|It was the United Democratic Front and Nonviolence that ended Apartheid|
It was not the African National Congress and the armed struggle that brought the Apartheid regime to the negotiating table but the United Democratic Front (UDF) and mass civic nonviolent action combined with international sanctions.“When sixty peaceful demonstrators were shot dead at Sharpeville, South Africa, in 1960, the African National Congress leaders decided that nonviolence was not enough to overcome the apartheid regime. They subsequently lost nearly thirty years trying to fight the regime with acts of violence before Nelson Mandela was released from prison and they regained their nonviolent momentum.”
Let me be clear that I've been to South Africa and met with members of the African National Congress (ANC) and engaged some of them in civil discussions on the nature of the Castro regime and found differences of opinions within the ranks. However, the open letter by the ANC to the Cuban Communist Party released last week that re-writes South African history and the end of Apartheid ignoring that it was the nonviolent struggle that freed Nelson Mandela and brought the racist regime to the negotiating table raises great concerns. Mandela's greatness, in my opinion, is that he presided over a nonviolent transition and left office after serving out a full term as president following a free election.
Unfortunately, the legacy of violence that did not succeed in defeating Apartheid may in the end destroy South African democracy by embracing a legacy of bloody violence and a regime such as the one that exists in Cuba. In the long run violence leads to more misery and disorder.
|Civic resistance actions ended Apartheid in South Africa|
At the same time that doing trumps talking when breaking through the meta-frames having access to the history of what actually took place is also helpful. In the case of the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa the people who led the non-violent resistance are still around and telling their story. Let us listen to them and their courageous victories for freedom. One of these leaders is Mkhuseli Jack who is recognized by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory as a key figure in dismantling Apartheid can be heard below.