CURRENT AFFAIRS UNIT, RADIO KWARA, ILORIN
PROGRAMME: NEWS COMMENTARY
DATE OF BROADCAST: 8/1/85 AT 1710 HOURS
WRITER: LANRE KAWU
PRODUCED BY: NTIE EKUKINAM
The 73rd anniversary of the African National Congress of South Africa which was founded in 1912 as the South African Native Congress- the first modern political party on the African continent- is being commemorated worldwide. From its humble beginnings, and with an even humbler aim for that period, of uniting the various nationalities of South Africa, against the terrorism of the colonial Dutch and British settlers, the African national Congress has today grown into a formidable liberation movement that is spear-heading the armed struggle of the South African people against fascism and apartheid.
But resistance to foreign occupation did not begin in South Africa in 1912. When the employees of the Dutch East Indian Company landed on the Cape of Good Hope on the 6th of April, 1652, to begin the inglorious movement that was to later become known as apartheid, they were met by a fierce resistance by the African owners of the land they sought to occupy. The A.N.C. is therefore a successor to a tradition of resistance. It has led the African people in various campaigns, the most popular of which were the Defiance Campaign of the 1950s and the movement that led to the writing of the Freedom Charter, which still remains the basic document of the liberation struggle in South Africa.
When it was banned after the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960, the A.N.C. went underground and on the 16th of December 1961, formed its armed wing under the leadership of the famous Nelson Mandela, to launch an armed struggle for the final liquidation of apartheid. Today, the A.N.C. is a household name amongst all the population groups in South Africa and, indeed, worldwide. The reason for that is not far-fetched. The policies of the A.N.C. envision a new democratic and non-racial South Africa belonging to all who live in it- black, Coloured, Indian or White. This is a fundamental threat to the structures of apartheid.
As the liberation struggle spearheaded by the A.N.C. gathers momentum, the fascist Botha regime is tightening its noose of oppression around the necks of the South African people, while exporting destabilization and terrorism to the neighbouring countries of Southern Africa. This latter action is going on with the undisguised sponsorship of the Reagan administration of the United States.
To every perceptive observer, the margins of manoeuvre of the racist regime are becoming narrower by the minute, while the wind of liberation which the African National Congress represents is blowing more strongly. We can safely say with the people of South Africa and the A.N. C. that “between the anvil of mass mobilisation and the hammer of armed struggle, apartheid will be crushed”. It is the task of all freedom-loving people to fight to bring that day closer. This can be done by supporting the historic cause which the African National Congress of South Africa spearheads: that is, liberation.