Item 1134 - Message from Deputy President of the ANC Nelson Mandela to the SSU on the Occasion of your Seventh Congress

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ZA COM MR-S-1134


Message from Deputy President of the ANC Nelson Mandela to the SSU on the Occasion of your Seventh Congress


  • 1991-01-11 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare

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Seventh Congress of the SSU

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  • English

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Friends, allies and democratic supporters of the heroic struggle of my people.

Comrade Chair

Allow me to begin by expressing on behalf of my country, my organisation - the ANC, my people and in particular our youth our deep appreciation of the work done in support of our struggle and in the fight against. The crime and tyranny of apartheid Colonialism by all the young people of Sweden of which the SSU is a major and important component.

Let me thank you and the members of your organisation on the occasion of your Seventh Congress for allowing us to send, through you, our warmest greetings to all the people of Sweden and their Government. We say thank you for permitting us, in particular, to be part of this august occasion. We sincerely thank the organisers of your congress for having made this possible.

As a people and a Liberation Movement, for many years we have lived with and know Sweden and its people. In particular we have come to note the heartrending conscientiousness with which the young people of Sweden have worked for the solidarity. Movement in support of our people,

Having united the ideals of humanity and justice with the principles of democracy and popular sovereignty for all peoples and nations of the world the young people of your country have proceeded to demonstrate in action their profound understanding of the truth that solidarity is never an act of charity but mutual assistance between people and forces fighting for the same cause and aims. Once this was the case we all knew that our victory is assured since no cause, no matter what obstacles it faces, can fail when it is supported by the youth. It was this support whose greatness was distinguishable by its insistence on the need to empower rather than to enslave that helped the ANC produce the type of cadre it possesses today. Through projects such as "Operation Dagswerk" we have been able to keep SOMAFCO our College and Dakawa our development centre afloat. This has enabled us to educate scores, of our young people skilling and motivating them for purpose of building a new non-racial and democratic South Africa. The same education and other developmental assistance was extended and given directly to progressive organisation of youth people inside our country.

Today the people of South Africa stand on the threshold of a great moment in history: a transitional period to democracy, peace and social progress because of your support . It was in recognition and deep appreciation of this support by our
organisation that they took a decision at the time of my release that my visits to the people of the world and their countries will open with a trip and visit to Sweden and its people. Sweden and its people have been most consistent as regards the question of Sanctions against apartheid. In this respect Sweden and its people won themselves millions of the hearts and minds or our people.

I am expressing the wish and hope of my movement, my country and my people and in particular the millions of our young people who in this bitter struggle for freedom have known no peace and have been denied all of the rights and years of their youths when I say that Sweden its people should not abondon us now in this crucial time of our plight for freedom. In this regard I want to repeat myself to you as I have said in the Dome during my visit to your country that the time has not yet arrived to switch-off the fires when that water is about to boil. Sanctions must stay and not be weakened.

The young people of my country, in particular that progressive majority of youth which is today grappling with the task of establishing the ANC Youth league and a broad anti-apartheid youth front are still looking up to you for all the assistance you can offer them. At the same time they are still ooking up on you to ensure proper understanding in your country and among your people, in particular the business community of the real state of affairs in our country from the point of view of the oppressed so that no new decisions that are taken about our country and our people should subtract from the many years of good work done by a united Swedish community.

We therefore reiterate our call to you, our allies, to ensure that existing sanctions remain in place. These are not timeless and for their own sake. They and the other strategies we have implemented will be removed once they have achieved
their intended good: the adoption of a new non- racial and democratic constitution by the people of my country. That much has changed in my country is clear and appreciated. But that the changes that have taken place are irreversible and enough, is not true. Apartheid is still in place. My people and I still do not have the vote. Therefore, the struggle against apartheid must continue and all assistance must be rendered to the ANC and the democratic forces to strengthen them so that the peace and negotiations process we have initiated is not derailed nor frustrated.

In taking decisions about our country and our people your congress should be informed by this perspective and the grim
realities that our people st ill have to live through such as the recent criminal Sebokeng massacre which forms part of a
violent campaign against the ANC, its supporters and the peace and negotiations process, democracy, and social process we represent.

We wish you all the success. We hope that your Congress will emerge with strategies that will lead to further and stronger co-operation between yourselves and our youths and between your country and our people and your government and the ANC.

Yours in struggle


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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 15/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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