chief prosecutor was deputy attorney-general of the Transvaal; the presiding judge was judge-president of the Transvaal. The first trial indictment document listed 11 names as the accused; the trial began in October 1963. Counsel for the accused challenged the legal sufficiency of the document, with the result that Justice de Wet quashed it. Prior to dismissal of the first indictment, the State withdrew all charges against Bob Hepple, Hepple subsequently fled the country, without testifying, stated "that he never had any intention of testifying".
The second indictment thus only listed 10 out of the original 11 names, referring to them as Accused 1 through 10. Nat Levy was attorney of record in Pretoria for Mandela and the other accused, with the exception of Kantor; the defence team comprised Joel Joffe, the instructing attorney, Bram Fischer, Vernon Berrange, Arthur Chaskalson and George Bizos. Hilda Bernstein approached Joffe, after being rebuffed by other lawyers who claimed to be too busy or afraid to act for her husband. Joffe was subsequently approached by Albertina Sisulu, Annie Goldberg and Winnie Mandela. Joffe agreed to act as attorney for all of the accused except Kantor, who would require separate counsel, Bob Hepple. Joffe secured the services of advocates Arthur Chaskalson and George Bizos persuaded Bram Fischer to act as lead counsel. Vernon Berrangé was later recruited to join the team of advocates; the defence line-up for the majority of the accused was: Vernon Berrangé George Bizos Arthur Chaskalson Bram Fischer Harold Hanson Joel Joffe The accused all agreed that Kantor's defence could share nothing in common with the rest of the accused.
He thus arranged a separate defence team. While Harold Hanson represented Kantor, he was invited to deliver the plea for mitigation for the other 9 accused; the defence line-up for Kantor was John Coaker Harold Hanson George Lowen H. C. Nicholas Harry Schwarz Charges were: recruiting persons for training in the preparation and use of explosives and in guerrilla warfare for the purpose of violent revolution and committing acts of sabotage conspiring to commit the aforementioned acts and to aid foreign military units when they invaded the Republic, acting in these ways to further the objects of communism soliciting and receiving money for these purposes from sympathizers in Algeria, Liberia, Nigeria and elsewhere."Production requirements" for munitions for a six-month period were sufficient, the prosecutor Percy Yutar said in his opening address, to blow up a city the size of Johannesburg. Kantor was discharged at the end of the prosecution's case; the trial was condemned by the United Nations Security Council and nations around the world, leading to international sanctions against the South African government in some cases.
Arthur Goldreich and Harold Wolpe escaped from The Fort prison in Johannesburg while on remand after bribing a prison guard. After hiding in various safe houses for two months they escaped to Swaziland dressed as priests with the aid of Manni Brown who posed as a tour operator as a cover to deliver weapons to the ANC. From Swaziland, Vernon Berrangé was to charter a plane to take them on to Lobatse, a small town in south-eastern Botswana. Wolpe's escape saw his brother-in-law James Kantor, serving as a member of the defence team and charged with the same crimes as Mandela and his co-accused. Harry Schwarz, a close frien
1948 South African general election
The parliamentary election in South Africa on 26 May 1948 represented a turning point in the country's history. The United Party, which had led the government since its foundation in 1933, its leader, incumbent Prime Minister Jan Smuts, were ousted by the Reunited National Party, led by Daniel François Malan, a Dutch Reformed cleric. During the election battle, both the UP and the NP formed coalitions with smaller parties; the UP was aligned with the left-leaning Labour Party, while the Afrikaner Party sought to advance Afrikaner rights by allying with the HNP. By legislation relating to franchise requirements few people of Coloured and Asian descent were able to vote in this election; the HNP, realising that many White South Africans felt threatened by black political aspirations, pledged to implement a policy of strict racial segregation in all spheres of living. The Nationalists labelled this new system of social organisation "apartheid", the name by which it became universally known; the HNP took advantage of white fear of black-on-white crime, the HNP promised whites safety and security from black-on-white crime and violence.
In contrast to the HNP's consistent, straightforward platform, the UP supported vague notions of integrating the different racial groups within South Africa. Furthermore, white dissatisfaction with domestic and economic problems in South Africa after World War II, the HNP's superior organisation, electoral gerrymandering, all proved to be significant challenges to the UP campaign; the election marked the onset of 46 years of NP rule in South Africa. Together, the HNP and the Afrikaner Party won 79 seats in the House of Assembly against a combined total of 74 won by the UP and the Labour Party. By a quirk of the First Past the Post system the NP had won more seats though the UP had received over eleven percent more votes; the Nationalist coalition subsequently formed a new government and ushered in the era of formal binding apartheid. In 1951, the HNP and the Afrikaner Party merged. One of the central issues facing the white electorate in the 1948 election was that of race; the United Party and the National Party presented voters with differing answers to questions relating to racial integration in South Africa.
Smuts and his followers were in favour of a pragmatic approach, arguing that racial integration was inevitable and that the government should thus relax regulations which sought to prevent black people from moving into urban areas. Whilst still seeking to maintain white dominance, the UP argued in favour of reforming the political system so that black South Africans could at some unspecified point in the future, exercise some sort of power in a racially integrated South Africa. In contrast to this vague ideology, the NP advanced the notion of further enforced segregation between races and the total disempowerment of black South Africans. Rural to urban movement by blacks was to be discouraged; the UP position was supported by the Fagan Commission while the Sauer Commission informed the NP's stance. The putative policy of apartheid proposed by the NP served the economic interests of certain groups of white South Africans. Farmers from the northern portions of the country relied on cheap black labour to maximise profits while working class whites living in urban areas feared the employment competition that would follow an urban influx of black South Africans.
Many commercial and financial Afrikaner interests based on agriculture saw the value of apartheid in promoting growth in this sector. The UP failed to realise the enormous economic benefits of apartheid to these large and influential groups and did not prioritise segregation as much as the NP; as regards election tactics, the NP was adroit at exploiting white fears while campaigning in the 1948 election. Because the UP had seemed to take a lukewarm stance towards both integration and segregation, the NP was able to argue that a victory for the UP would lead to a black government in South Africa. NP propaganda linked black political power to Communism, an anathema to many white South Africans at the time. Slogans such as "Swart Gevaar", "Rooi Gevaar", "Die kaffer op sy plek", "Die koelies uit die land" played upon and amplified white anxieties. Much was made of the fact that Smuts had developed a good working relationship with Joseph Stalin during World War II, when South Africa and the USSR were allies in the fight against Nazi Germany.
Smuts had once remarked that he "doffs his cap to Stalin" and the NP presented this remark as proof of Smuts’s latent Communist tendencies. The Smuts government's controversial immigration programme served to further inflame Afrikaner disquiet. Under this programme, numerous British immigrants had moved to South Africa and were perceived to have taken homes and employment away from South African citizens. Moreover, it was claimed that the intention behind such plans was to swamp the Afrikaners, who had a higher birth rate than the British diaspora, with British immigrants so that Afrikaners would be outnumbered at the polls in future elections. In preparation for the 1948 election, the NP moderated its stance on republicanism; because of the immense and abiding national trauma caused by the Anglo-Boer War, transforming South Africa into a republic and dissolving all ties between South Africa and the United Kingdom had been an important mission for earlier incar