What is to be done? Struggle


There were several sucessive laws requiring blacks to carry passes Student anger and grievances against Bantu Education exploded in June 1976. Tens of thousands of high school students took to the streets to protest against compulsory use of Afrikaans at schools. Police opened fire on marching students, sparking an uprising that spread to other parts of the country. On 21 March 1960, police opened fire on an anti-pass demonstrations in Sharpeville, killing 69 people and wounding 186. On 30 March the government banned the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress, declared a state of emergency, arrested and detained thousands without trial.

Thousands od chanting Zulus gathered for the climax of the general election campaigning in KwaZulu-Natal. The mostly Zulu Inkata party, let by Chief Mangosuthu  Buthelezi only gave his backing to the poll days before the election. Millions of ballot papers had to be amended with stickers to include the party's candidates.

"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." Speech in Cape Town, 1971
Steve Biko

Nelson Mandela is freed from prison on Feb 11th 1990, after 27 years in prisonOn 27 April 1994, millions of South Africans went to vote for the first time. The ANC won the country’s first democratic election with a vast majority.vOn 10 May, Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the President of South Africa, heading a Government of National Unity.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a pivotal member of the African National Congress (ANC), a founder of the ANC-Youth League, in 1944, and of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the ANC, in 1961, after the ANC was banned following the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. In 1962, Mandela left the country for military training in Algeria and to arrange training for other MK members. On his return he was arrested for leaving the country illegally and for incitement to strike. He conducted his own defence. He was convicted and jailed for five years in November 1962. While serving his sentence, he was charged, in the Rivonia trial, with sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment. He spent 27 years in prison, he was released in 1990, after a global protest movement. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa, Nelson Mandela was elected President of the ANC. He was inaugurated as the first democratically elected State President of South Africa on 10 May 1994 - June 1999. Nelson Mandela recieved the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, together with Fredric de Klerk.

Day two of 1994 elections in Soweto. 27 April  1994. Queues strenched for miles as voters waited hours to cast their first ever votes.

Amid fears of disenfranchisement and in an effort to preserve the fragile consensus between the ANC and the Inkata, voting is extended for an extra day in some provinces, including the IFP heartland of KwaZulu-Natal, to allow everyone to cast their ballot. Wed, April 14 2004. In the third presidential elections one still saw the long queues. This is the Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg

The photos of queues of black voters, waiting for hours to cast their votes, have been the quintessential image of democractic duty. Whereas in many Western liberal democracies one sees huge abstention rates, in South Africa blacks were thirsty for democracy. In 1994, one woman, queueing to vote in Soweto, told the BBC "This is so great. I didn´t sleep. I woke up at 5 o'clock this morning to be the first person in the queue." In the third presidential elections, Abril 2004, one still saw the long queues.