The relationship between the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress, 1959-1990
Dhlamini, Motena Jonas
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Not much has been written about the relationship between the ANC and the PAC in the liberation struggle of South Africa, especially during their exiled period. Consequently, there is a missing link in our understanding of the history of the liberation struggle in South Africa between 1960 and 1990. Moreover, the tendency has been to write only about the history of the ANC as if it is the only liberation movement that has played the most important role in the history of South Africa in the struggle for freedom by the oppressed. The inclination of many historians and writers has been to write more about the ANC and very little about other liberation movements such as the PAC. As would be expected, this tendency has reinforced the conception that the ANC is the only liberation movement that has played a major role in the liberation struggle of South Africa. In trying to reconstruct the history of the liberation movements by filling in the missing gaps, an attempt is made to indicate how the struggle for freedom affected the relationship between the ANC and the PAC. The thesis traces the events within the ANC which led to the split in 1959 between the supporters of inclusive nationalism (Charterists) and narrow nationalism (Africanists). The split happened at the time when there was an unprecedented repression and brutality on the side of the regime. Instead of burying their differences and joining forces against the intransigent regime, the irreconcilable differences between the ANC and the PAC made co-operation between them impossible. This lack of co-operation between these movements displayed itself in their exiled life. The thesis discusses the attempts of the ANC and the PAC to launch the armed struggle, seek foreign help and isolate the regime internationally. It proceeds to examine the reasons why the liberation movements failed to co-operate and how this lack of co-operation affected their relationships. The thesis also highlights the fact that even though the ANC had problems, it was able to overcome them and concentrate on the aims of prosecuting the struggle. This achievement could be attributed to their effective and visionary leadership, especially the role played by Oliver Tambo as a unifying factor during the exiled life of the movement. On the other hand, the PAC lacked a sound organisational foundation and this manifested itself in the policies which lacked clarity. As a result, friction and internal wrangles resulted. This turbulence could be attributed to lack of visionary leadership. Leballo's presidency, which was characterised by internal fights, subterfuge and mutual suspicion, made it difficult for his successors to correct the damage immediately. As a result, the PAC was largely handicapped by these internal problems to the extent that it was unable to contribute to the liberation struggle like the ANC. In all the chapters, the unifying theme or golden thread is that the ANC and the PAC competed for supremacy in the political history of the oppressed in South Africa. The relationship between them manifested itself in negative actions like competition, hostility and recriminations. In their struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa, the thesis concludes that the ANC contributed more than the PAC.
- ETD@PUK