Statement on Zambian Television, June 1986 (1)

The President of the ANC, Oliver Tambo, has assertively avowed to dismantle the abominable system of apartheid by the armed struggle. The Pretoria regime has left no option for the people of South Africa but the struggle to counter state terrorism and violence, Tambo said. Speaking on Zambian television to commemorate the Soweto students' uprising in 1976, Tambo said: "Like in the rest of Africa, apartheid cannot be dismantled piecemeal. We have to act if we are to eradicate apartheid..."

Tambo said the revolt of ten years ago, sparked off and indeed kindled by a brutal massacre, was an epitome of gallantry, self-sacrifice and defiance of death - facing an enemy armed to the teeth with sophisticated arms. Umkhonto we Sizwe, the fighting army of the ANC, together with other internal organisations, had intensified their struggle to get rid of apartheid. Tambo said: "Combat groups and self-defence units are mushrooming everywhere - all of them important formations of the broad popular army." He said the power of the people was evident and the racist army dared not enter the townships except in large contingents. Both black and white democrats have risen to fight the State-sponsored terrorism with massive force. The UDF, Tambo said, has united most of the democratic organisations in the common struggle to liberate our country. The past decade has been a very decisive period for the armed struggle and the ANC would not rest until victory was achieved. The tenth anniversary of the Soweto massacre and uprising must bee seen, not as a climax but as a beginning of a mass popular and multi-prolonged offensive directed at the destruction of the structures of the apartheid system, Tambo asserted.

It is in the attack that victory is to be found. To be strong in attack, we need unity, for unity itself is strength. He called for collective action by all South Africans because a victorious struggle demanded unity even where action consisted in a people's collective decision to stay at home and do nothing, as 16th June will demonstrate.

Tambo said puppet structures of local administration had collapsed and in their place organs of popular power had emerged in the form of street committees, people's courts and other rudimentary socio-political formations. The South African Government was now desperate and was attacking the Frontline States but this had instead spurred the ANC to intensify the armed struggle inside South Africa. "Pretoria's desperate acts of terror within and outside South Africa are an injunction for us to close ranks and fight as one people - indeed, to sacrifice together. Racists offer us no choice," Tambo said...

(1) From: BBC Monitoring Report, June 11, 1986; quoted in ANC News Briefing, London, June 15, 1986


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