What is nationalism? (Define nationalism).

  • Nationalism is the desire for independence and self determination among a group of people. Or:
  • It is the feeling of national pride, patriotism and belonging towards one‟s country.

Briefly describe the rise/development of nationalism in Africa.

  • In Africa, Nationalism was a gradual process that resulted from the determination of various communities to get rid of the oppressive colonial rule to which they were subjected.
  • The Resistance movement that spread all over the African continent at the beginning of colonialism such as the Maji-Maji rebellion in Tanganyika, the Chimurenga war in southern Rhodesia, the Nandi uprising in Kenya and the Mahdist Revolt in Sudan were part of early African Nationalism.
  • After the Second World War, there was an upsurge of fresh nationalism all over Africa, spurred by a wide range of factors.

 Explain the factors that contributed to rise of nationalism in Africa. (What were the reasons for nationalism in Africa?)

  • Subjection of Africans to cultural discrimination by the colonial order, which dismissed African customs as being Primitive and barbaric.
  • Accompaniment of colonialism by economic exploitation of the African communities, who were thrown out of their land by European settlers.
  • The Urban environment, within which various communities interacted and exchanged feelings on the colonial menace. Although many urban centres such as Mombasa, Lagos and Dar Es Salam existed before colonialism in Africa, they expanded after colonial invasion.
  • Imposition of many taxes like Hut tax, poll tax and Breast tax on African communities.
  • Racial segregation, with which colonialism went hand in hand since facilities and other amenities were provided along racial lines all over Africa.
  • African resentment of colonialism as it interfered with their political institutions, because colonial officials appointed chiefs in place of traditional rulers such as councils of elders in the decentralized societies.
  • The Western education provided mostly by the Christian Missionaries, exposed Africans who acquired literacy and numeracy skills to the History of Europe and the USA.
  • Pan Africanists such as Marcus Garvey and W E B Dubois, who made the Africans, realize that they shared common problems, which provided basis for national unity.
  • The United Nations organization, which stressed the need for political independence of all subject peoples as one way of obtaining global peace.
  • Participation of many Africans in the First World War as carriers and combatants. The experiences acquired in the war had a profound impact on the exe soldiers.
  • The spread of Leninist and Marxist ideas after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in the former Soviet union, which ushered in a Communist era. This soon made an impact on some of the African elite for communists attacked colonialism, which they considered to be part of imperialism, whose main aim was the economic exploitation of the weaker parts of the world.

The Second World War,, during which African combatants gained a lot of international exposure as they went to and fought in Burma, Ceylon,, Israel, England, Egypt and Ethiopia.

  • Asian nationalism, which predated African Nationalism as Asia had a longer history of European imperialism compared to Africa, which greatly motivated African nationalists.

Africans reacted differently towards their respective colonizers in spite of their subjection to exploitation, humiliation and political oppression. Thus nationalism was not uniformly expressed along the African continent.


                NATIONALISM IN GHANA

Name the European communities that had dominated Ghana by the 18th century.

  • The Portuguese,
  • The Danes,
  • The British,
  • The Dutch.

It was the Portuguese who named Ghana the Goldcoast in reference to Ghana‟s vast gold deposits.

Analyse/describe the rise/development of nationalism in Ghana.

  • Nationalism in Ghana began in 1868 when the Fante Confederation was initiated in response to British imperialism.
  • In 1897, the African elite and the chiefs united and formed the Aborigines Rights

Protection society: the pioneer modern nationalist organization, mainly to guard against the alienation of African land by the British in the Goldcoast.

  • In the 1930s, J.B Danquah and other Western-educated Africans who were unhappy with the colonial order launched the Goldcoast Youth Conference to awaken the youth to the economic and social needs of Ghana. They demanded political rights and an end to social and economic injustice.
  • In response to the demands, the government embarked on revision of the constitution to increase African representation in the Legico. The new constitution provided for eighteen African representatives in the Legico, of which thirteen were to be drawn from among the chiefs while five were popularly elected. This was totally rejected by the African communities as the chiefs were regarded as mere instruments of colonial control. It was for this reason that the United Goldcoast Convention was established in 1946, led by J.B Danquah.
  • Under Danquah, most of the African elite, some of who were lawyers, journalists, teachers, and businessmen and who spearheaded political activities in the Goldcoast, invited Kwame Nkruma in 1946 to come and organize the United Goldcoast Convention. They had realized that none of them could get enough time to fully attend to the party. Nkruma was the best choice among the African elite who would be entrusted with party affairs because he had completed his Graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia: USA and a Law degree in England and had participated in the 1945 Pan African Congress in Manchester: England, which afforded him enough political experience in addition to his academic qualifications.

Explain the factors that facilitated/boosted growth of nationalism in Ghana. (What factors led to growth/rise of nationalism in Ghana? Or:

Explain the factors that influenced nationalism in Ghana in the 1940s.

Meagre profits received by farmers from the sale of cocoa to European firms.

  • Lack of employment, particularly for the large group of young people who had attained primary education.
  • Selective granting of trading licences to the Europeans while Africans did not get any.
  • Existence of a smaller group of Africans who had attained higher education and who could articulate the grievances of their people very well, such as Kwame Nkruma, J.B Danquah, Akuffo Addo and Ako Adjayi.
  • Exposure of the soldiers by the exe servicemen in the Goldcoast to the experiences of African War Veterans from other parts of the African continent, which gave them confidence in dealing with the colonial authorities in the Goldcoast.
  • High taxes charged particularly on Africans by the colonial government.
  • Poor remuneration and other unfulfilled promises by the colonial government, particularly to the exe servicemen.
  • Shortage of education opportunities.

Analyse the political/nationalist activities that characterised the year 1947-1948 in Ghana.

  • The year 1947-1948 was characterised by widespread political activity in the Goldcoast by Africans opposed to the colonial government.
  • The government responded by arresting Nkruma and his colleagues, popularly known as the Big Six and banished them to different parts of the Goldcoast in the hope of silencing them.
  • Nkruma was sent to the north of the country. However, this only made Nkruma even more popular among his people.
  • In 1949, Nkruma broke ranks with the senior members of the United Goldcoast Convention because most of the older members of the party were conservative and did not want confrontational politics, yet Nkruma advocated a radical approach. Nkruma founded the Convention People‟s Party (CPP).
  • Through Nkruma‟s innovative approach, the C.P.P became vibrant and popular, especially among the youth. Nkruma introduced a flag and party salute in addition to party slogans and songs chanted and sang.

In what ways did Kwame Nkruma advocate positive action during the struggle for Ghana’s independence? (Explain how Kwame Nkruma facilitated positive struggle for Ghana‟s independence)

Nkruma advocated positive action against the colonial government through:

  • Legitimate political action. Criminal indulgence was not allowed.
  • Newspaper and educational campaigns to enlighten the public on their rights.
  • Constitutional application of boycotts, strikes and non-cooperation, based on the principles of absolute non-violence as was the case in the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi on nonviolent resistance.

Discuss the political developments/activities that led to Ghana’s independence.

  • In 1950, Nkruma started a newspaper: The Accra Evening News, which he used to expound CPP views. That same year, he was arrested and charged with incitement, for which he was imprisoned.
  • In elections held in February 1951, Nkruma secured a Land-slide victory while still in prison. He was therefore released and became the leader of government business in the new cabinet.

In fresh elections called in 1954, CPP again defeated other contenders. That same year, a new party: The National Liberation movement (NLM), a majority of whose members were of Asante origin, emerged. Members of NLM were uncomfortable with Nkruma for two main reasons:

  • Nkruma came from a little-known small ethnic community in southern Ghana. Many NLM leaders were Asante chiefs who favoured a Federal system of government as opposed to Nkruma‟s unitary system.
  • Nkruma‟s ideas were radical unlike those of the conservative traditional leaders.
  • In July 1956, elections were called, mainly due to NLM‟s opposition. CPP again won. This time, the British government accepted the results and granted Ghana political independence under the leadership of Nkruma in 1957. The country‟s colonial name: Goldcoast was dropped in favour of Ghana.

Explain the role of Kwame Nkruma in the struggle for independence in Ghana. (In what ways did Kwame Nkruma facilitate/contribute to the struggle for Ghana‟s independence?)

  • He participated in the 1945 Manchester Pan African Congress in England, where African nationalists agreed to go back to their countries and lead the struggle for liberation.
  • On his return to the Goldcoast in 1946, he became Secretary General of the United Goldcoast Convention (UGC).
  • He founded the Convention People‟s Party (CPP) in 1949.
  • He united farmers, the elite, students and businessmen in the struggle against the British in the Goldcoast.
  • He and the CPP used positive action, which involved non-violent strikes and political meetings, against the British.
  • In 1951, he and the CPP won the elections and formed the first African government before independence.
  • He led the Goldcoast to independence in 1957.

Ghana was the first African country to achieve independence. Under Nkruma, Ghana played an important role in inspiring other African countries to fight for political liberation. Indeed, President Nkruma declared that the independence of Ghana would be meaningless unless the rest of Africa was freed from the yoke of colonialism.

Explain how Kwame Nkruma inspired other African countries to acquire political independence.

  • He convened two Pan African conferences in Ghana in 1958 to unite other African countries against colonial oppression.
  • He encouraged liberation movements all over Africa with material support and ideas.
  • He helped Patrice Lumumba, who was having problems with Belgians in present-day Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • He was a fervent supporter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).



Together with Angola, Mozambique was considered a Portuguese colony even before the Berlin conference of 1884-1885. The Portuguese settled in Mozambique during the European Exploration, mainly interested in the Gold trade in Sofala at the Mozambiquan coast.

Being the poorest of the European powers, Portugal valued her colonies immensely since they provided the Portuguese with a sense of imperial power, economic base and equality with other European powers.

In what ways did the Portuguese benefit from Mozambique before 1900? (Explain how the Portuguese benefited from Mozambique before 1900).

Prior to 1900, Portugal benefited from Mozambique in the following ways:

  • The Portuguese acquired mineral resources such as gold from Mozambique. Gold trade flourished in Sofala at the Mozambiquan coast.
  • Portugal forced Africans to pay taxes and other forms of tribute.
  • The Portuguese got cotton and other cash crops from Mozambique.
  • Portugal enjoyed a prestigious status due to ownership of colonies in Africa.

Explain the factors that contributed to growth of nationalism in Mozambique.

Nationalism in Mozambique stemmed from the African grievances against the Portuguese such as:

  • Arbitrary replacement of traditional leaders by Portuguese administrators.
  • Lack of respect for African cultures among Portuguese settlers.
  • Displacement of Africans as Portuguese settlers took their land.
  • Cruel treatment of Africans by the Security police. For instance, any political unrest was ruthlessly crashed.
  • Heavy taxation levies against the Africans.
  • Portuguese imposition of many restrictions on Africans, which limited their freedom of expression and intellectual advancement.
  • Forced labour, characterised by bribing of upcountry chiefs to supply labourers, who were treated like slaves.
  • Portuguese practice of racial discrimination.

Analyse the growth/development of nationalism in Mozambique. (Discuss nationalism in Mozambique.

  • Nationalism in Mozambique began in the 1940s and 1950s, by which time many Mozambiquans had travelled to some African nations like South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya. It was the small group of the privileged, who benefited from Western education offered by missionaries and who even proceeded to Portugal for higher education that formed the pioneer group of African politicians, who demanded an end to repression and economic exploitation among the Africans.
  • The Mozambiquan Makonde Union (MANU), which was founded by the Makonde people of Capo Delgado province in early 1960,, was the first formal political association to mobilize Africans in Mozambique. The colonial government took drastic measures against Africans, forcing them to engage in Underground activities.
  • In 1962, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania invited the different liberation groups in Mozambique to relocate and set up their headquarters in Dar Es Salam, where he promised to give them support. He also encouraged them to merge. It was with such encouragement that the associations united and formed the Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO), with Eduardo Mondlane Chirambo as its first president. Having been educated in Portugal, South Africa and the USA, Mondlane managed to link up with the Mozambiquan political movements in exile.
  • From 1964, FRELIMO embarked on a full-scale war against the Portuguese in different parts of the country, which put the Portuguese in an awkward position as they had assembled most of their reinforcements and troops along the river Ruvuma on the northern boundary between Mozambique and Tanzania. Aware of nationalists in Tanzania, Portuguese forces anticipated attacks mainly from the northern region.
  • FRELIMO targeted Portuguese military bases, communication and transport lines and other valuable installations. Attacks extended from the Capo Delgado province to Zambezia, Tete and other north-western regions, forcing the Portuguese to station their troops all over the country.
  • In 1974, there was a Coup-De-Tat in Portugal, which was provoked by the heavy expenditure of the Portuguese government in fighting colonial wars. After the coup, the new Portuguese rulers signed an agreement with FRELIMO and handed over power to the Africans in 1975. Samora Machel became the first president of independent Mozambique.
  • By the time of the coup in Portugal, FRELIMO was registering military successes over the north and central regions of Mozambique.

Explain why the Liberation movement won the war against colonial rule in Mozambique. (Explain the reasons for success of the war against colonial rule in Mozambique. Or:

Explain why African nationalists were successful in their struggle against colonial rule in Mozambique. Or:

Explain the factors that favoured FRELIMO in the war against the colonial government in Mozambique.)

Various factors favoured FRELIMO in the war against the colonial government in Mozambique. These included:

  • Its strategy of attacking Portuguese forces, compelling the Portuguese government to post troops all over the country.
  • Support of the nationalists from communist countries such as the former USSR, Czechoslovakia and China.
  • FRELIMO‟s collaboration with the Freedom fighters from Zimbabwe, who even fought together against Portuguese bases in Mozambique.
  • Many Africans joined the nationalist war.
  • Elimination of ethnicity among the nationalists through mingling of people of different ethnic origins in the same fighting units.
  • Good vegetation cover and narrow footpaths, especially in the Nyassa, Capo Delgado and Tete regions, which were heavily forested, making Mozambique ideal for guerrilla warfare.
  • Nationalist recognition of the role of women in the Freedom struggle.
  • FRELIMO forces were fighting on their own terrain among fellow Africans, who supported them.
  • FRELIMO‟s system of administration in the liberated areas, which wooed more people to support the guerrillas.
  • FRELIMO‟s friendliness to the local people.
  • Hosting of and provision of training, finance and other resources to the guerrillas by independent African countries through the OAU‟s Liberation committee.
  • FRELIMO‟s cultivation of their own food to relieve the burden of supplying the forces with food.
  • Use of Portuguese Language, which helped the nationalists to communicate effectively in spite of their different ethnic backgrounds.

Describe the challenges/difficulties encountered in the liberation movement/struggle in

Mozambique. (Explain the factors that undermined nationalism in Mozambique.)

Despite their advantage over the colonial forces, the nationalists in Mozambique encountered various problems in their war, such as:

Competition from rival fighter movements such as the Revolutionary Committee of Mozambique (COREMO).

  • Internal divisions due to ideological differences and selfish ambitions among some of the nationalists.
  • The assassination of FRELIMO leader: Eduardo Nondlane by means of a Parcel bomb in 1969.
  • The official position of the church in Mozambique, which branded FRELIMO as a terrorist organization.
  • Portuguese adoption of cruel methods in fighting the sympathizers of African nationalists.
  • Severe shortage of basic needs i.e. food, clothing, soap and medicine, particularly in the forests when the war began.
  • The Apartheid regime in South Africa and the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (U D I) regime in Zimbabwe, both of which combined forces with the Portuguese to fight the nationalists in Mozambique.



            Why was nationalism in South Africa more complex than elsewhere in Africa?

  • Unlike other African countries that were colonized by one specific European power, in South Africa, both the British and the Boers (Afrikaners) had imperial interests.
  • The existence of valuable mineral deposits made the European powers more aggressive in their efforts to control wealth in South Africa.

 Name the communities/groups of people that occupied South Africa by 1900.

Nationalism in South Africa can be understood by analysing the experiences of various groups that occupied the territory i.e.:

  • The British,
  • The Afrikaners,
  • Indians,
  • Coloureds,
  • Indigenous Africans.

Describe three types of nationalism in South Africa in the first two decades of the 20th century.

Basically, there were three types of nationalism in South Africa in the first two decades of the twentieth century. These were:

  • Afrikaner Nationalism, which emerged in late 19th century among the Dutch-speaking settlers (Afrikaners) against British political control over South Africa.
  • British nationalism. On realizing the economic potential of South Africa, particularly after the discovery of gold and diamonds, the British wanted to take full control of South Africa, which culminated in strained relations and fighting between them and the Boers, causing the Boers to retreat farther into the interior, though still pursued by the British. Eventually, both the British and the Boers gave diplomacy consideration, allowing for elections/voting as the best way of decision-making. When the Nationalist party won one such election in 1948, South Africa fell under Afrikaner influence and domination. The party introduced the Apartheid (segregationist) policy against the Africans and other nonwhites and advocated a program of total European supremacy.

African nationalism. In South Africa, African nationalism began in the 17th century when the Boers occupied the Cape of South Africa, adopting a racist attitude towards the indigenous Africans, who strongly resisted such interference with their political freedom and economic resources.

 Discuss the development of nationalism in South Africa. (Analyse the background of nationalism in South Africa).

  • In the 18th century, there were bloody wars between the Boers on one hand and the Xhosa and Ndebele on the other. The crude weapons of the Africans were no much for the sophisticated ones of the Boers.
  • In the 1870s, the Zulu, under their leader: Cetewayo, fiercely resisted the British, who had arrived in South Africa during the Napoleonic wars in the 19th century in search of a military base, but who stayed on and occupied large areas of South Africa after diamonds were discovered in the Transvaal region in 1866 in order to amass the mineral wealth. The British therefore clashed with both the Africans and the Afrikaners. Although the Zulu accepted annexation to the British Empire in 1887, African resistance was not completely wiped out.
  • In 1906, the Zulu, under chief Bambata, rose against British rule, but they were unsuccessful. Bambata was captured and sent into exile.
  • When the Afrikaners took political control of South Africa from the British following the creation of the Union of South Africa from 1910, Africans lost all political freedom. That was when the roots of indigenous African nationalism were laid.

Describe/explain the factors that contributed to rise of African nationalism in South Africa.

  • Founding of independent churches.
  • Formation of new local organizations e.g. the Orange River organization.
  • Great exploitation of African labourers. Labour regulations and laws were extremely discriminative against the Africans.
  • Promotion of national consciousness by African elite such as Reverent john Dube, Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, etc.
  • Christianity, which was introduced quite early in South Africa and which upheld ideas that encouraged Africans to fight for equality.
  • The development of large urban centres, which created an enabling environment for close inter-ethnic relations among Africans, enabling them to counter the Afrikaner racist policies.
  • Alienation of Africans from their land by the Afrikaner government, rendering most Africans dependent on Afrikaner employment on the very farms taken from them.
  • Participation of many Africans in the Second World War, which exposed them to democratic ideals as they fought alongside the Europeans and discovered that there were no major differences between African peoples and Whites.
  • Pan Africanists influence, evident in South Africa as early as the 19th
  • Racism, which was enshrined in the 1948 Apartheid law and which convinced Africans that only political freedom would save them from further humiliation.

Describe the methods used by African nationalists to fight for political liberation in South Africa.

They organized political parties such as the A N C and the Pan African Congress to champion their grievances.

They made use of trade unions to press for better working and living conditions.

  • They organized Protest marches, defiance campaigns and demonstrations.
  • They would occasionally use military force.
  • They also employed diplomacy, in an attempt to get the government‟s attention and that of the international community. On many occasions, the A N C contacted the OAU and the United Nations organization to force the unjust regime to grant them freedom.
  • Nationalists who were arrested or detained often went on hunger strike to press the government to grant them political independence.
  • They used the Print media such as pamphlets and newspapers to highlight the injustices of the Apartheid regime.
  • Church leaders such as Bishop Desmond Tutu and Allan Boesak led the fight against Apartheid.


Name the founder-members of the African National Congress. 

  • Pixley Kaizaka Seme.
  • Reverent John Dube.
  • Thomas Mapikela.
  • Walter Rubusana.
  • Solomon Platye.
  • Sam Makgatho.

 Name the leaders of the African National Congress during the struggle for Political liberation in South Africa.

  • B Xuma,
  • Nelson Mandela, Ø Walter Sisulu ,
  • Oliver Tambo.

Analyse/explain the rise/development of the African National Congress. (Discuss the activities of the African National Congress during the struggle for political liberation in South Africa.)

  • The African National Congress (ANC) was one of the earliest political organizations in South Africa. It was founded in 1912 and was first called the South African Native Congress (SANC), a name by which it was known up to 1923 when it changed to African National Congress.
  • Its first president was Reverent john Dube. By 1923, leading African nationalists included Seme D.D Jabavu and Reverent Dube.
  • ANC favoured non-violent resistance: a method borrowed from mahatma Gandhi of India. It endeavoured to promote unity among the African communities.
  • In 1943, the A N C‟s Youth League was formed, ushering in a more exclusive form of nationalism as the league adopted militant actions to achieve national liberation. It emphasized the inalienable right of the Africans to the African continent. Although it embraced the cooperation of the Indians and the Coloureds, the league maintained that Africans must lead in the struggle.
  • From 1940-1949, A.B Xuma was the national President of the A N C. Xuma encouraged Africans to use mass action against the racist policies of the government.

In 1949, the league adopted a militant program of action, which outlined direct tactics such as strikes, boycotts and civil disobedience against the Apartheid regime. As a result, there was violent confrontation between A N C and the government in 1952 in Wit Waters Rand, Kimberley and Eastern Cape. That year, Albert Luthuli became President of A N C, ushering an important milestone in the Organization‟s growth, because, under Luthuli, A N C became very popular among Africans.

  • Together with the South African Coloured People‟s Organization and the South African Congress of Trade Unions, A N C convened the Congress Of The people in 1955, which adopted a Freedom charter. But within that very period, a split occurred within A N C between supporters of the multiracial sentiments of the charter and those who emphasized exclusively African nationalism and solidarity.
  • In 1959, those who emphasized exclusively African nationalism formed the Pan African Congress party (PAC), under Robert Mangalipo Sobukwe, who believed that Apartheid had to be fought with all means available to the Africans, including the use of violence.
  • In 1960, Albert Luthuli and Sobukwe announced a nationwide campaign against the Pass laws, since such laws discriminated against Africans. In response, the Apartheid regime adopted very harsh measures against Africans. A good example is the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, where even children were shot and killed by the regime‟s police. African political activity went underground, with Nelson Mandela forming the fighting wing of the A N C: Umkhonto Wesizwe (spear Of the Nation) as PAC formed a similar fighting wing called Popo. As political activity intensified among the Africans, the government adopted even harsher measures.
  • In 1963, the apartheid police discovered an underground headquarters of African resistance at Rivonia near Johannesburg. Mandela, Walter Sisulu and several other ANC and PAC members were arrested, convicted and condemned to Life imprisonment for organizing a violent movement against the government. Many A N C and P A C members went into and conducted their activities from exile. Many African nationalists were killed by government forces while others were arrested and detained, even when there was no evidence against them. The frustration experienced by African nationalists in the 1960s was so great that the liberation struggle appeared to be facing an eminent end.

Discuss/explain the role of Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement in the struggle for political liberation in South Africa.

  • In 1969, Steve Biko: a black Medical student, decided to form an all-black movement that would spread the philosophy of Black consciousness since all other forms of political expression were outlawed. Biko believed that the Black of South Africa needed to develop confidence in their own capacities.
  • Biko at first expressed these views through Students‟ organizations, but gave up after realizing that the multiracial National Union Of south African Students discriminated against African students.
  • In July 1969, Biko and other African students formed the South African Students Organization,  which was an All-Black organization. To broaden the influence of the South African Students organization, Biko organized a series of meetings with religious and cultural leaders of Black Organizations and spread the concept of Black Consciousness among the Black community throughout south Africa.
  • As a result of the movement, many students demonstrated against the Apartheid regime, protesting the use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in schools.

In 1976, over 360 school children were killed as thousands were arrested all over South Africa. Biko was arrested and died in Police custody in 1977. He was most probably tortured to death while in custody. That same year, all the Black Consciousness organizations were banned and their leaders imprisoned. The two most widely read Black newspapers i.e. The Will and weekend World were also banned and their editors imprisoned.

Describe the three chambers in a newly constituted eighty-eight member Assembly provided for by a constitutional Amendment to the House-Assembly, as stipulated by  PW Botha in 1983.

In 1983, South African Prime Minister: P.W Botha introduced a constitutional amendment to the House-Assembly, which provided for three chambers in a newly constructed eighty-eight member assembly as follows:

  • Fifty were to sit in the White chamber.
  • Twenty-five were to sit in the Coloured chamber.
  • Thirteen were to sit in the Indian chamber.
  • Each chamber was only allowed to deal with matters affecting their own ethnic groups.
  • Matters of national concern had to be tackled by a joint meeting of the three chambers.

The aim of this new arrangement was to divide Black nationalists by giving the Coloureds more political privileges. Such isolation of political resentment only helped increase political upheavals in the 1980s, compounded by the activities of the underground African political groups such as A N C, which attacked government installations among other targets, to express their disapproval of this new constitution.

 Discuss/explain the activities/developments that led to political liberation in South Africa.

  • More radical organizations such as the United Democratic Front (UDF) which was supported all over South Africa, and the national front (N.F) which was joined by municipal workers and churches.
  • The churches in South Africa also had a hand in the struggle against Apartheid. In 1984, Bishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prise for his non-violent resistance and opposition against Apartheid.
  • The Africans turned the funerals of those killed into rallies of spearheading their war against Apartheid. The atrocities of the Apartheid regime against Africans were so terrible that they could not go unnoticed within the international community. The Insecurity in the Southern African region threatened foreign investment, causing the USA and Western European countries to appreciate the fact that there could be no lasting peace in South Africa as long as the Apartheid policy was still in force.
  • In 1985, the U S Congress voted for economic sanctions against the Apartheid regime, causing many U S cooperations to terminate their South African operations. This cut huge inflow of foreign exchange into South Africa. South Africa began to experience difficulties in repaying her foreign debts.
  • Due to mounting international pressure and the pain of economic sanctions, the South African President: P.O Botha was forced out of office in 1989 because of his hard-line policies. He was replaced by the more moderate Frederick De Klerk. That same 1989, de Klerk released Walter Sisulu and other political prisoners. Nelson Mandela remained in prison after he refused to denounce violence as a method of the struggle for freedom.
  • In 1990, De Klerk lifted the ban on all antiapartheid movements, including the A N C, PAC, The South African Communist party and 33 other organizations. He then released nelson Mandela, who had spent twenty-seven years in prison.
  • In 1991, some of the most oppressive racist laws like the International Organizations Act of 1960 which was used to ban ANC and PAC were repealed.
  • Events moved and changed so fast that multiracial elections were scheduled for April 1994.
  • With the lifting of the ban on African political parties, African nationalism took a new turn. ANC enjoyed majority support throughout South Africa while Inkatha Freedom Party (I.F.P) under Gatsha Mangosuthu Buthelezi enjoyed overwhelming support in Zululand. This caused a lot of conflict and confusion.
  • IFP called for the postponement of the April 1994 elections so that contentious issues were first sorted out. Many international mediators, including former US Secretary of state: Henry Kisingaer as well as Lord Carrington of the U.K intervened but failed to avert or thwart this political stalemate.
  • On 19th April 1994, a Kenyan diplomat: Professor Washington Okumu, convinced Buthelezi and his IFP supporters to take part in the elections.
  • The all-race elections were held as scheduled. Nelson Mandela and the A N C won by a land-slide. Shortly later, Nelson Mandela was sworn in as President of the new South Africa.
  • The sanctions placed against South Africa during the Apartheid era were lifted and South Africa rightfully joined the Commonwealth, the United Nations Organization and the Organization of African unity (now the African Union).
  • When A N C once again won the 1999 elections, Mandela handed over power to his deputy: Thabo Mbeki. This was seen by observers as an important milestone for Democracy in Africa. The relatively peaceful elections and the smooth transition of power was an indication that democracy had finally found another home in Africa.

Explain the role of Nelson Mandela in the struggle against Apartheid.

  • He was one of the founder-members of the A N C Youth league.
  • In 1952, he was elected Deputy President General of A N C.
  • He was one of the organizers of defiance campaigns against the Apartheid regime.
  • He used his experience as Lawyer to defend many Africans who got into problems.
  • He was among the nationalists who in 1955 formulated the Freedom charter, which declared that South Africa belonged to all races in the country.
  • In 1960, he formed Umkhonto Wesizwe (Spear of the Nation) to fight for African independence.
  • He travelled outside South Africa to solicit support from other countries.
  • In 1964, he was jailed for life due to his alleged subversive activities. He was confined in the Robben Island up to his release by President Frederick De Klerk in 1990.
  • In 1994, Mandela made history when he was elected first Black president of a democratic South Africa.
  • In 1999, he voluntarily handed over power to the next President: Thabo Mbeki, unlike many African leaders who cling on to power. He gave Democracy a right direction in South Africa.

Discus/explain the problems encountered by nationalists in South Africa. (Discuss/explain the factors that undermined nationalist activities in South Africa. Or:

Discuss/explain the setbacks encountered by African nationalists in South Africa.)

  •  Many were killed by the Apartheid regime for fighting for their political rights.
  • Many were harassed, arrested and detained.
  • Many were forced to flee the country and seek refuge in other African states like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Kenya and Tanzania.
  • The political parties they formed were outlawed, e.g. the A N C and P A C among others. Ø African newspapers were banned while the journalists were harassed for reporting on Apartheid.
  • Trade unionists and other African leaders were perpetually intimidated by Security agents.
  • The Apartheid regime confined Africans to the Bantustans (equivalents of Reserves in Kenya) based on their ethnic communities in order to separate African communities.

Pass laws were used to curtail Africans‟ freedom of movement to stop them from taking part in the struggle for liberation and to make it easier for Europeans to acquire cheap African labour.

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