Nelson Mandela's defense speech, "I Am Prepared To Die" (with links)...

Nelson Mandela has died. As Scripture puts it, God has blown upon this fair flower and he has returned to dust:

All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it... - Isaiah 40:6, 7

But who was Nelson Mandela? If you recognize that Reformed theology is simply Biblical theology, it's important for you to know.


The history of Nelson Mandela's fatherland and apartheid is bound up with Reformed men and their theology just as the history of the Confederacy, the Civil War, and slavery in America is bound up with Reformed men and their theology. God hates injustice, oppression, and the bloodshed of innocents, whether the oppressor is Pharoah in Egypt, Jezebel in Israel, Nero in Rome, the Roman Catholics in the Middle Ages, or Protestant and Reformed Christians in South Africa or these United States.

So then, to help with an understanding of Nelson Mandela's work, here is the text of the opening speech he gave at his Rivonia Trial in 1964. The title of the speech comes from the speech's final words, "I am prepared to die."

For what was Mandela prepared to die? Read on and see. I've provided links for names, organizations, legislative acts, and terms average readers would find confusing. Near the end of the text, I've provided a link to an audiotape of the speech you can listen to as you read the final paragraphs of the text.

Nelson Mandela spoke for four hours. When he declared "I am prepared to die," as he said it, he looked directly in the eyes of the presiding judge, Dr. Quartus de Wet.  During the rest of the trial he never again made eye contact with Judge de Wet. Following his conviction, Nelson Mandela spent twenty-seven years in prison, eighteen of those years on Robben Island. South Africa's President F. W. de Klerk released him on February 11, 1990.

My son Taylor is married to a beautiful Afrikaans-speaking South African woman... Réze Bayly's grandfather was a South African sheep farmer who opposed apartheid. My own maternal great-grandfather fought for the Union in the Civil War and lost his left arm. This picture of Grandpa DeWalt holding my Uncle Curtis DeWalt hangs in our dining room. The Baylys are thankful to God for Réze's grandfather and our own grandfathers and grandmothers who fought against injustice, oppression, and the bloodshed of innocents.

Apartheid and slavery are both wicked institutions. There is a case to be made for clarifying the Bible's legal codes concerning slavery, but while making that case—for instance, in responding to hermeneutical blackmailers who speak of the Bible's oppression of slaves, women, and homosexuals—we must keep in mind that the Apostle Paul was inspired to write Philemon in defense of the slave, Onesimus. What love the Apostle Paul had for him, and this is what true Christian faith has always shown towards the poor and oppressed.

Not to mention the innocents whose blood is being shed.

Please do read this speech. After you read a chapter of the Bible this evening in family devotions, read this speech to your children. All of it. Or those parts you know will awaken their consciences. Then explain apartheid to them, as well as the Reformed Christians who profited from it.

Yes, I know reading this takes some time, but you owe it to your children and grandchildren. Your heart will mourn over the wickedness of man (which mourning is always a good thing), and you will find yourself wondering what you should do for the babies slaughtered in your own city each day? You will ask yourself, do I have any responsibility toward the unborn?

And if your answer is "no," you will label Nelson Mandela a communist or terrorist and move on without a hint of compassion or love.

Here then is Nelson Mandela's statement from the dock at the opening of the defense case in the Rivonia Trial.

* * *

Pretoria Supreme Court, 20 April 1964

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 Oliver Tambo. 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.

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 outsider might have said.

In my youth in the Transkei I listened to the elders of my tribe telling stories of the old days. Amongst the tales they related to me were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defence of the fatherland. The names of Dingane and Bambata, Hintsa and Makana, Squngthi and Dalasile, Moshoeshoe and Sekhukhuni, were praised as 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 violence. 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 of 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.

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. Amongst 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 Umkhonto, and with the part which I personally have played in the affairs of both organizations. 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 became involved in the activities of these organizations.

I deny that Umkhonto was responsible for a number of acts which clearly fell outside the policy of the organisation, and which have been charged in the indictment against us. I do not know what justification there was for these acts, but to demonstrate that they could not have been authorized by Umkhonto, I want to refer briefly to the roots and policy of the organization.

I have already mentioned that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto. I, and the others who started the organization, 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 responsible leadership was given to canalize and control the feelings of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of this country which is not produced even by war. Secondly, we felt that without violence 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 law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then 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 believe that South Africa belongs to all the people who live 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 organization bears out 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 were 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 Lutuli, who became President of the ANC in 1952, and who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:

"...who will deny that thirty years of my life have been spent knocking in vain, patiently, moderately, and modestly at a 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".

Even 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 the Defiance 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 on the part of any defier. I and nineteen colleagues were convicted for the role which we played in organizing the campaign, 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 the 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 this 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 the whites. They were, and are. dedicated workers who are prepared to lead campaigns initiated by the ANC to distribute leaflets, to organize strikes, or do whatever the particular campaign required. They are called volunteers because they volunteer to face the penalties of imprisonment and whipping which are now prescribed by the legislature for such acts.

During 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 protests against laws. Despite this, the protests 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 charges 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. This allegation has been repeated in the present case, but as I will show, the ANC is not, and never has been, a communist organization.

In 1960 there was the shooting at Sharpeville, which resulted in the proclamation of a state of emergency and the declaration of the ANC as an unlawful organization. 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 authority of the Government", and for us to accept the banning was equivalent to accepting the silencing of the Africans for all time. The ANC refused to dissolve, but instead went underground. We believed it was our duty to preserve this organization which had been built up with almost fifty years of unremitting toil. I have no doubt that no self-respecting White political organization would disband itself if declared illegal by a government in which it had no say.

In 1960 the Government held a referendum which led to the establishment of the Republic. Africans, who constituted approximately 70 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 organize 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 Secretary of the conference and undertook to be responsible for organizing 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 organizing such a strike must avoid arrest. I was chosen to be this person, and consequently I had to leave my home and 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 organizers and members to avoid any recourse to violence. The Government's answer was to introduce new and harsher laws, to mobilize 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 this trial. In fact, I believe none of it is irrelevant because it will, I hope, enable the Court to appreciate the attitude eventually 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 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 and, if so, how?

We had no doubt that we had to continue the fight. Anything else would have been abject surrender. Our problem 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 the people had 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, had nevertheless always prevailed upon them to avoid violence and to pursue peaceful methods. When some of us discussed this in May and June of 1961, it could not be denied that our policy to achieve a nonracial 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 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 cattle culling in Sekhukhuniland; 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 disturbances. In 1961 there had been riots in Warmbaths, and all this time the Transkei had been a seething mass of unrest. Each disturbance pointed clearly to the inevitable growth among 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, Sekhukhuniland, and Pondoland amongst Africans. It was increasingly taking the form, not of struggle against the Government - though this is what prompted it -but of civil strife amongst themselves, 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 in this country 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 was not easily arrived at. It was 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 political 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 16 December 1961, which is Exhibit AD, we said:

"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".

This was our feeling in June of 1961 when we decided to press for a change in the policy 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 organizations, 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 policy and objectives of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

As far as the ANC was concerned, it formed a clear view which can be summarized as follows:

It was a mass political organization with a political function to fulfil. Its members had joined on the express policy of non-violence.

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 organization required for sabotage. Nor would this be politically correct, because it would result in members ceasing to carry out this essential activity: political propaganda and organization. Nor was it permissible to change the whole nature of the organization.

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 violence. Hence members who undertook such activity would not be subject to disciplinary action by the ANC.

I say "properly controlled violence" because I made it clear that if I formed the organization 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. 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. We viewed the situation with alarm. Civil war could mean the destruction of what the ANC stood for; with civil war, racial peace would be more difficult than ever to achieve. We already have 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 had dominated our thinking for many years, but when we decided to adopt violence as part of our policy, we realized that we might one day have to face the prospect of such a war. This had to be taken into account in formulating our plans. 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 recognized 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 were possible. There is sabotage, there is guerrilla warfare, there is terrorism, and there is open revolution. We chose to adopt the first method and to exhaust it 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 become a reality. This is what we felt at the time, and this is what we said in our Manifesto (Exhibit AD):

"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 realization of the disastrous situation to which the 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."

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 life lines of the country were to be linked with sabotage on Government buildings and other symbols of apartheid. These attacks would serve as a source of inspiration to our people. 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 organized, and mass reprisals taken, we felt that sympathy for our cause would be roused in other countries, and that greater pressure would be brought to bear on the South African Government.

This then was the plan. Umkhonto was to perform sabotage, and strict instructions were given to its members 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 "Mr. X" and "Mr. Z".

The affairs of the 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 Regional Commands had authority to select the targets to be attacked. They had no authority to go beyond the prescribed framework and thus had no authority to embark upon acts which endangered life, or which did not fit into the overall plan of sabotage. For instance, Umkhonto members were forbidden ever to go armed into operation. Incidentally, the terms High Command and Regional Command were an importation from the Jewish national underground organization Irgun Zvai Leumi, which operated in Israel between 1944 and 1948.

Umkhonto had its first operation on 16 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 16 December 1961 was the work of isolated groups and had no connection whatever with Umkhonto. In fact, some of these and a number of later acts were claimed by other organizations.

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 suggesting the laager (circle the wagons).

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 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 made less. 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?

Already 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. In 1921, more than one hundred Africans died in the Bulhoek affair. In 1924 over two hundred 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 1 May 1950, eighteen Africans died as a result of police shootings during the strike. On 21 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 were inevitable, we wanted the fight to be conducted on terms most favourable to our people. The fight which held out prospects best 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.

All whites undergo compulsory military training, but no such training was 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 it was decided that I should attend the Conference of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for Central, East, and Southern Africa, which was to be held early in 1962 in Addis Ababa, and, because of our need for preparation, it was also decided that, after the conference, I would undertake a tour of the African States with a view to obtaining facilities for the training of soldiers, and that I would also solicit scholarships for the higher education of matriculated Africans. Training in both fields would be necessary, even if changes came about by peaceful means. 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 a success. 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 Mr. Gaitskell and Mr. Grimond. 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 Keita, President of Mali; Leopold Senghor, President of Senegal; Sekou Toure, President of Guinea; President Tubman of Liberia; and Milton Obote, Prime Minister of Uganda. 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.

I 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 Algeria are contained in Exhibit 16, produced in evidence. Summaries of books on guerrilla warfare and military strategy 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 work of Clausewitz, and covering such a variety as Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara on the one hand, and the writings on the Anglo-Boer War on the other. Of course, these notes 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 it was impossible to organize 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, but 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 scene 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. In fact, the view was expressed by some that the training of recruits was premature. This is recorded by me in the document which is Exhibit R.14. After a 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.

I wish to turn now to certain general allegations made in this case by the State. But before doing so, I wish to revert to certain occurrences said by witnesses to have happened in Port Elizabeth and East London. I am referring to the bombing of private houses of pro-Government persons during September, October and November 1962. I do not know what justification there was for these acts, nor what provocation had been given. But if what I have said already is accepted, then it is clear that these acts had nothing to do with the carrying out of the policy of Umkhonto.

One of the chief allegations in the indictment is that the ANC was a party to a general conspiracy to commit sabotage. I have already explained why this is incorrect but how, externally, there was a departure from the original principle laid down by the ANC. There has, of course, been overlapping of functions internally as well, because there is a difference between a resolution adopted in the atmosphere of a committee room and the concrete difficulties that arise in the field of practical activity. At a later stage the position was further affected by bannings and house arrests, and by persons leaving the country to take up political work abroad. This led to individuals having to do work in different capacities. But though this may have blurred the distinction between Umkhonto and the ANC, it by no means abolished that distinction. Great care was taken to keep the activities of the two organizations in South Africa distinct. The ANC remained a mass political body of Africans only carrying on the type of political work they had conducted prior to 1961. Umkhonto remained a small organization recruiting its members from different races and organizations and trying to achieve its own particular object. The fact that members of Umkhonto were recruited from the ANC, and the fact that persons served both organizations, like Solomon Mbanjwa, did not, in our view, change the nature of the ANC or give it a policy of violence. This overlapping of officers, however, was more the exception than the rule. This is why persons such as "Mr. X" and "Mr. Z", who were on the Regional Command of their respective areas, did not participate in any of the ANC committees or activities, and why people such as Mr. Bennett Mashiyana and Mr. Reginald Ndubi did not hear of sabotage at their ANC meetings.

Another of the allegations in the indictment is that Rivonia was the headquarters of Umkhonto. This is not true of the time when I was there. I was told, of course, and knew that certain of the activities of the Communist Party were carried on there. But this is no reason (as I shall presently explain) why I should not use the place.

I came there in the following manner:

As already indicated, early in April 1961 I went underground to organize the May general strike. My work entailed travelling throughout the country, living now in African townships, then in country villages and again in cities.

During the second half of the year I started visiting the Parktown home of Arthur Goldreich, where I used to meet my family privately. Although I had no direct political association with him, I had known Arthur Goldreich socially since 1958.

In October, Arthur Goldreich informed me that he was moving out of town and offered me a hiding place there. A few days thereafter, he arranged for Michael Harmel to take me to Rivonia. I naturally found Rivonia an ideal place for the man who lived the life of an outlaw. Up to that time I had been compelled to live indoors during the daytime and could only venture out under cover of darkness. But at Liliesleaf [farm, Rivonia,] I could live differently and work far more efficiently.

For obvious reasons, I had to disguise myself and I assumed the fictitious name of David. In December, Arthur Goldreich and his family moved in. I stayed there until I went abroad on 11 January 1962. As already indicated, I returned in July 1962 and was arrested in Natal on 5 August.

Up to the time of my arrest, Liliesleaf farm was the headquarters of neither the African National Congress nor Umkhonto. With the exception of myself, none of the officials or members of these bodies lived there, no meetings of the governing bodies were ever held there, and no activities connected with them were either organized or directed from there. On numerous occasions during my stay at Liliesleaf farm I met both the Executive Committee of the ANC, as well as the NHC, but such meetings were held elsewhere and not on the farm.

Whilst staying at Liliesleaf farm, I frequently visited Arthur Goldreich in the main house and he also paid me visits in my room. We had numerous political discussions covering a variety of subjects. We discussed ideological and practical questions, the Congress Alliance, Umkhonto and its activities generally, and his experiences as a soldier in the Palmach, the military wing of the Haganah. Haganah was the political authority of the Jewish National Movement in Palestine.

Because of what I had got to know of Goldreich, I recommended on my return to South Africa that he should be recruited to Umkhonto. I do not know of my personal knowledge whether this was done.

Another of the allegations made by the State is that the aims and objects of the ANC and the Communist Party are the same. I wish to deal with this and with my own political position, because I must assume that the State may try to argue from certain Exhibits that I tried to introduce Marxism into the ANC. The allegation as to the ANC is false. This is an old allegation which was disproved at the Treason Trial and which has again reared its head. But since the allegation has been made again, I shall deal with it as well as with the relationship between the ANC and the Communist Party and Umkhonto and that party.

The ideological creed of the ANC is, and always has been, the creed of African Nationalism. It is not the concept of African Nationalism expressed in the cry, "Drive the White man into the sea". The African Nationalism for which the ANC stands is the concept of freedom and fulfilment for the African people in their own land. The most important political document ever adopted by the ANC is the "Freedom Charter". It is by no means a blueprint for a socialist state. It calls for redistribution, but not nationalization, of land; it provides for nationalization of mines, banks, and monopoly industry, because big monopolies are owned by one race only, and without such nationalization racial domination would be perpetuated despite the spread of political power. It would be a hollow gesture to repeal the Gold Law prohibitions against Africans when all gold mines are owned by European companies. In this respect the ANC's policy corresponds with the old policy of the present Nationalist Party which, for many years, had as part of its programme the nationalization of the gold mines which, at that time, were controlled by foreign capital. Under the Freedom Charter, nationalization would take place in an economy based on private enterprise. The realization of the Freedom Charter would open up fresh fields for a prosperous African population of all classes, including the middle class. The ANC has never at any period of its history advocated a revolutionary change in the economic structure of the country, nor has it, to the best of my recollection, ever condemned capitalist society.

As far as the Communist Party is concerned, and if I understand its policy correctly, it stands for the establishment of a State based on the principles of Marxism. Although it is prepared to work for the Freedom Charter, as a short term solution to the problems created by white supremacy, it regards the Freedom Charter as the beginning, and not the end, of its programme.

The ANC, unlike the Communist Party, admitted Africans only as members. Its chief goal was, and is, for the African people to win unity and full political rights. The Communist Party's main aim, on the other hand, was to remove the capitalists and to replace them with a working-class government. The Communist Party sought to emphasize class distinctions whilst the ANC seeks to harmonize them. This is a vital distinction.

It is true that there has often been close co-operation between the ANC and the Communist Party. But co-operation is merely proof of a common goal - in this case the removal of white supremacy - and is not proof of a complete community of interests.

The history of the world is full of similar examples. Perhaps the most striking illustration is to be found in the co-operation between Great Britain, the United States of America, and the Soviet Union in the fight against Hitler. Nobody but Hitler would have dared to suggest that such co-operation turned Churchill or Roosevelt into communists or communist tools, or that Britain and America were working to bring about a communist world.

Another instance of such co-operation is to be found precisely in Umkhonto. Shortly after Umkhonto was constituted, I was informed by some of its members that the Communist Party would support Umkhonto, and this then occurred. At a later stage the support was made openly.

I believe that communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements. Thus communists have played an important role in the freedom struggles fought in countries such as Malaya, Algeria, and Indonesia, yet none of these States today are communist countries. Similarly in the underground resistance movements which sprung up in Europe during the last World War, communists played an important role. Even General Chiang Kai-Shek, today one of the bitterest enemies of communism, fought together with the communists against the ruling class in the struggle which led to his assumption of power in China in the 1930s.

This pattern of co-operation between communists and non-communists has been repeated in the National Liberation Movement of South Africa. Prior to the banning of the Communist Party, joint campaigns involving the Communist Party and the Congress movements were accepted practice. African communists could, and did, become members of the ANC, and some served on the National, Provincial, and local committees. Amongst those who served on the National Executive are Albert Nzula, a former Secretary of the Communist Party, Moses Kotane, another former Secretary, and J. B. Marks, a former member of the Central Committee.

I joined the ANC in 1944, and in my younger days I held the view that the policy of admitting communists to the ANC, and the close co-operation which existed at times on specific issues between the ANC and the Communist Party, would lead to a watering down of the concept of African Nationalism. At that stage I was a member of the African National Congress Youth League, and was one of a group which moved for the expulsion of communists from the ANC. This proposal was heavily defeated. Amongst those who voted against the proposal were some of the most conservative sections of African political opinion. They defended the policy on the ground that from its inception the ANC was formed and built up, not as a political party with one school of political thought, but as a Parliament of the African people, accommodating people of various political convictions, all united by the common goal of national liberation. I was eventually won over to this point of view and I have upheld it ever since.

It is perhaps difficult for white South Africans, with an ingrained prejudice against communism, to understand why experienced African politicians so readily accept communists as their friends. But to us the reason is obvious. Theoretical differences amongst those fighting against oppression is a luxury we cannot afford at this stage. What is more, for many decades communists were the only political group in South Africa who were prepared to treat Africans as human beings and their equals; who were prepared to eat with us; talk with us, live with us, and work with us. They were the only political group which was prepared to work with the Africans for the attainment of political rights and a stake in society. Because of this, there are many Africans who, today, tend to equate freedom with communism. They are supported in this belief by a legislature which brands all exponents of democratic government and African freedom as communists and bans many of them (who are not communists) under the Suppression of Communism Act. Although I have never been a member of the Communist Party, I myself have been named under that pernicious Act because of the role I played in the Defiance Campaign. I have also been banned and imprisoned under that Act.

It is not only in internal politics that we count communists as amongst those who support our cause. In the international field, communist countries have always come to our aid. In the United Nations and other Councils of the world the communist bloc has supported the Afro-Asian struggle against colonialism and often seems to be more sympathetic to our plight than some of the Western powers. Although there is a universal condemnation of apartheid, the communist bloc speaks out against it with a louder voice than most of the white world. In these circumstances, it would take a brash young politician, such as I was in 1949, to proclaim that the Communists are our enemies.

I turn now to my own position. I have denied that I am a communist, and I think that in the circumstances I am obliged to state exactly what my political beliefs are.

I have always regarded myself, in the first place, as an African patriot. After all, I was born in Umtata, forty-six years ago. My guardian was my cousin, who was the acting paramount chief of Tembuland, and I am related both to the present paramount chief of Tembuland, Sabata Dalindyebo, and to Kaizer Matanzima, the Chief Minister of the Transkei.

Today I am attracted by the idea of a classless society, an attraction which springs in part from Marxist reading and, in part, from my admiration of the structure and organization of early African societies in this country. The land, then the main means of production, belonged to the tribe. There were no rich or poor and there was no exploitation.

It is true, as I have already stated, that I have been influenced by Marxist thought. But this is also true of many of the leaders of the new independent States. Such widely different persons as Gandhi, Nehru, Nkrumah, and Nasser all acknowledge this fact. We all accept the need for some form of socialism to enable our people to catch up with the advanced countries of this world and to overcome their legacy of extreme poverty. But this does not mean we are Marxists.

Indeed, for my own part, I believe that it is open to debate whether the Communist Party has any specific role to play at this particular stage of our political struggle. The basic task at the present moment is the removal of race discrimination and the attainment of democratic rights on the basis of the Freedom Charter. In so far as that Party furthers this task, I welcome its assistance. I realize that it is one of the means by which people of all races can be drawn into our struggle.

From my reading of Marxist literature and from conversations with Marxists, I have gained the impression that communists regard the parliamentary system of the West as undemocratic and reactionary. But, on the contrary, I am an admirer of such a system.

The Magna Carta, the Petition of Rights, and the Bill of Rights are documents which are held in veneration by democrats throughout the world.

I have great respect for British political institutions, and for the country's system of justice. I regard the British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world, and the independence and impartiality of its judiciary never fail to arouse my admiration.

The American Congress, that country's doctrine of separation of powers, as well as the independence of its judiciary, arouses in me similar sentiments.

I have been influenced in my thinking by both West and East. All this has led me to feel that in my search for a political formula, I should be absolutely impartial and objective. I should tie myself to no particular system of society other than of socialism. I must leave myself free to borrow the best from the West and from the East...

There are certain Exhibits which suggest that we received financial support from abroad, and I wish to deal with this question.

Our political struggle has always been financed from internal sources - from funds raised by our own people and by our own supporters. Whenever we had a special campaign or an important political case - for example, the Treason Trial - we received financial assistance from sympathetic individuals and organizations in the Western countries. We had never felt it necessary to go beyond these sources.

But when in 1961 the Umkhonto was formed, and a new phase of struggle introduced, we realized that these events would make a heavy call on our slender resources, and that the scale of our activities would be hampered by the lack of funds. One of my instructions, as I went abroad in January 1962, was to raise funds from the African states.

I must add that, whilst abroad, I had discussions with leaders of political movements in Africa and discovered that almost every single one of them, in areas which had still not attained independence, had received all forms of assistance from the socialist countries, as well as from the West, including that of financial support. I also discovered that some well-known African states, all of them non-communists, and even anti-communists, had received similar assistance.

On my return to the Republic, I made a strong recommendation to the ANC that we should not confine ourselves to Africa and the Western countries, but that we should also send a mission to the socialist countries to raise the funds which we so urgently needed.

I have been told that after I was convicted such a mission was sent, but I am not prepared to name any countries to which it went, nor am I at liberty to disclose the names of the organizations and countries which gave us support or promised to do so.

As I understand the State case, and in particular the evidence of "Mr. X", the suggestion is that Umkhonto was the inspiration of the Communist Party which sought by playing upon imaginary grievances to enrol the African people into an army which ostensibly was to fight for African freedom, but in reality was fighting for a communist state. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the suggestion is preposterous. Umkhonto was formed by Africans to further their struggle for freedom in their own land. Communists and others supported the movement, and we only wish that more sections of the community would join us.

[Listen to recording of Nelson Mandela's speech from this point on, to end. Here's a discussion of the current state of efforts to bring the entire recording into the historical record, as well as a few other audio excerpts from the speech.]

Our fight is against real, and not imaginary, hardships or, to use the language of the State Prosecutor, "so-called hardships". Basically, we fight against two features which are the hallmarks of African life in South Africa and which are entrenched by legislation which we seek to have repealed. These features are poverty and lack of human dignity, and we do not need communists or so-called "agitators" to teach us about these things.

South Africa is the richest country in Africa, and could be one of the richest countries in the world. But it is a land of extremes and remarkable contrasts. The whites enjoy what may well be the highest standard of living in the world, whilst Africans live in poverty and misery. Forty per cent of the Africans live in hopelessly overcrowded and, in some cases, drought-stricken Reserves, where soil erosion and the overworking of the soil makes it impossible for them to live properly off the land. Thirty per cent are labourers, labour tenants, and squatters on white farms and work and live under conditions similar to those of the serfs of the Middle Ages. The other 30 per cent live in towns where they have developed economic and social habits which bring them closer in many respects to white standards. Yet most Africans, even in this group, are impoverished by low incomes and high cost of living.

The highest-paid and the most prosperous section of urban African life is in Johannesburg. Yet their actual position is desperate. The latest figures were given on 25 March 1964 by Mr. Carr, Manager of the Johannesburg Non-European Affairs Department. The poverty datum line for the average African family in Johannesburg (according to Mr. Carr's department) is R42.84 per month. He showed that the average monthly wage is R32.24 and that 46 per cent of all African families in Johannesburg do not earn enough to keep them going.

Poverty goes hand in hand with malnutrition and disease. The incidence of malnutrition and deficiency diseases is very high amongst Africans. Tuberculosis, pellagra, kwashiorkor, gastro-enteritis, and scurvy bring death and destruction of health. The incidence of infant mortality is one of the highest in the world. According to the Medical Officer of Health for Pretoria, tuberculosis kills forty people a day (almost all Africans), and in 1961 there were 58,491 new cases reported. These diseases not only destroy the vital organs of the body, but they result in retarded mental conditions and lack of initiative, and reduce powers of concentration. The secondary results of such conditions affect the whole community and the standard of work performed by African labourers.

The complaint of Africans, however, is not only that they are poor and the whites are rich, but that the laws which are made by the whites are designed to preserve this situation. There are two ways to break out of poverty. The first is by formal education, and the second is by the worker acquiring a greater skill at his work and thus higher wages. As far as Africans are concerned, both these avenues of advancement are deliberately curtailed by legislation.

The present Government has always sought to hamper Africans in their search for education. One of their early acts, after coming into power, was to stop subsidies for African school feeding. Many African children who attended schools depended on this supplement to their diet. This was a cruel act.

There is compulsory education for all white children at virtually no cost to their parents, be they rich or poor. Similar facilities are not provided for the African children, though there are some who receive such assistance. African children, however, generally have to pay more for their schooling than whites. According to figures quoted by the South African Institute of Race Relations in its 1963 journal, approximately 40 per cent of African children in the age group between seven to fourteen do not attend school. For those who do attend school, the standards are vastly different from those afforded to white children. In 1960-61 the per capita Government spending on African students at State-aided schools was estimated at R12.46. In the same years, the per capita spending on white children in the Cape Province (which are the only figures available to me) was R144.57. Although there are no figures available to me, it can be stated, without doubt, that the white children on whom R144.57 per head was being spent all came from wealthier homes than African children on whom R12.46 per head was being spent.

The quality of education is also different. According to the Bantu Educational Journal, only 5,660 African children in the whole of South Africa passed their Junior Certificate in 1962, and in that year only 362 passed matric. This is presumably consistent with the policy of Bantu education about which the present Prime Minister said, during the debate on the Bantu Education Bill in 1953:

"When I have control of Native education I will reform it so that Natives will be taught from childhood to realize that equality with Europeans is not for them... People who believe in equality are not desirable teachers for Natives. When my Department controls Native education it will know for what class of higher education a Native is fitted, and whether he will have a chance in life to use his knowledge."

The other main obstacle to the economic advancement of the African is the industrial colour-bar under which all the better jobs of industry are reserved for Whites only. Moreover, Africans who do obtain employment in the unskilled and semi-skilled occupations which are open to them are not allowed to form trade unions which have recognition under the Industrial Conciliation Act. This means that strikes of African workers are illegal, and that they are denied the right of collective bargaining which is permitted to the better-paid White workers. The discrimination in the policy of successive South African Governments towards African workers is demonstrated by the so-called "civilized labour policy" under which sheltered, unskilled Government jobs are found for those white workers who cannot make the grade in industry, at wages which far exceed the earnings of the average African employee in industry.

The Government often answers its critics by saying that Africans in South Africa are economically better off than the inhabitants of the other countries in Africa. I do not know whether this statement is true and doubt whether any comparison can be made without having regard to the cost-of-living index in such countries. But even if it is true, as far as the African people are concerned it is irrelevant. Our complaint is not that we are poor by comparison with people in other countries, but that we are poor by comparison with the white people in our own country, and that we are prevented by legislation from altering this imbalance.

The lack of human dignity experienced by Africans is the direct result of the policy of white supremacy. White supremacy implies black inferiority. Legislation designed to preserve white supremacy entrenches this notion. Menial tasks in South Africa are invariably performed by Africans. When anything has to be carried or cleaned the white man will look around for an African to do it for him, whether the African is employed by him or not. Because of this sort of attitude, whites tend to regard Africans as a separate breed. They do not look upon them as people with families of their own; they do not realize that they have emotions - that they fall in love like white people do; that they want to be with their wives and children like white people want to be with theirs; that they want to earn enough money to support their families properly, to feed and clothe them and send them to school. And what "house-boy" or "garden-boy" or labourer can ever hope to do this?

Pass laws, which to the Africans are among the most hated bits of legislation in South Africa, render any African liable to police surveillance at any time. I doubt whether there is a single African male in South Africa who has not at some stage had a brush with the police over his pass. Hundreds and thousands of Africans are thrown into jail each year under pass laws. Even worse than this is the fact that pass laws keep husband and wife apart and lead to the breakdown of family life.

Poverty and the breakdown of family life have secondary effects. Children wander about the streets of the townships because they have no schools to go to, or no money to enable them to go to school, or no parents at home to see that they go to school, because both parents (if there be two) have to work to keep the family alive. This leads to a breakdown in moral standards, to an alarming rise in illegitimacy, and to growing violence which erupts not only politically, but everywhere. Life in the townships is dangerous. There is not a day that goes by without somebody being stabbed or assaulted. And violence is carried out of the townships in the white living areas. People are afraid to walk alone in the streets after dark. Housebreakings and robberies are increasing, despite the fact that the death sentence can now be imposed for such offences. Death sentences cannot cure the festering sore.

Africans want to be paid a living wage. Africans want to perform work which they are capable of doing, and not work which the Government declares them to be capable o Africans want to be allowed to live where they obtain work, and not be endorsed out of an area because they were not born there. Africans want to be allowed to own land in places where they work, and not to be obliged to live in rented houses which they can never call their own. Africans want to be part of the general population, and not confined to living in their own ghettoes. African men want to have their wives and children to live with them where they work, and not be forced into an unnatural existence in men's hostels. African women want to be with their menfolk and not be left permanently widowed in the Reserves. Africans want to be allowed out after eleven o'clock at night and not to be confined to their rooms like little children. Africans want to be allowed to travel in their own country and to seek work where they want to and not where the Labour Bureau tells them to. Africans want a just share in the whole of South Africa; they want security and a stake in society.

Above all, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy.

But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another. The ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism. When it triumphs it will not change that policy.

This then is what the ANC is fighting. Their struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by their own suffering and their own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

* * *

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish.

How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever; Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous; The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked.

The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! - Psalm 146

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.


Not to negate anything you've written, but it's hard to reconcile that with this:

"South Africa's new abortion law passed its final legislative hurdle today [November 6, 1996], clearing the way for President Nelson Mandela to replace one of the world's toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal."

Yes, Nelson Mandela's leadership failed on many levels, but read the speech. Love,

Mandela was a Communist. South Africa is far worse off since the end of Apartheid just as the rest of Africa is since the end of colonialism. If the guilt our society has forced on you for being white wont let you see it, at least don,t drag Christianity into it. Africa was not and is not ready for self government, due to paganism, tribalism, and wide spread ignorance. There was and is nothing hateful about accepting that reality. Certainly the colonial powers didn't do enough to prepare them for self government, but to try to defend a man who in the great contest of the 20th century  aligned himself with the greatest mass murderers ever known. As the Boer farmers in SA being murdered every day how they feel, but I forgot in our society they are the wrong color to count.


David l. Davis

>>Mandela was a Communist.

Did you read his defense? There's much more above, but note this:

The Communist Party sought to emphasize class distinctions whilst the ANC seeks to harmonize them. This is a vital distinction.

It is true that there has often been close co-operation between the ANC and the Communist Party. But co-operation is merely proof of a common goal - in this case the removal of white supremacy - and is not proof of a complete community of interests.

The history of the world is full of similar examples. Perhaps the most striking illustration is to be found in the co-operation between Great Britain, the United States of America, and the Soviet Union in the fight against Hitler. Nobody but Hitler would have dared to suggest that such co-operation turned Churchill or Roosevelt into communists or communist tools, or that Britain and America were working to bring about a communist world. the underground resistance movements which sprung up in Europe during the last World War, communists played an important role. Even General Chiang Kai-Shek, today one of the bitterest enemies of communism, fought together with the communists against the ruling class in the struggle which led to his assumption of power in China in the 1930s.

>>far worse off since the end of Apartheid

The question of sub-Saharan Africa's governance is separate. South Africa's oppression of non-whites is to be condemned because such oppression was sin.

I'm not a fan of Abraham Lincoln or the fruit of his leadership in these United States concerning the obliteration of constitutional government that grows with each generation since his presidency. Nevertheless, his Second Inaugural Address might well be my favorite document of American history.

Similarly, I'm no fan of Nelson Mandela's leadership concerning many, many things. I squirmed at his claim above that in tribal Africa there had been no poor. Nevertheless, I hope our readers will read this speech. It has much to teach us.


So when all else fails, the ANC is justified in using violence?

This may be the worst thing you've posted. This sort of multicultural self-hatred is normal for mainline denominations and maybe even your favorite parachurch ministry. If I want the PCA version of this soft social gospel, Tim Keller has cornered the market anyway.

That’s a difficult question, Freida. I’m curious how you would answer a similar question: Were colonial Americans justified in using violence when all else failed?

Were colonial Americans justified in using violence when all else failed?

I don't think that is a very good comparison.  A better question would be would blacks in America have been justified in using violence to combat Jim Crow?  I can remember reading Boer writers who defended apartheid but condemned Jim Crow as white Southerners really didn't have any excuse given their preponderance of numbers.

Was South Africa really worse than Rome under Nero?  If not how does Paul's comments, written in that context, play out in South Africa?

What about Edward VI?  He had a much narrower base of power sharing than did any Boer government in South Africa.

It is a complicated matter. 

Were colonial Americans justified in using violence when all else failed?

You know that is a better comparison than I thought, at first I thought you were referring to the conflicts with the French and the Indians.  If you're referring to the American Revolution the answer is no, colonial Americans were not justified in using violence.

Dear David,

Yes, I was referring to the American Revolution. I lean towards agreeing with you about the American Revolution, but I also don’t think that all else had failed in that case.

Anyway, I wasn't trying to answer the question. I was trying to point out the hypocrisy of those in the USA who condemn Nelson Mandela but not George Washington. 


I was trying to point out the hypocrisy of those in the USA who condemn Nelson Mandela but not George Washington.

I would say there is still a distinction.  Washington did not wage guerrilla war, particularly as understood in a modern context.  Formal warfare is a much more lawful undertaking, even if done for wrong reasons, than guerrilla warfare.  It is hard to defend guerrilla warfare, with its lawless nature, under any circumstances.  If justifiable it would have to be truly in extreme circumstances (think the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto).  Blacks in South Africa were not remotely in the same situation as the Jews in the Third Reich, even more so by 1944.

>>the ANC is justified in using violence?

Were the Presbyterians justified in leading the Revolutionary War because of their opposition to "taxation without representation?"

And my dear sister, did you read the speech? I'm a monotone on this.

>>This sort of multicultural self-hatred...

Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. Does God not care about oppression, injustice, and the bloodshed of innocents?

And did you read the speech?


I did read it and would have to agree with the other comment that this is the worst post I've seen you write. There was much in Martin Luther King's writings which could count as inspiring if you want to talk about injustice and oppression, but Mandela seems to be lecturing me like Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez.

>>Washington did not wage guerrilla war...

They tried sabotage (destroying property) first. And they were trying to avoid a civil war.

Please read the speech.

>>Formal warfare is a much more lawful undertaking...

Maybe, but what war is just in any historic Christian context which bombs non-combatants, let alone women and children? Or that sends unborn babies into combat without their consent? It's arguable that, given its commitment to sending women of childbearing age into harm's way, no military action of these United States can ever again be just (as Vern Poythress said to me).

Also, I should say I wrote the above comments before reading the exchange between David Gray and Joseph. That is, I did not know someone else had brought up the American Revolution, let alone that it was my wonderful son!


Thanks for posting this.  Now we can quibble over whether Mandela meant what he said, but it is striking that--at least to the uneducated observer (e.g. ME)--he's outlining the entire strategy of the ANC to the court.  It is as if Rommel walked into Eisenhower's office and said "this is what we're trying to do in North Africa.

Regarding the morality of a campaign against the government, the take I have--regarding our own war of independence, Martin Luther King's campaign of nonviolence, and the ANC's campaign--is that all three were cases where the government was acting against its real authority, the Magna Carta and its descendant bills of rights and Constitutions.

Translated; the rebel is the government working against its founding documents.  Again, we can debate the details, but that's it in a nutshell.

And, quite frankly, if I can assume Mandela was honest here--certainly his testimony was falsifiable by design--then I have to wonder whether the world missed a great opportunity to eliminate many of the bad things that have happened in South Africa during this trial.

>>if you want to talk about injustice and oppression

Actually, dear brother; I'd prefer never to talk about injustice and oppression except when they happen to me. But there's that abiding reality of the character, the perfections of our Holy God.


Take down your Cross and hoist the Hammer and Sickle Comrade. 

Thank you, Tim, for posting this.  Brothers, I do not want to be uncharitable, but there is something in the mocking, scornful "he's a commie" responses that strikes me as deeply wrong.  In particular, Ryan, how can you possibly use "multicultural" as a pejorative term if you are a believer?!  That's what the church is.  It's multicultural.  It went to the Jew first and then the Greek and then the Gentile Barbarian.  It promises to gather an elect from every tribe and tongue and people and language.  And there is no "separate but equal" Christianity.  There is no way that you can have an ethic, or a policy, that justifies slavery, or apartheid, and call that biblical.  You can't say, "we'll count you saved but we won't fellowship with you or let your sons marry our daughters," unless we're talking about the Amorites here.  And that's why I cannot abide this nostalgia so many of us seem to have for the Confederacy (I live in South Carolina).  Or the willingness we have to support an Apartheid regime because, hey, they hated the communists too.  I may be wrong, but all I think Tim is doing here is summed up in this paragraph:

"he history of Nelson Mandela's fatherland and apartheid is bound up with Reformed men and their theology just as the history of the Confederacy, the Civil War, and slavery in America is bound up with Reformed men and their theology. God hates injustice, oppression, and the bloodshed of innocents, whether the oppressor is Pharoah in Egypt, Jezebel in Israel, Nero in Rome, the Roman Catholics in the Middle Ages, or Protestant and Reformed Christians in South Africa or these United States."

If that's upsetting, I can't help but think it's because it hits a little too close when you have an unhealthy idolization of James Henley Thornwell.

They tried sabotage (destroying property) first. And they were trying to avoid a civil war.

In the speech I read he said they then moved to guerrilla warfare.  Perhaps I misread it?

Please read the speech.

You can't say, "we'll count you saved but we won't fellowship with you or let your sons marry our daughters," unless we're talking about the Amorites here.

So Edward VI wasn't biblical?  Or any monarchy?  Essentially we went over 1000 years without any biblical government.  I can't help wondering if a monarchy isn't more biblical than a government which inflames the appetites of its voters, to varying degrees, in the pursuit of power.

>>they then moved to guerrilla warfare.  Perhaps I misread it?

Dear David,

I didn't say they didn't.


Thanks for posting this, Tim.  There's no question that apartheid was a great evil, and the current social chaos in South Africa is as much related to apartheid's initial existence as it was to its subsequent extinction.  Dutch Reformed South Africans birthed a monster from their sin and their posterity is paying the penalty.  So too, in this country, we face problems beyond any obvious solution (other than abject repentance) because of our failure to live the biblical command to love one another.  I don't want to hijack the thread into a different direction, but it is interesting that there were Southern presbyteries (at least one anyway) in the early 19th century that reluctantly approved of race-based slavery if the masters would commit to treating their slaves as Christian brothers, i.e. teaching them to read the Scriptures, allowing them to attend church and raise (unbroken) families.  Many of the brave Southern presbyterian pastors who agreed were forced to flee.  And we continue to pay the price of our stiff-neckedness.

To those who accuse Tim of sidling next to the sickle and hammer.  Get a grip on the subtleties of history.  The fight against evil can and does often lead to strange bedfellows, to wit Churchill & Stalin (albeit reluctant); Catholics & Protestants against abortion, etc. If you don't think the injustice of apartheid would lead the oppressed to look for help wherever it could be found, then you need to read more history  -- as if the communist political prisoners in German concentration camps would have rejected liberation by capitalist Americans...

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

I read his speech again and thought how irrelevant my questioning whether he should've turned away from non-violence in fighting apartheid when his ideal of all persons living together in harmony excluded those needing the most protection, black and white.

No doubt this man knew what the reaction would be for his denouncement of Mandela's abortion advancement but did not fear man. Not a big deal, really, because he's even slammed the Pope on abortion!

...there were Southern presbyteries (at least one anyway) in the early 19th century that reluctantly approved of race-based slavery if the masters would commit to treating their slaves as Christian brothers, i.e. teaching them to read the Scriptures, allowing them to attend church and raise (unbroken) families

Ken, do you know what presbytery that was or any more information about it?

After some reflection:

* Mandela was like MLK, a flawed man chosen by God for a noble task - perhaps in the same way that God chose Cyrus the pagan king to bless the Jews.

* My South African friends, Afrikaners included, were united in expressing their thanks to God for his life - I find that quite telling.

* The Mandela who came out of prison in 1990 had changed, significantly, from the man who had gone into prison in 1964. Given where South Africa could have gone, Mandela achieved a great deal.

* not all the changes in SA in the intervening years have been negative - it was reported that the crowd cheered FW de Klerk (the last apartheid-era president). The same crowd would not have done so in 1994, I don't think.


From Ernest Trice Thompson's "Presbyterians in the South" (John Knox Press, 1963),

pp. 205

...Translyvania Presbytery [Kentucky], for example, in 1794 "ordered that all persons under the care of Presbytery holding slaves shall teach every slave not above the age of fifteen years to read the word of God & give them such good education as may prepare them for the enjoyment of freedom, & shall instruct such slaves of the above the principles & precepts of the christian religion & that the masters of such slaves shall by every rational means in their power urge their attendance on public & family worship."

pp. 324 and following:

...two years later [1794] the presbytery of Transylvania, which covered the state of Kentucky...ordered that all slaveholders under their care educate their slaves for 'the enjoyment of freedom.' ...In 1796 Transylvania Presbytery...resolved:

"...that although Presbytery are fully convinced of the great evil of slavery yet they view the final remedy as alone belonging to the civil power; and also do not think that they have sufficient authority from the word of God to make it a term of church communion; they therefore leave it to the conscience of the brethren to act as they think proper, earnestly recommending to the people under their care to emancipate such of their slaves as they may think fit subjects of liberty & that they also take every possible measure by teaching their young slaves to read, to give them such instruction as may be in their power to prepare them for enjoyment of liberty...which they hope will be accomplished as soon as the nature of things will admit."

On August 5, 1800, West Lexington Presbytery (in Kentucky) referred to the Synod of Virginia a memorial...on the subject of slavery...the Synod of Virginia in reply declared:

"That so many thousands of our fellow creatures should in this land of liberty, and assylum [sic] for the oppressed, be held in chains, is a reflection to us peculiarly afflictive...We consider it an indispensable duty of all who hold slaves to prepare by a suitable education the young among them for a state of freedom, and to liberate them as soon as they shall appear to be duly qualified for that high privilege, and such as neglect a duty so evidently, & so powerfully, enforced by...the benign genius of our holy religion, ought, in our opinion, to be seriously dealt with & admonished on that account."

Thompson also relates debates over the sale of slaves, their ordination, etc.  More could be said, but this give you the gist.


Thank you for this, Ken. Abolition was so often championed by those who hated authority of all kinds and despised the Word of God that it's easy to think that working for the freedom of slaves must necessarily equal despising the Word of God---and of course that's not true at all. It is very helpful to see the outworking of love of neighbor in the lives of those who also feared God and trembled at His Word. It's very different from "standard" abolitionism (which in many or most abolitionists' lives led them straight to feminism). Again, thank you.

As a South African, I can admire Mandela for several things, BUT . . . .

1. Don't underestimate the havoc caused by his 1996 legalization of abortion upon request in the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act 92 of 1996  (which he signed into law), which states that it "promotes  reproductive rights and extends freedom of choice by affording every woman the right to choose". This has lead to the death of 500,000 to 1 million babies, most of them black.  You can read the Act, signed by President Mandela, on the South African government website: 1996/a92-96.pdf

2. Mandela did not just have Communist sympathies, unlike the impression he was trying to convey in his Rivonia speech. He was NOT telling the truth when he said in his speech that your blog quotes:  ". . . I have never been a member of the Communist Party".  In fact, he was lying under oath.

*  That Mandela HAD BEEN a member of the top leadership of the South African Communist Party at the time of his Rivonia Trial was shown by evidence produced by Stephen Elllis, 'British professor at the Africa Study Center (University of Leiden) and Free University (Amsterdam), in 2011 (“The Genesis of the ANC’s Armed Struggle in South Africa 1948–1961,” 2011 in Journal of Southern African Studies)

* This was confirmed, last week, when for the first time EVER, Mandela's party (the African National Congress) and the South African Communist Party, admitted that Nelson Mandela had in fact been a member of the Communist Party's Executive Committee. This means Mandela was one of Africa's top Communist leaders in the 1960's.

See a South African newspaper report here:

Or read some of the statements by the ANC and the South African Communist Party:

Read the South African Communist Party's statement here:

They state "At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our Party’s Central Committee."

Read the ANC statement here:

("Cde Mandela" in the ANC's statement is a sensitive abbreviation for "Comrade Mandela.") The ANC admits: "Madiba was also a member of the South African Communist Party, where he served in the Central Committee."

I found this while researching around the web on Mandela



Nelson Mandela


A Communist is a member of the Communist Party who understands and accepts the
theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism as explained by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin
, and who subjects himself to the discipline of the Party. (See notes 1, 2, 3 & 4)

The goal of Communism is a classless society based on the principle: from each
according to his ability and to each according to his needs. The aim is to change the
present world into a Communist world where there will be no exploiters and no
exploited, no oppressor and oppressed, no rich and no poor. Communists fight for a
world where there will be no unemployment, no poverty and starvation, disease and
ignorance. In such a world there will be no capitalists, no imperialists, no fascists. There
will be neither colonies nor wars.

In our own country, the struggles of the oppressed people are guided by the South
African Communist Party and inspired by its policies. The aim of the S.A.C.P. is to
defeat the Nationalist government and to free the people of South Africa from the evils of
racial discrimination and exploitation and to build a classless or socialist society in which
the land, the mines, the mills, our (unreadable)

Under a Communist Party Government South Africa will become a land of milk and
honey. Political, economic and social rights will cease to be enjoyed by Whites only.
They will be shared equally by Whites and Non-Whites. There will be enough land and
houses for all. There will be no unemployment, starvation and disease.

Workers will earn decent wages; transport will be cheap and education free. There will be
no pass laws, no influx control, no Police raids for passes and poll tax, and Africans,
Europeans, Coloureds and Indians will live in racial peace and perfect equality.

The victory of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., in the Peoples Republic of China, in Bulgaria,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Rumania, where the living conditions of the
people were in many respects similar and even worse than ours, proves that we too can
achieve this important goal.

Communists everywhere fight to destroy capitalist society and to replace it with
Socialism, where the masses of the common people, irrespective of race or colour, will
live in complete equality, freedom and happiness. They seek to revolutionise society and
are thus called revolutionaries. Those who support capitalism with its class divisions and
other evils and who oppose our just struggles to end oppression are called counter

Comrade Liu Hao Schi, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of
China, says:

we Communist Party members are the most advanced revolutionaries in
modern history and are the contemporary fighting and driving force in
changing society and the world. Revolutionaries exist because counter-
revolutionaries still exist. Therefore, to conduct a ceaseless struggle
against the counter-revolutionaries constitutes an essential condition for
the existence and development of revolutionaries. If they fail to carry on
such a struggle, they cannot be called revolutionaries and still less can
they advance and develop. It is in the course of this ... [that] ... members
change society, change the world and at the same time change themselves.

To succeed in conducting a ceaseless struggle against the counter-revolutionaries, and to
be able to play the vital role of being the most advanced revolutionary and driving force
in changing society and the world, one must put all else aside and seriously and faithfully
undertake self-cultivation.


The process of self-cultivation involves two elements:

(a) One's steeling in the practical struggle of the oppressed people, and

(b) the cultivation of one's ideas.


To become the most advanced communist revolutionary, it is not enough to
understand and accept the theory of Marxism-Leninism. In addition, one must
take part in the practical struggles of the people against oppression and
exploitation. A person who is isolated from the people's struggles, an arm-chair
politician however deep his knowledge of Marxist theory might be, is not a
communist revolutionary.

It is only in the course of such practical struggles that one's advancement and
development is stimulated, that one acquires the necessary experience to guide the
masses of the people in their political battles and the art and skill of being a
driving force in changing society and the world. It is precisely for this reason that
SACP requires its members to participate fully and without reservations in such
issues as the Anti-Pass Campaigns, the struggle against Bantu Authorities, against
job reservation, the Group Areas Act and in all other mass campaigns.

By consistently taking part in such struggles, Party members who may

whatsoever, gain valuable knowledge and get hardened for the stern mass
struggles that are part and parcel of the life of every Communist revolutionary.


Participation (in) practical mass struggles does (not) in itself enable a Party
member to raise his revolutionary qualities, nor does it help him to understand the
(aims) of the development of society and the laws of the revolution. Progress in
one's revolutionary qualities and knowledge of the laws of social development
and the laws of the revolution will be achieved by a thorough understanding of the
meaning of Marxism.

It is thus absolutely imperative for all Party members to have to make a serious
study of Marxist philosophy and to master it completely. Only in this way will
Party members become the most advanced revolutionaries. Only in this way will
they advance and develop.

The aim of studying Marxist philosophy is to enable us to direct more effectively
revolutionary mass struggles. To put it in a nutshell, Marxism is a guide to action.
Communist Party members must undertake self-cultivation whether they are new
members in the Party or old ones, whether they are workers, peasants,
businessmen, professional men or intellectuals, and whether they are conducting
difficult or easy revolutionary mass campaigns; in victory or defeat.
Finally, self-cultivation must be imaginative and practical, and must be used to
eliminate from one's outlook and conduct unhealthy tendencies which local
conditions may give rise to.

South Africa is a country where the Whites dominate politically, economically
and socially and where Africans, Coloureds and Indians are treated as inferiors. It
is a country torn asunder by racial strife and where black and white chauvinism
finds fertile soil in which it thrives and where efforts and appeals for working-
class solidarity very often fall on deaf ears.

The pamphlet compiled by the S.A.C.P. to mark the fortieth anniversary of the
Communist Party of South Africa which preceded the S.A.C.P. and which was

declared illegal in 1950 correctly points out that, in spite of all the formidable
difficulties that face it, the C.P.S.A. had in its existence brought about profound
changes in the thinking and political outlook of the oppressed people of South
Africa. These achievements are being expanded and further developed by the
S.A.C.P.; the worthy successor of the C.P.S.A. In spite of these advances,
however, there is still the danger that the historical problems and prejudices
produced by capitalist society in our country may infiltrate into our Party and
influence the political outlook of our Party members.

In cultivating their outlook, our members must consciously strive to remove these
particular weaknesses and shortcomings as well.

This is what we mean when we say Party members must undertake self-


At the beginning of these lectures, we defined a communist as a member of the
Communist Party who understands and accepts the theory and practice of
Marxism, Leninism as explained by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.
Any person may become a member of the Communist Party if he accepts the
Programme and Constitution of the Party, pays Party membership fees and
undertakes tasks given to him in one of the Party's organisations. These are called
the minimum qualifications that every Party member must possess, but every one
of our members should not be content to be a member of minimum qualifications
He must strive to become a member of maximum qualifications. Every Party
member should raise his revolutionary qualities in every respect to the same level
as those of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.

Some say that it is impossible to acquire the great qualities of revolutionary
geniuses like Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and that it is impossible to raise our
own qualities to the same level as theirs. But as long as Party members work hard
and earnestly, never allow themselves to be isolated for one single moment from
the day to day struggle of the people, and make serious efforts to study Marxist
literature, learn from the experiences of other comrades and the masses of the
people, and constantly strive to steel and cultivate themselves, they will be
perfectly able to raise their qualities to the same level as that of Marx, Engels,
Lenin and Stalin.

There are two ways of studying Marxism. One is to learn it by heart and be able to
repeat mechanically the information learnt without being able to use this
information for the purpose of solving problems. The second is to try to master
the essence, spirit and methods of Marxism. In this second category belongs those
comrades who read over and over again Marxist literature, who pay special
attention to the concrete conditions existing in the country where they live and

draw their own conclusions, their activities, their attitude towards other

comrades and the masses of the people, and the whole of their lives are guided by
the principles of Marxism-Leninism and aimed at one thing - national liberation,

the victory of the working class, the liberation of mankind, the success of
Communism and nothing else.

To reach this goal calls for a supreme effort and an iron will. It means complete
dedication to the struggle for the removal of oppression and exploitation and for
lifelong dedication to the study of Marxism.


Cultivation must be carried out in all aspects in the course of the long and
strenuous struggle to free the working class and the masses of the people from
capitalist exploitation. Cultivation is needed in studying Marxism and in applying
it to answer questions and to solve practical problems, in sharpening one's class
outlook and political thinking, in shaping one's moral character and behaviour; in
hard work and ability to withstand hardship, in preserving the unity of the Party
and conducting inner party struggle; in loyalty to the Party and complete
dedication to the cause of the Communist Revolution.

The life of a Communist revolutionary is no bed of roses. It consists of serious
studies in Marxist literature, of hard work and of constant participation in
numerous and endless mass struggles. He has no time for worldly pleasures and
his whole life is devoted to one thing, and one thing only, the destruction of
capitalist society, the removal of all forms of exploitation and the liberation of

A Communist revolutionary always combines thought with practice. He studies
for the sole purpose of putting into practice what he has learnt. He regards

Marxism, as action and takes part fully and without reservation in mass

struggles directed by the party or by other political organisation outside of the


In South Africa, a Communist Party member must take part in mass struggles

initiated by the S.A.C.P., the Congress movement or by other political bodies

within the liberation movement.


It is commonly thought that one's intelligence, ability and the study of Marxist
text-books are in themselves enough to enable one to master the theory and
method of Marxism-Leninism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dealing
with this point, Liu Shao Chu says: -

"Marxism-Leninism is the science of the proletarian revolution. It can be
thoroughly understood and mastered only by those who fully take the
proletarian standpoint and who adopt the ideals of the proletariat as their
own. It is impossible for anyone to thoroughly understand and master the
Marxist science of the proletariat only by means of his intellect and strenuous

study if he lacks the firm standpoint and .... ideals of the proletariat. This is
also an obvious truth. Therefore, in studying the theory and method of
Marxism-Leninism today, it is necessary that our study proceeds
simultaneously with our ideological cultivation and steeling because without
the theory and method of Marxism-Leninism, we should have nothing to
guide our thoughts and actions and our ideological cultivation would also be
impossible. These two are closely related to each other, and are inseparable."
We do need Communist Party members who are highly intelligent and who have
ability and who make it their business to have a thorough understanding of
Marxist theory. But a working class revolution will be carried out successfully by
those Party members who, in addition to the characteristics mentioned above,
adopt without reservation, the standpoint and ideals of the working class.
Although they may be unable to recite quotations from Marxist textbooks,
experience shows that Party members of working class origin have a keener
interest and deeper understanding of Marxism-Leninism than those Party
members of student origin provided it is explained to them in words they
understand. In loyalty to the Party, in discipline and in the handling of practical
problems, they often prove more correct and more in conformity with the
Principles of Marxism-Leninism than others.

This is so because Party members of working class origin have a firm and pure
Communist standpoint and ideals, an objective attitude towards things, and in
their minds they have no preconceived ideas whatsoever, and no worries about
personal problems or about impure matters.
Party members who lack a firm working class outlook, who have the habits and

of other classes and who have personal interests and selfish ideas are not true

Communists. As a matter of fact they very often find that Marxist-Leninism
principles will clash with their interests, and they invariably try to distort these
principles to suit their own personal interests and prejudices.
Every Communist revolutionary must therefore, firmly adopt the standpoint and
ideology of the working class. Unless he does this, it is not possible for him to
understand the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism.


On Page One of this section we found out that our aim is to change the present
world into a Communist world where there will be no exploiters and exploited, no
oppressor and oppressed, no rich and poor. We also make the point that the
victory of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., in China and other States in Asia and Eastern
Europe proves that a Communist world is capable of attainment. Moreover, since
the victory of Socialism in the U.S.S.R. in 1917, the Socialist camp has grown to
become a world force with a population of more than 1,000 million and
occupying a third of the globe.

But in spite of this victorious advance, the Communist movement still faces
powerful enemies which must be crushed and wiped out from the face of the earth

before a Communist world can be realised. Without a hard and bitter and long

struggle against capitalism and exploitation, there can be no Communist world.

The cause of Communism is the greatest cause in the history of mankind, because

it seeks to remove from society all forms of oppression and exploitation to

liberate mankind, and to ensure peace and prosperity to all.

A Communist revolution is different from all other revolutions in history.

Whereas in other revolutions the seizure of State Power is an end in itself, in a

Communist revolution the seizure of State Power by the working class is a means

to an end, that end being the total removal of all forms of exploitation, the

liberation of mankind by building up a classless society.

Every Communist Party member must possess the greatest courage and

revolutionary determination and must be prepared to play his part and carry out

all political tasks without fear or hesitation.

In the struggle to transform the present world into a Communist world, we must

strive consistently to combine theory with practice.

Finally, WE must live and develop in reality in fighting to change the world, we

must start from the very people in close contact with us. We must thoroughly

study our own situation and problems, understand them completely and work out

appropriate solutions.


A Communist Party member must subordinate his personal interests to those of
the Party. The Communist Party has no interests of its own apart from those of the
working class. Therefore, the subordination of a Party member's personal
interests to the Party's interests means subordination to the interests of the
working class.

We test a Communist Party member's loyalty to the Party, to the revolution and
the Communist cause by the manner in which he absolutely and unconditionally
subordinates his interests to those of the Party under all circumstances. To
sacrifice one's personal interests and even one's life without hesitation for the
cause of the Party is the highest manifestation of Communist ethics.
In the Party our members should not have personal aims independent of the
Party's interests. The desire for personal power and positions, individual heroism,
conflict with the interests of the Party and the working class.

A true communist should possess the following characteristics:
(i) He must posses very good Communist ethics.

He can show love and loyalty to all his Comrades, revolutionaries and working
people, help them unconditionally, treat them with equality and never harm any
one of them.

He always tries to do more revolutionary work than others and to fight harder. In
times of adversity he will stand out courageously and unflinchingly and, in the
face of difficulties he will demonstrate the greatest sense of responsibility. He is
able to resist corruption by riches or honours, to resist tendencies to vacillate in
spite of poverty and lowly states and to refuse to yield in spite of threats of force.

(ii) He possess(es) the greatest courage. He can see his mistakes and shortcomings
and has sufficient willpower to correct them. At all times and under all
circumstances he speaks the truth and nothing but the truth. He courageously
fights for it even when it is temporarily to his disadvantage to do so.

(iii) He has a thorough understanding of the theory and method of Marxism-
Leninism. He has an objective attitude.

(iv) He is the most sincere, most candid and happiest of men. Apart from the
interests of the Party and of the revolution he has no personal losses or gains or
other things to worry about. He takes care not to do wrong things when he works
independently and without supervision and when there is ample opportunity for
him to do all kinds of wrong things.

He does not fear criticism from others and he can courageously and sincerely
criticise others.

(v) He possesses the highest self-respect and self-esteem. For the interest of the
party and of the revolution, he can also be the most lenient, most tolerant and
most ready to compromise and he will even endure if necessary, various forms of
humiliation and injustice without feeling hurt or bearing grudges.

The Communist Party represents not only the interests of individual Party
members but also the long-range interests of the entire body of workers and the
emancipation of mankind; the Communist Party has no other interests and aims.
The Party must not be regarded as a narrow small group like a guild which seeks
only the personal interests of its members. Whoever holds such a view is not a

A member of our Party is no longer just an ordinary person. He is a conscious
vanguard fighter of the working class. He should prove himself a conscious living
representative of the interests and ideology of the working class. He should
thoroughly merge his personal interests and aims in the general interests and aims
of the Party and the working class.

A communist revolutionary has his personal interests and the Party should neither
eliminate his personality nor prevent personal development, as long as these do
not conflict with the interests of the Party.

This is what is meant by the unconditional subordination of the personal interest
of a Party member to the interests of the Party.


(i) People who join the Communist Party come from different classes of society
and bring with them various habits which often clash with the basic tenets of
Marxism-Leninism. Because these people do not have a firm and clear cut
Communist outlook they very often waver and even desert the Party when they
are faced with danger or difficulties.

The Party must pay particular attention to the education, steeling and self-
cultivation of such comrades since without them, they cannot develop to be true
Communists. No Communist Party anywhere in the world limits its membership
only to those who have a thorough understanding of Communism. The Party will
admit any person who accepts the programme of the Party and its Constitution.
By serious study and hard work such comrades can develop into excellent
Communists ready to give their lives for the Party and the Communist cause ....
individualism and self interests in their work. In their attitude and work they place
their personal interests above the Party's interests, they worry about personal
gains, they use the Party for their own personal interests.
They always want special treatment, less work and more pay. They avoid hard
work and hardship; and will disappear at the first signs of danger, and yet they
will want to share the honours won by their comrades for the Party through
sacrifice and hard work.

Individualism frequently expresses itself in unprincipled discussions and disputes,
factional struggles and in sectarian tendencies and in undermining Party
discipline. A closely related mistake is that of departmentalism, in which a
comrade sees only partial interests, sees only his part of the work instead of
seeing the situation as a whole and of the work of others. It often leads to
obstruction and must be avoided.

(iii) Others show conceit, individual heroism and like to show off. Liu Shao Chi
says of these people: -

The first consideration of people with such ideas is their position in
the Party. They like to show off, and want others to flatter them
and admire them. They have a personal ambition to become
leaders. They take advantage of their abilities and like to claim
credit; to show off themselves; to keep everything in their hands
and they are intolerant. They are full of vanity, do not want to keep
their heads in hard work and are unwilling to do technical work.
They are haughty. When they have made some small achievements
they become very arrogant and domineering as if there were no

one else like them in the world. They seek to overshadow others
and cannot treat others on equal terms, modestly and politely. They
are self conceited and like to lecture others, to instruct and boss
others. They are always trying to climb above others, and do not
accept directions from others, do not learn modestly from others

and from the masses, nor do they accept criticism from

others. They like to be "promoted" but cannot stand being

"They can only work in fair weather but not in foul. They cannot bear
attacks on injustices and are unable to adapt themselves to circumstances.
They are no great men capable of asserting themselves when necessary or
of keeping in the background when required. They have not yet got rid of
their deep-rooted "desire for fame" and they try to build themselves up
into "great men" and "heroes" in the Communist cause, and even have no
scruples in employing any means for the gratification of such desires.

However, when their aims cannot be achieved, when they treatment

from comrades in the Party, there is a possible danger of their wavering. In
the minds of such persons there exists remnants of the ideology of the
exploiting classes. They do not understand the greatness of Communism,
nor do they have the broad vision of a Communist.

A Communist should have none of these shortcomings. Whoever possesses such
weaknesses does not understand Communism and cannot rise to become as great
as Lenin. In the Communist Party leaders achieve success through mass support.
Mass support is earned by those Party members who have no personal interests as
against those of the working class and the Party who are completely loyal to the
Party, who have a high degree of Communist ethics and revolutionary qualities,
who strive to master the theory and methods of Marxism-Leninism, who have
considerable practical ability, who can actually direct Party work, who are not
afraid of serious study and love work, and who become heroes and leaders in the
Communist revolution because of the confidence and support they enjoy from the
masses of the people.

The struggle to change the world into a Communist world cannot be

carried out by one person however able he may be and however hard he works. It
can be carried out successfully only by the planned and combined efforts of
millions of people.

Some Party members are contemptuous of technical work within the Party. Such
an attitude is incorrect because technical work forms an important part of Party
work and because a Party member should be ready and willing to do any work
which is important to the Party whether or no(t) he likes to do such work.

(iv) Other comrades within the Party reflect the ideology of the exploiting classes.
In their Party work and in their relations with other Party members they behave
like landlords, capitalists, and fascists.

These persons seek to develop themselves by holding down others. They are
jealous of those who are more capable. They are not prepared to work under other
comrades or to take instructions. They secretly rejoice when other comrades fail
in their political tasks and in their moral standards and conduct. They indulge in
gossip and spread false information about their comrades. These are the

characteristics of exploiting classes and are the working class and the

Party. They should be fought and exposed wherever they are found.

The working class is entirely different from the exploiting class. It does not

exploit others nor does its interests conflict with those of the Party and other

workers of exploited masses.

The outlook and thinking of the working class are altogether different from those

of the exploiting classes. In dealing with the enemies of the people they are

merciless and uncompromising, but in dealing with their comrades they are

always inspired by love and the desire to assist. They are strict with themselves

but lenient towards other comrades. They are strict and firm on matters of

principle and always adopt a frank and serious attitude. This is the outlook of the

working class and should be learnt and developed by every Party member.

(v) Some comrades still have bureaucratic tendencies. They like to run the Party

by issuing edicts and directives without without taking into account the

views of other comrades. They resent criticism and are very harsh in dealing with
other comrades. Such weaknesses are unmarxist and every communist should
strive to overcome them completely.

Furthermore a Party member should be broad minded and concern himself always
with the overall situation when dealing with problems. He should avoid pettiness

and unprincipled discussion. He should have standpoint and not a fence


Although the Communist Party is the most progressive of all political parties, and
although it fights for a society which guarantees happiness and prosperity to
millions of people, not everything in it is perfect. In spite of the fact that its
members are the world's most conscious and progressive revolutionaries with the
highest sense of morality and righteousness, there are still defects in the Party and
some of its members do not measure up to the qualifications of a Communist
revolutionary. The explanation for this state of affairs lies in the fact that every
Communist Party member emerges out of the very society whose evils it seeks to
remove. Its members come from the various classes of that society and some of
them bring into the Party the habits, prejudices and outlook on life of the class
from which they came. It is precisely for this reason that Communist Party
members must undertake self-cultivation.

In addition to waging struggles against counter-revolutionary forces, the Party
must carry on inner-Party struggles against those comrades who are still
influenced by the outlook and prejudices of the exploiting classes.

The working class is commonly referred to as the proletariat. The working class
can be divided into three groups:

(i) The first group is composed of those who completely severed their ties with
the capitalist class years ago. This is the core of the working class and are the
most loyal and reliable.

(ii) The second group consists of those who only recently came from the non-
working class, who came from the the middle class and the They are

usually anarchistic and ultra-left.

(iii) The third group is composed of the working class aristocracy, those working
class members who are best provided for, who earn high wages and whose
economic position is comparatively high. They compromise easily with the
enemies of the people, with the capitalist class.

Every Party member should aim to be the most loyal and reliable to the cause of
Communism and to have a firm and clear-cut working class outlook.


Some Party members have a pessimistic view on things and they see errors,
defects and a future beset with formidable difficulties and dangers. The growing
strength of the socialist camp, the power influence exerted by our Party in our
own country and the certainty of the final victory of Communism over Capitalism
inspire them with no hope in the future.

Others see only victory and progress, and fail altogether to notice defects and
errors in the Party. They become dizzy with success, become blindly optimistic
and become less vigilant.

Both views are un-marxist. A Communist Party member knows that the
Communist Party is the most progressive and most revolutionary Party in the
world. He has complete confidence in the future and he dedicates his entire career
to the cause of Communism. In spite of this knowledge he realises most clearly
that in our Party there are still various kinds of errors, defects and undesirable
things. A Party member clearly understands the origin of these errors and the
method to be used in removing them.

The following are the various kinds of attitudes towards undesirable things in the

(i) To enjoy seeing errors and defects in the Party and to magnify them to
undermine the Party. This is the attitude of spies and similar elements within the

(ii) Some people consider that the existence of errors and defects in the Party is to
their advantage and they deliberately help to spread them and to make use of
them. This is the attitude adopted by opportunists and similar elements within the

(iii) To leave these errors and defects undisturbed instead of fighting against
them. This is the course followed by those members who have but a weak sense
of duty towards the Party and who have bureaucratic tendencies.

(iv) To harbour violent hatred towards errors and defects and towards Party
members whose political outlook is incorrect. They believe in bitter struggles
among Party members and expel their comrades at the slightest pretext. This is the
method used by Party comrades who do not correctly understand the methods of
correcting mistakes and weakness amongst comrades.

All these attitudes are incorrect and dangerous and should be scrupulously
avoided by Communists. Our own attitude is as follows: -

(i) We first analyse the situation most thoroughly and decide which views are
correct and which of them are incorrect and dangerous to the Party. Once we are
convinced of the correct opinion we firmly uphold it to the bitter end and no
matter how strong the opposition and how influential the individuals who hold the
opposite point of view.

(ii) Having carefully analysed the situation and having decided which is the
correct opinion, we then devote our attention to the promotion and development
of the correct viewpoint. We never allow ourselves to be influenced by an
incorrect point of view.

(iii) Communists are men of action. In promoting and developing the correct
viewpoint we also fight actively against all the undesirable things in life. A Party
member who is afraid of action and hard struggle, however brilliant he might be,
can never be a Communist revolutionary. A Communist must always and under
all circumstances, be ready and willing to conduct an active struggle against all
forms of reaction.

(iv) Although a Communist never compromises on questions of principle, he
never adopts an inflexible and mechanical attitude in his methods of struggle. The
aim is always to reform and educate those comrades who still possess non-
Communist tendencies.

(v) The elimination of undesirable tendencies in the Party and the building up of
revolutionary qualities in our members enhances the discipline and prestige of the
Party. Those Party members who fail to respond to the most patient persuasion
and to efforts to educate and reform them, should be expelled from the Party.

As indicated at the very beginning of this series, a Communist is a member of the
Communist Party who understands and accepts the theory and practice of
Marxism-Leninism as expounded by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, and who
subjects himself to the discipline of the Party. A good Communist is therefore one

(i) Is a member of the Communist Party who is absolutely faithful and loyal to the
Party, who obeys without question all Party rules and regulations and who carries
out all instructions issued by the Party.

(ii) Has thoroughly studied the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, who
understands them clearly and who knows how to carry out their teachings in the
struggles of the people to defeat capitalism and all forms of exploitation.

(iii) Devotes all his time to one thing, and one thing only, the struggle against
Capitalism and for a Communist world.

(iv) In their relations with Party comrades are always inspired by love and sincere
friendship and the desire to be helpful.

(v) Are honest and upright and who are prepared to defend the truth at all times
and under all circumstances.

Such is a good Communist.


Dialectical Materialism is the revolutionary philosophy of the Communist Party
and the working class.

Dialectical Materialism was founded by Marx and Engels and is discussed and

explained in the works of Lenin and other prominent leaders of the Communist


It is a dialectical philosophy because it studies things concretely and objectively

and because its approach on all things in nature is always based on data

established through scientific investigation and experience.

It is materialistic because it holds the view that the world is by its very nature

material and that the numerous things and processes we see in the world

constitute different forms of matter in motion.

In ancient times dialectics was the art of arriving at the truth by disclosing the

contradictions in the argument of an opponent and solving these contradictions.

This dialectical method of establishing truth was later extended to the study of

nature. Using the dialectical method of study and investigation, mankind

discovered that all things in nature are always in motion and always changing, and
that nature develops as the result of contradictions in nature itself.


The dialectical method has four main features:

(1) The dialectical method considers that nothing can be understood taken by
itself in isolation from other things or from its surrounding circumstances. A thing
must always be studied and understood in relation to its environment or

(2) The dialectical method considers everything as in a state of continuous
movement and change, of renewal and development, where something is always
arising and developing and something always falls into pieces or is dying away.

(3) The dialectical method holds that the process of development should be
understood as an onward and upward movement, as a transition from an old
qualitative state to a new qualitative state, as a development from the simple to
the complex, from the lower to the higher.

(4) The dialectical method holds that internal contradictions are inherent in all
things in nature. Everything has its positive and negative side, a past and future.
In nature there is always something dying away and something developing. The
struggle between the opposites, between the positive and the negative, between
the past and the future, between the old and the new, between that which is dying
away and that which is being born, is the sole reason for development and change.

Historical materialism is the application of the principles of dialectical
materialism to the study of society and its history.

A Communist must strive to master completely the principles of the dialectical
method discussed above and use them as a guide in his political work.
Dealing with the first proposition mentioned above, the principle of considering
things in relation to actual conditions and circumstances and not apart from these
actual circumstances, is always of vital importance to a Communist in deciding
the simplest policy questions. A Communist is useless to our movement if he
deals with policy questions in the abstract without taking into account the actual
circumstances in relation to which policy has to be implemented, without
understanding that the same policy can be right in one case and wrong in another
depending on the concrete circumstances of each case.

In their struggle against race discrimination the oppressed people of South Africa
have in the past followed a policy of peace and non-violence. They still seek

peaceful solutions and they will do everything in their power to avoid violent
strife and bloody revolution. But a blind and mechanical application of this
policy, irrespective of actual conditions and circumstances can lead to defeat and
disaster for our movement. In the past the people were able to conduct successful
non-violent struggles because opportunities were available for peaceful agitation
and struggle. But the policy of the Nationalist Government, which forcibly
suppresses the peaceful struggles of the people, has created new conditions under
which non-violent and peaceful methods of struggle have become inadequate to
advance the struggle of the people and to defend their rights. Under these new
conditions it is easy to understand why the masses of the people are searching for
a new formula of political struggle which will enable them to hit back effectively
and end the violent and reactionary policies of the Government. Whilst in the past
it was correct to preach non-violence, under present conditions it is not correct to
go on stressing it as if nothing has changed. There is nothing sacred or inherently
superior about non-violent methods of struggle. So long as they are effective
weapons to fight for freedom and democracy, they must be employed fully, but it
would be wrong to persist with them mechanically once conditions demand

The second proposition is equally important. If the world is in a state of constant
movement and development, if the dying away of the old and the upgrowth of the
new is a law of development, then it follows that no system of society is
permanent and everlasting. Just as primitive communal society was replaced by
slave society, and just as slave society was replaced by feudalism, and feudalism
by capitalism, so will capitalism be replaced by socialism. This is what happened
for instance, in Albania, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, East Germany,
Hungary, North Korea, Rumania, Russia and North Vietnam. In all these
countries the capitalist system was overthrown and replaced by socialism. In our
own country capitalism cannot and will not last indefinitely.
The people of South Africa, led by the S.A.C.P. will destroy capitalist society
and build in its place socialism where there will be no exploitation of man by
man, and where there will be no rich and poor, no unemployment,
starvation, disease and ignorance.

According to the third proposition of dialectical method, the process of
development should be understood as an onward and upward movement, as a
transition from the lower to the higher and from the simple to the complex. Hence
the transition from capitalism to socialism and the liberation of the working class
from the yoke cannot be effected by slow changes or by reforms as reactionaries
and liberals often advise, but by revolution. One therefore, must be a
revolutionary and not a reformist.

Finally, if development and change in things take place by way of collision
between opposite forces, then it is clear that the struggle between workers and
capitalists is natural and unavoidable. Hence we must not try to preach peace and
harmony between workers and capitalists. We must stimulate and encourage class
struggle. We must call upon workers to conduct a ceaseless war against the
capitalist class and for socialism.


The philosophy of materialism as expounded by Marx is a way of explaining all
questions, and is irreconcilably opposed to idealism. Two examples are given to
illustrate the difference between the two methods of materialism and idealism,
namely, what causes thunderstorms and why are some people rich and others

An idealist would answer by saying that thunderstorms are due to the anger of
God and that some people are rich and others poor because God made them so.
The materialist, on the other hand seeks for an explanation of the natural forces
and in the material and economic conditions of normal life. To a materialist,
thunderstorms are due solely to natural forces and not to the anger of the Gods.
He would explain that some people are poor because they are compelled by
material conditions to work for low wages for the rest of their lives for the rich
who own the means of production - the land, its mineral resources and its forests,
the banks, mills and factories, transport and other systems of communication.
These differences have important practical results. If we accept the idealist's
explanation of thunderstorms, and of why some people are rich whilst others are
poor, then there is nothing we can do about the matter except to sit, arms folded
and pray to God. If we accept the materialist's explanation, however, we will take
precautions against thunderstorms such as building lightning conductors. Instead
of accepting our poverty as the will of God, we will stand up and fight to put an
end to a system of society which condemns us to lifelong poverty and misery.

Materialism and idealism are irreconcilably opposed. Materialism teaches: -

(1) That the world is by its very nature material. In other words the things we see
in the world are composed of matter.

(2) That matter is something we can see with our naked eyes or by the aid of
scientific instruments.

(3) That the world and its laws are capable of being known. That although there
are things which are not yet known, such things will yet be known through
scientific investigation and experience.

Idealism is essentially a belief in superstition, in the mysterious. It goes hand in
hand with religion. It prevents clear thinking and confuses people. For ages it has
been used by the exploiting classes to prevent the common people from thinking
for themselves. It is a philosophy of the ruling classes and not of the working

class. It is not the philosophy of people who fight for freedom. The philosophy of
the working class is dialectical materialism, the only philosophy which is based
on truth, and which is scientific and practical.


Political economy explains how men get their living.

It deals with the production and distribution among human beings of food,

clothing, shelter, fuel and other things essential to human life.

An important feature about production is that it is always in a state of change and

development. Furthermore changes in the mode of production inevitably result in

changes in the whole system of society, in the ideas of that society, in its political

views and in its political institutions. To put it simply, at different stages of

development people lead a different sort of life.

Five main modes of production and five main types of society are known to

history. These are primitive communal society, slave society, feudal society,

capitalist society and socialist society.


Under primitive communal society, men of the village went out together to hunt
for the animals, to fish and gather the fruit that grew wild. The land and forests in
which they hunted and picked up wild fruits, the rivers in which they fished,
belonged to the whole community and not to any particular individual property
and was shared equally by all. For clothes they used the skins of the animals they
killed, and for shelter they used caves and rocks. Their tools consisted mainly of a
hunting spear and trap and of a fishing net.

This is how man produced food and shelter under primitive communal society.
There were no classes. There were no rich or poor, no exploitation of man by
man, and all were equal before the law. The affairs of the village were discussed
publicly in a village council and all members of that community could attend the
meetings and take part fully in the discussions. In times of war they killed their
prisoners. They could not enslave or exploit them because they had no food to
feed them with. In those days man could only produce enough food to feed
himself and could not afford slaves.

The only division of labour that existed was between the sexes. The men hunted
wild animals and gathered wild fruits whilst the women managed the house,
looked after children and cooked the food.

This is the sort of life man led during primitive communal the earliest mode

of production known in history.


In course of time some tribes developed new means of producing food and this
change in the method of producing food enabled men to lead a different sort of
life. They began to sow seed and rear cattle so that they should have food ready at
hand whenever they wanted it. Primitive agriculture began to develop and there
arose differentiation between the tribes. Some still concentrated on hunting as the
principal method of producing food, but others became pastoral farmers. The
latter could now produce more than required for their personal needs. They
became rich in cattle and began accumulating wealth. Under these new conditions
men captured in war were not killed as in former days. Now they were needed to
plough the lands of their captors, to look after their wealth and to produce more
wealth for the slave owners.
The division of society into classes had begun.

The land and forests in which men used to hunt in former times, and the rivers in
which they fished no longer belonged to the whole community but to the slave
owners. The common and free labour of all members of the tribe in the production
process, which existed under primitive communal society, had now disappeared;
in its place there was now the forced labour of the slaves who were exploited by
their masters. There was no common ownership of the means of production or of
the fruits of production. Common ownership was replaced by private ownership.
Rich and poor, exploiters and exploited, people with full rights and people
without rights, and a fierce class struggle - such were the conditions under slave

The emergence of private property, of contrasting extremes of enormous wealth
on one side and dire poverty on the other, and the class hostility that resulted,
made it necessary for the slave owners to build an instrument which they could
use to protect their properties and their wealth and to crush slave revolts by force.
It was under these circumstances that the exploiting classes created the army, the
police force, the courts and the prisons and made laws. These things put together
are called the State which is an instrument used by the exploiting classes to
compel others to give in to their will.

The State will last as long as class society exists. Only under Communism will the
State disappear. In primitive communal society, order and discipline were
maintained by tradition and custom and by force of public opinion. It was not
necessary to rely on an instrument of force to suppress others. In exactly the same
way, under Communism there will be no State because mankind will have
reached a high level of political and cultural development and responsibility.
A significant development during slave society was the emergence of commodity
production. Articles produced not for the personal use of the producer, but for
exchange, are called commodities. This was a development of tremendous
importance and we will discuss it very fully when we deal with capitalist society.
This was then the mode of primitive life under slave society. The system of
society had changed, the people led a different way of life, new political ideas and
new political institutions had arisen.


Feudal society developed out of slave society and was essentially an agricultural

mode of production.

There were two main classes in feudal society. These were the Lords and the


As in slave society, the means of production were owned by the lord of the estate.

The serf was in a slightly better position than the slave because the lord did not

have the power of life and death over him, and also because the serf owned the

tools he used to plough the lands of his lord.

He was however, subject to cruel exploitation and restrictions. He ploughed the

land of his lord in return for a piece of land which he was allowed to occupy at the

pleasure of his lord, and out of which he maintained himself and his family. The

piece of ground where he lived was given to him to encourage him to produce

more food and more articles for the enrichment of his lord, and he thus produced

better results than the slave. He was tied down to the land and could not leave

without permission. He was in a similar position to our own squatters commonly

found on many white farms in our country.

Under feudal society, food was grown and clothes and other articles were made to

cater for the local population but the lords (or nobles as they were commonly

referred to) used part of their wealth to buy all sorts of luxuries for themselves. In

the course of time trade and transport developed and the desire for more wealth

and luxuries increased.

The development of trade and transport led to the growth of towns and their

influence. It gave rise to new classes of society and to new ideas. A new class of

men who earned their living through trade and commerce arose. These were the


Feudal society became an obstruction to the expansion and growth of trade and

commerce and the new ideas that were arising. The new class that was rising to

power came into conflict with that class that held power. Feudal society was being

challenged by the new social system of capitalism. Only by revolution could the

new forces that were arising be freed. It was by revolution that the new forces

challenged feudal society and replaced it with capitalism. It was also by

revolution that the working class in many parts of the world replaced capitalism

with the higher and democratic system of socialism.

We have now seen that five main types of society are known to history. Primitive

Communal Society, Slave Society, Feudalism and Socialism. New forms of

society grew out gradually from the other society and in some cases different

forms existed side by side. For example, in slave society there were traces of

primitive communal society, whilst traces of slave society existed within feudal

society. In our own capitalist South Africa there are still Africans, and to a lesser

extent Coloureds, who live and work on white farms under conditions remarkably

similar to those of feudal society of the Middle Ages. In other parts of the world

we see Socialist societies, and societies in transition to Socialism.

We live in a capitalist country and the chief task of our Party is to destroy

Capitalism and replace it with Socialism. Capitalism is to us a of

great imbalance. It is for this reason that we devote the greater part of this lecture
to a study of this system.


Capitalism has three essential features.

(1) Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few people who own the means of
production as well as wealth in the form of money. The few people who own the
means of production are called capitalists.

(2) The vast masses of the people earn their living by working for capitalists in
return for wages. In Marxist language these working people are called the


End of MS


1. Karl Marx (1818-83), German revolutionist, cofounder with Friedrich Engels of modern
communism. Suggested that the capitalist society should be overthrown by the working
class. His theory of scientific socialism is now called Marxism.

2. Friedrich Engels (1820-95) Co-founder of communism with Karl Marx. Exercised
considerable influence in the shaping of communist policy and principles.

3. Vladimir Mich Lenin, original surname Ulyanov (1870-1924), Russian Marxist
revolutionary and theoretician, and founder of the Soviet state (1 91 7).

4. Joseph Stalin, real name Yosif Vissarionovitch Djugashvili (1879-1953), Russian
Revolutionist and Soviet dictator. He established a terroristic police state in which millions
of his own citizens were murdered.

Dear Antoine,

Excellent, and thank you.

Nelson Mandela being a communist does not change my desire for everyone to read his speech, above. It's must reading, even if he lied about his Communist commitments, just as it's must reading even though he became an advocate of the shedding of the blood of innocents.


The long document in the comment above (How to be a Good Communist) was indeed in Nelson Mandela’s handwriting, but he said it was simply extracts from other documents, not his own.

By contrast, the recent admissions by the SACP and ANC,  and historical evidence by Dr. Stephen Ellis and others (see the links in my previous comment, or get hold of Ellis’s book (External Mission: The ANC in Exile, 1960-1990 (Oxford University Press, 2013)  indicate Mandela had indeed been, when he was arrested at Rivonia,  not only a member of the then underground Communist Party, but also a member of the Central Committee (the top leadership) has massive implications:

*It means that Mr. Mandela was lying in his historic Rivonia trial speech, the one of this blog post. You can read his denials for yourself in the speech above. Mandela says  ". . . I have never been a member of the Communist Party."  And again,  “I turn now to my own position. I have denied that I am a Communist. . .”

*It means that Mr.Mandela lied in his 1994 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, where he denied being a Communist Party member.

*It means that Mr. Mandela lied in authorizing the biography by Anthony Sampson, in 1999 and 2011, where again the same denial is stated.

*In fact, there are a few occasions on which Mr. Mandela, after his release from prison, kept up the denial publically in interviews etc.  Why? Perhaps for the reason the deputy genl.secretary of the South African Communist Party gave last week: “At the time Mandela was released from prison the Soviet Union was crumbling and there was too much negativity around the Soviet system." (

I still think there is much in Mandela we can admire. But considering the many dark facts, and especially the fact that President Mandela has championed abortion-on-demand legislation that he signed into law in 1996 (see my previous comment) and that has caused the deaths of perhaps a million babies . . .    I fail to see how reading  Mandela’s speech in family devotions would inspire anyone to do anything for the unborn or the “babies slaughtered in your city” , as Tim Bayly hopes it will.  

So when you read Mandela to your children, also remind them of the  words of Mandela’s first wife:

“How can a man who has committed adultery and left his wife and children be Christ? The whole world worships Nelson too much. He is only a man.” – Evelyn Mase (first wife of Nelson Mandela), 1990.

Tim, you are obviously quite enamored with this speech. I've read it through several times and, as Chris Matthews would say, I get no 'tingle up my leg.' There's nothing I could find in there that I'd want to quote to my kids or grandchild.

Could you exposit for me, please?

Dear Jeff,

Don't be foolish. No goosebumps or tingling. Just sadness and shame over the wickedness of my Reformed Christian brothers. The same sadness and shame my father felt over the lynchings of blacks in the South in his lifetime.

So why do I want our children to read this?

I want them to know the fruit of apartheid in the suffering of Africans. Also, Mandela's repeated concern over the terrible growth of violence and immorality within his own African community produced by apartheid's labor practices and laws that separated fathers, mothers, and their children.

I would have thought that Christian love and compassion would have made this clear.


PS: About Mandela being a Communist, it doesn't concern me as much as his lying about it. American foreign policy in Africa was not to help the people. We were simply interested in fighting the Cold War and so we created and propped up thugs like Mobutu Sese Seko all over sub-Saharan Africa. Mobutu's support in Africa was deemed necessary as a safeguard against encroaching communism. But those who know the plight of the Congolese understand that American policy in Zaire/Congo wasn't for the benefit of the poor and oppressed.

Remember how FDR aided Stalin in his oppression and bloodshed? Remember how the U.S. helped to create and build Al Qaeda because of our desire to see them fight against Russia in Afghanistan? Did you note Hillary Clinton's recent work propping up the Muslim Brotherhood in our desperate attempts to buy friends across the Arab world? Which is to say, I find it understandable that a man who was willing to give his life for his people made common cause with Communists. As he put it, they at least claimed they cared about the poor and oppressed.

Think of what the legacy of these United States would have been in sub-Saharan African this past century had it not been for Christian missionaries?

We can argue over Mandela until we're blue in the face; but what we can't argue about is the way in which the Dutch Reformed Church of the time was complicit in the mess, by the way in which it provided sanction, explicitly and implicitly, to the apartheid system. How did it happen, and are there "lessons to be learnt"?

These are big questions. Not to attempt any easy answers, but I’ll be so bold as to make a few comments (since I have become involved in this discussion.)

We have to define terms. What was “Apartheid” and “the apartheid system”?  Often the word is simply used as an equivalent for racial injustice. Often the word is used to refer to all of South Africa’s history since 1652, including the periods of Dutch and British colonialism. In a more technical sense the term is usually used to describe the racial legislation of the National Party government that came to power in 1948.

If you use “apartheid” in this sense, you should know that many of the social evils and racial problems that Mandela described in his speech do not refer to “apartheid” at all.  

The Bulhoek massacre, for example, which Mandela mentions, took place under the ruthless General Jan Smuts, a previous prime minister of the then Union of South Africa, who was no friend of the Reformed religion (or the Christian religion, for that matter), but a strong believer in the State as embodiment of evolution. He also wrote a book “Holism and Evolution” advocating his views. He strongly believed in the superiority of the British race and the ideals of British empire, and became increasingly embarrassed about his own Afrikaner/Boer background and he certainly appeared to view black races as less evolved.  At Bulhoek in 1921 there was a confrontation between the police power of the state, and a Christian sect called the Israelites who followed a charismatic prophet and occcupied a piece of land to await the end of the world, which the State would not allow. The clash left about 200 “Israelites” dead, and Smuts as convinced as ever of the modern State as the ever triumphant embodiment of the upward force  of evolution.

By the way, Smuts was sometimes prepared to use the power of the State against whites who opposed him, as his execution of leaders of the 1914 Rebellion shows, and as seen in his crushing the miners’ rebellion on the Witwatersrand in 1922 where he deployed something like 19,000 troops, artillery, and airplane bombers, and left also about 200 miners dead.  Ironically, the Communist Party who was involved in the strike at this point was arguing for protection of white jobs against black competitors, and Smuts gave in to these demands and legislated some color bars in the job markets. (Non-racialism as  Communist Party policy was only advocated later, when whites were deserting the Communist Party. Communists in Africa have often changed their tune expediently, as the Cold War period also showed.)  

Developments like Bulhoek (which Mandela referred to) and the Rand uprising certainly further complicated South Africa's racial situation, but I think they had little to do with (real and alleged) sins of the Reformed churches.

 For a short article on Mandela's Communism, see

 It's good to read the speech, but that's because given what we know now, he is clearly lying.  He was a member of the communist party; his organization was funded by the Soviet Union; prominent leaders of his movement were white Communists Joe Slovo and Arthur Goldreich. In accordance with the usual Communist policy, he denied his affiliations. Maybe this was all known at the time, too--- it would be interesting to see the prosecution's closing statement, as well as Mandela's speech. And, note that Mandela confesses in the speech that he is guilty of  sabotage--- thus admitting that the court's decision to convict him was entirely lawful. 

>>note that Mandela confesses in the speech that he is guilty of  sabotage--- thus admitting that the court's decision to convict him was entirely lawful. 

Yes, but keep in mind that it's worthless reading Mandela because he's a liar. Likely he only copped to sabotage in order to go to prison where he could both escape his unhappy marriage and languish as a martyr until assuming the presidency of South Africa and sharing the Nobel Peace Prize with a honkie. Sneaky dude, he pulled it off.

More seriously...

How many know Senator Joe McCarthy was almost entirely right in his accusations? The story of Communist infiltration and corruption outside the Iron Curtain is still being written, but not by men or women in Academe. It's a story they do not want told. Everyone lied, and contrary to the Monty Python routine, there actually were Commies everywhere.

But back to the speech, does injustice, oppression, and the bloodshed of innocents matter to us? Or do we bask in the luxury of our (declining) American civil rights and liberties while condemning those brave and principled Christian men who died fighting for them—for instance, the Presbyterian pastors and elders who led the American Revolutionary War? And if we have any sympathy at all for our Presbyterian fathers who bequeathed us our liberties, how exactly do we turn aside from those men who pursued an end to injustice, oppression, and the bloodshed of innocents in countries like South Africa? Is there no "when in the course of human events" for Africans?

And then the real question: is there no "when in the course of human events" for little babies?

I'm wondering if the failure to get purchase on any discussion of the real sufferings of Africans under the white man's economic policies is our attempt to avoid thinking about the oppression and injustice and bloodshed of innocents we live on top of here in these United States?

Come to think of it, I wonder if the defense of the Confederacy among conservative Reformed men is not simply our attempt to evade any responsibility for the unborn? The slaves were better off under white Christian plantation owners who allowed them to sit in the balcony and listen to the white preacher who might lead them to know and believe the Gospel. The unborn go to Heaven anyway, so how bad is it to allow the slaughter to continue when, being born, they would have to repent and believe to get into Heaven.

Who knows? You may think I'm off on this, but there has to be some hidden logic behind our utter complacency in  the face of the very sort of terrible evils Scripture condemns from cover to cover. So if you don't like my explanations, have at it! Produce a few of your own and let us bat them around.


Just to answer Ross more fully.
Ross asks: "What we can't argue about is the way in which the Dutch Reformed Church of the time was complicit in the mess, by the way in which it provided sanction, explicitly and implicitly, to the apartheid system. How did it happen, and are there "lessons to be learnt"?"

If we are talking about the 1960's (the time of Nelson Mandela's imprisonment), allow me to suggest two reasons why many Christians supported the apartheid system:

1. De-colonization of Africa in the late 50's and early 60's was often chaotic and militant. Colonial governments (with many sins to answer for!) staggered as often cruel and bloody revolution swept the continent. Even Winston Churchill urged harsh measures to repress violence in Kenya in the 1950's. Scenes of anarchy and mob rule from Kenya, Tanganyaka/Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, Algeria, Nigeria had a huge psychological impact in South Africa as shown by a read of the Hansard (parliamentary legislature debates.) Many Christian leaders thought the Western style law and order that (white) minority government seemed to promise could not be compromised or evil will triumph. This extended into the 1970's (Zimbabwe, Mozambique).
 To get a flavor of this revolutionary "liberation" sentiment, watch the current South African president Jacob Zuma sing the "liberation song" "Bring my machine gun":  (Try to ignore the several unchristian comments on the youtube page).

2. Coupled with this was the Communist threat. Communist governments were taking control in many African countries in the region. Even today one can see Soviet-style statues of Lenin in neighboring Mozambique, and drive in the capital city Maputu's main streets like Joseph Stalin Ave. and Karl Marx Avenue! (Mandela's third wife, Graca Machel Mandela, was the widow of the military Communist president of Mozambique, Samora Machel.)  Eventually about 2 million people in Africa were killed by Communists, most of them civilians. Extending political rights to blacks, many in South Africa feared, would lead to Communist victory through the ballot box ("one man, one vote, once") because socialism greatly appealed to the massive black working class in Africa. The ANC military groups in South Africa were supplied with Soviet and Chinese weaponry, and attacks on the South West Africa border were made by Cuban soldiers, and tens of thousands of Cuban troops, Russian tanks and Mig fighters protected ANC facilities in Angola. (Just google "Angola and Cuba") And even many educated leaders like Mandela favored Communism. It is thought provoking that the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 was quickly followed by willingness in South Africa to allow blacks to vote, the unbanning of the ANC in South Africa in 1990 and then full democratic elections in South Africa in 1994.

Lessons for today?
Perhaps: Christians should beware of "the lesser of two evils" thinking about political matters. Was Apartheid the lesser of two evils? Or Communism?  For Mandela, it was Communism. For many Reformed Christians, it was Apartheid.

Antoine - yes, this analysis of things makes much more sense. The fall of the Soviet Union is what turned everything on its head.

In parallel, one could also note that in the leadup to 1994 a lot of the black leadership abandoned their commitment to Communism,whether for real or even for show - Communism was an ally they no longer needed. Certainly much of the left-wing media I (sometimes) follow, were left most unhappy at the turn of events. They think the current regime has 'sold out'.

  Yes, though it's easy to focus on Mandela and the ANC, the most interesting question is what was going on with the Church in South Africa during apartheid. I don't know, and would be interested, especially if the Dutch Reformed Church there was a Bible-based church   (I don't even know that--- if Anglicans in Africa can be Bible-believing, Dutch Reformed might be liberal.) Also, what should be zoomed in on is not voting arrangements, for which the disastrous government of most of Africa provides reason for caution, but apartheid per se--- marriage, education, housing laws, and, most particularly,whatever arrangements the churches had as private arrangements.

  Actually--- are churches in South Africa today segregated as a matter of official policy?  

I found this article on the church in South Africa. It seems that it is still divided into race-based denominations, ordains women, and tolerates a homosexual-friendly member church. This has the signs of an "Establishment" church, one with prosperous and comfortable old members, keeping to old traditions, including bad ones, but not to strict beliefs.

I am an ex-South African, and during my time with the SA national broadcaster I worked with the Afrikaner Reformed Churches.  I found that by far the greatest number of Bible-believing people in SA are Afrikaners - by far.  However, their three main Reformed churches have abandoned the Bible for liberalism in big way.  They were desperate to be accepted back into the world-wide community and they thought that becoming liberal was the way.  This was a decision made by the leadership, not the people.  Despite accepting the idea of apartheid the greatest part of mission work in Africa with Black Africans was theirs.  The Afrikaner Dominees were the best educated clergy in SA by far, and the best organised and led.  The greatest part of donations towards gospel work came from the Afrikaners.  My personal assessment of the state of those churches as expressed in their preaching was that the gospel had largely faded into the background to be replaced by the gospel of "love", and you all know what that is.  Since the adoption of open liberalism and the advent of Black rule they have been losing members in a torrent, and Afrikaners have become secularised to an unprecedented extent.  I do not believe that foreigners today can understand how true Christianity and Apartheid existed together, and there is no point in trying to explain it because social attitudes in the West have been turned on their heads, making it impossible, so I won't.

>>there is no point in trying to explain it because social attitudes in the West have been turned on their heads, making it impossible, so I won't.

Dear Brother,

You underestimate us. Try. We're Christians, not Americans or South Africans.

>>can understand how true Christianity and Apartheid existed together

Actually, it's not hard to understand. Just look how true Christianity and abortion exist together in America and true Christianity and incest existed together in Corinth.


>>true Christianity co-existing with abortion [etc]

Or, in Northern Ireland, true Christianity (Presbyterian no less) co-existing quite happily with Loyalist violence which claimed about a thousand civilian lives in the 25 years of 'The Troubles'. The fatal flaw there was putting the flag before the Cross.

Could you please share with me what Presbyterians happily coexisted with Loyalist murder gangs?  Please don't tell me Paisley who has been on their hit lists.  I can think of one possibly.

I do not believe that foreigners today can understand how true Christianity and Apartheid existed together, and there is no point in trying to explain it because social attitudes in the West have been turned on their heads, making it impossible, so I won't.

I lived in SA for 2 years and an Africaaner friend told me he still struggles a little with racism in his heart. Credit to his honesty, imagine a liberal elite being honest about something like that! It hasn't helped things that the black government is making a shipwreck of the country.

On a side note, 'apartheid' existed in the bible, e.g:

They served [Joseph] by himself... and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. (Gen 43:32)

Peter (and very likely James) did a similar thing with Gentiles. These men were apostles.

It is also interesting to note how the Hebrews achieved freedom from slavery in Egypt, particularly in relation to the Apostle's commands.

Alright Tim, I will try.  The essentially Christian Afrikaners, and most English speaking Whites, thought that the Blacks as a group were incapable of government. In those days people did not think that every individual had a right to an equal vote, and they did not think of democracy as an automatic right either.  The average White South African looked at what was happening in every other African country in terms of incompetence and corruption, and they refused to countenance it for their own land.

>>Alright Tim, I will try.

See, brother; that wasn't so very painful. ;-O.

There's a tender spot in my heart for the late Joe Sobran's proposal that no one who's on any government payroll or handout should be able to vote. Maybe we ought to make an exception for the Armed Forces, but certainly not schoolteachers—and that alone would wipe out the Democratic Party.

A quote variously misattributed to Ben Franklin or de Tocqueville has a number of versions, including "The American Republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money," "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic," and "A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury."

If we take an honest look at the decadence of these United States, stout hearts will admit that universal suffrage is proving itself unsustainable. Maybe we ought to go back to our earlier practice of limiting the vote to landowners?

Anyhow, as bad as these United States are, sub-Saharan Africa is much, much worse and very sophisticated men of the world have proposed a return to what a Foreign Affairs oped piece called "a disinsterested neocolonialism." Truth be told, if such a thing were possible, it would be better than our cynical and heartless feds inside the Beltway exporting abortion and birth control to render the Africans sterile while also bankrolling thugs like the man Foreign Affairs labels "The African Caligula," Mobutu Sese Seko.

But questions of government do not address questions of historic and systemic economic oppression, including separating workers from their families. The two are integrally connected and likely contributed greatly to the decline of Africans' morals and honor, as Mandela claimed.



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