Vukani! Awake!(1)

Vukani! Awake! we say! Open your eyes people of South Africa and see what lies before you!

We know what lies around us. We have lived with this cancerous apartheid for too long. It has robbed us of our land, insulted our people and their cultures.

In in name and for its preservation, our greatest patriots have been killed or thrown into fascist dungeons.

But must we despair? -

Is that ally Are we, the descendants of Makana, Shaka, Dingane, Moshoeshoe, Sekukbuni, Bambatha, the contemporaries of Saloojee, Timol, Tiro and the shin living heroes, Candela, Mbeki, Sisulu, Kathrada, Fischer, in gaol and Tambo, Kotane, Dadoo and others in exile, are we going to sit back and let these things continue forever'

WE SAY NO! And the heroic fighters of Umkhonto we Sizwe have demonstrated on the battlefield that we mean business! Since 1967 they have been engaged in armed struggle and sometimes send the enemy troops running for shelter. But this is only one side of our struggle. A revolution is what we fight for and a revolution is not always only a military struggle. People revolt against some order and for some new order.

They employ the methods (and there are many that are used, often simultaneously), most useful to achieving their aims. We do not want to be treated like dogs in our own land! We want a society where we can five in peace, security and with human dignity, a society where equality and love between our people is possible.

To achieve such a society is not just a military struggle! The armed cadres of Umkhonto are not a professional army. They ore dedicated sons and daughters of all the Sections of the South African people who have sacrificed the ordinary comforts of life to contribute to our liberation. Umkhonto fulfils the strategy and tactics determined by the African National Congress (A.N.C.), the main peoples' organisation' representing the aspirations of the oppressed for more than sixty years.

The ANC has, as its allies in the liberation movement: The Coloured Peoples' Congress, South African Indian Congress, South African Congress of Trade Unions and the tried and tested South African Communist Party. Together, these organisations employ political, industrial, military' propagandistic and other methods towards achieving the peoples' programme - The Freedom Charter.

What is the Freedom Charter!

At a historic gathering almost twenty years ago, the most representative meeting of the peoples of South Africa adopted as their programme, the basis of the society to be, this charter. Its ideas have surely stood the test of time? Let US look at some of the headings of this document:

South Africa belongs to all who live in it, Black and White!
The People Shall Govern!
All National Groups Shall have Equal Rights!
The People Shall Share in the Country's Wealth!
The Land Shall Be Shared Among Those Who Work It!
All Shall be Equal Before The Law!
All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights!
There Shall Be Work And Security!
The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall Be Opened!
There Shall Be Houses, Security and Comfort!
There Shall Be Peace and Friendship!

The Charter concludes

"Let all who love their people and their country now say, as we say here: 'THESE FREEDOMS WE WILL FIGHT FOR, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY."'

That These should be revolutionary and subversive statements testifies to the decadence of present-day South Africa I

VUKANI! will be a weapon to serve in the struggle to regain these rights and build the new society. We appear (as we shall appear after liberation) at a time of crisis for the Vorster regime of gangsters and thieves.

Portugal and the Freedom of Africa

Earlier this year, forty eight years of terroristic dictatorship in Portugal was ended by a coup d'etat which has been enthusiastically backed by the people of Portugal and has developed into a democratic upheaval which continues to gather fresh momentum - first towards a peoples' democracy and also to the freedom of Mozambique and Guinea Bissau, previously under Portuguese colonialism for decades and more than a century respectively with a Portuguese "presence" for hundreds of years.

For more than ten years the peoples of Guinea Bissau and Mozambique like the heroes of the MPLA in Angola, have fought against Portuguese imperialism. Despite the heavy Portuguese military onslaught, Aided by the capital from the U.S.A., Britain and other imperialist countries. despite the aid from NATO, and the continued reports of Portuguese "victories", the people of Mozambique and Guinea Bissau were able to free themselves!

Long before the Portuguese democratic revolution of April 25, Portuguese soldiers were deserting, joining the freedom fighters and Guinea Bissau had reached a stage in the liberation of her territory where she could declare herself independent and be recognised by most of the countries of the world.

It can truly be said that the people of the former Portuguese African territories and those still engaged in battle in Angola have aided in the liberation of Portugal, for the Portuguese people have not wanted to fight a fascist war of aggression! The Portuguese people, as is testified by the tremendous support for their Communist Party, which had operated underground throughout 48 years of dictatorship, have wanted a free society.

Portugal, Mozambique and our struggle

The liberation of the former Portuguese colonies makes a substantial difference to the arena within which Our struggle is being waged.

On the International level we have the support of yet another anti-imperialist force. International support for our liberation struggle has always been fundamental, as it has been for the heroic peoples fighting imperialism in South East Asia, the Middle East and other areas of imperialist aggression.

We have always been able to count on the consistent, principled and constructive support of the socialist countries, especially, the great first socialist land of the world, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) and since 1945, an increased number of socialist countries. We have also, always, been able to rely on the democratic and progressive forces of the capitalist countries, in the Churches, trade unions, amongst the students and the Communist parties. It is valuable to now be able to count Portugal, as a nation, amongst these friends and allies of our cause.

Just as we count on their support, we wish them well in the building of their new, great democracy!

On our borders

But the impact of the Portuguese events is even more profound, for us, on a local, southern African level. Right on our borders and the borders of Namibia (South West Africa) we have a truly free, liberated African state -Mozambique.

No wonder the Vorster thugs are shivering I No wonder that Vorster wants to dump Smith! No wonder that there are constant talks of new types of concessions!


The struggle for southern Africa, for a truly free South Africa now operates in infinitely more favourable circumstances. This does not mean that revolution in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) or Namibia or South Africa will be next year. It may be soon. But we must not underestimate the deviousness of the enemy, his armoury of lies and the array of stalling tactics, window dressing, use of stooges, "innocent assistants" of his policies, all to retain power. We must also not under-estimate the imperialist stake in apartheid. America, Britain, West Germany, France, Japan and other capitalist countries have heavy investments in South Africa. They are all averse to change that would reduce the huge profiles that they derive from Blade slave labour.

These factors mean that we must be on our guard. While victory is closer, it is not round the corner. While we operate in better conditions, we cannot take it easy. We in South Africa must continue to operate with maximum security. Workers, students and other democratic sections of the population must meet secretly and only with those they can trust.

We must prepare to assist our cadres from Umkhonto and do political work ourselves. We must be sufficiently organised and disciplined ourselves that the liberation movement can advance so much easier.



To achieve this we need to understand more about the programme, strategy and tactics of our movement.

VUKANI! will assist by informing you of many of these things. We do this, because our revolution is not a revolution of a few men at the top. We are for a peoples' revolution, a revolution such as is envisaged by the Freedom Charter.



1. Reproduced in Sechaba, Vol.9, No.2, February 1995. A covering paragraph at the top read:

"A new underground newsheet made its appearance inside South Africa in December, last year. This is its first issue and we have been informed not its last. Future issues will be published in SECHABA as we receive them."


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