Albert Lutuli's Message to the Seventh Provincial Conference of the Natal Indian Congress

Durban, February 5-7, 1954

In the name of Afrika and Freedom I greet you all!


Let us sing together to Freedom, "Mayibuye i Afrika".

I am happy and proud on my behalf and on behalf of the African people I have the honour and privilege to lead under the banner of the African National Congress, to send you, our comrades, this Afrika message of greeting and expression of our deepest appreciation in the African National Congress for the most cordial and friendly active association with you. We have enjoyed it in our common and joint fight against forces of oppression in our land.

The way before us may be long and dusty, but ultimate success must be ours because, as confirmed by progressive world opinion, our cause is just. But as a sine qua non to the successful prosecution of our task, we must work in the spirit of sincere and unreserved devotion, sacrifice and service and bring into play virtuous human qualities such as patience, tact, forbearance, courage, vigilance, foresight, honesty, loyalty and love.

It is fitting and proper to impress upon you most strongly the formidableness of our task by reminding you that in the Nationalist Party of Dr. Malan we are facing a ruthless, determined enemy of true freedom that would rather scuttle the ship of State than make civilisation and democracy a possession of all in our land, regardless of colour, race or creed, and that in our home front we have many well-meaning people who suffer from ignorance of the true import and significance of Freedom. Also, unfortunately, we are not free from Quislings in our midst.

We must fight on in all fronts along the path of non-violence and when, at times, the human weakness of despondency assails us, let us gain courage and inspiration, not only in the justice of our cause, but in its universality in all ages. We should be stirred to greater effort by the knowledge that it is our undeserved honour and privilege to be numbered among the followers of the heroes of freedom of all lands and ages: men and women who have so meritoriously championed the cause of Freedom.

With so much already done but still so much to be done - indeed with much at stake - we dare not be unfaithful to the noble cause and its noble heroes, past and present. If we do, we shall deserve the ridicule and scorn of our contemporaries and the contempt and curses of posterity.

As you leave the Conference room to translate your resolutions into action I assure you that the African National Congress leadership is determined as never before to spare no effort and to count no sacrifice too great in our joint effort to mobilise the masses and progressive forces in our land in the fight for Freedom.



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