ANC Supports Violence To Reform S. Africa
A representative of the African National Congress (ANC) in a speech last night sponsored by campus divestment organizations said that violent conflict was necessary and inevitable to bring change to South Africa.
In front an audience of close to 200 at Emerson Hall, Susan Mnumzana, a member of the ANC international bureau, said that while the group firmly advocates democratic, multiparty rule of South Africa, the organization holds violence as an acceptable means to that end.
"We will not hesitate to bomb those [South African] installations," she stated.
Mnumzana's speech lasted for a half hour and was followed by a lengthy question and answer period. Members of the Spartacus Youth League, a radical Trotskyist group, interrupted the question period.
Mnumzana came to Harvard as part of a publicity drive by the ANC, which is outlawed by the South African government, that will take her on a month-long tour of the United States.
She said that the group was engaged in the current public relations campaign in order to educate the American public to the complexities of the South African political situation, to solicit financial support for specific ANC projects, and to popularize the leadership role of the ANC in the struggle against the white minority government.
Mnumzana commented on both the domestic and international fronts of the crusade against apartheid, emphasizing that the limited sanctions enacted by Congress last week were but "a drop in the sea" of actions necessary to force change in South Africa.
While commending the divestment movement in America, she noted that "sanctions are not going to bring liberation. The brunt of the struggle is borne by us, on our shoulders."
Campus politics dominated the conclusion of the event as the Spartacists debated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) over the best approaches to the issue of anti-apartheid activism. An umbrella group of campus activist groups, with varying perspectives on the South African issue, sponsored the ANC speech, including the South African Solidarity Committee (SASC), TransAfrica, the Rainbow Coalition, and DSA.