Revolutionaries in South Africa:
Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli, Rolihlahla Nelson Dalibunga Mandela, and the African National Congress

Kenneth Wilburn
Department of History
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina

Created for Public School Teachers
The 33rd ECU Symposium on History and the Social Studies
26 September 1997
First Online Edition: 27 September 1997
Last Revised: 10 January 2007

The Popular ANC Call: Amandla! (Power!)
Response: Ngawethu! (The Power is Ours!)

Where the Rainbow Ends
Richard Rive (Cape Town)

Where the rainbow ends
there is going to be a place brother,
where the world can sing all sorts of songs,
and we're going to sing together, brother,
you and I, though you're white and I am not.
It's going to be a sad song, brother,
because we don't know the tune.
But we can learn, brother, you and I.
There's no such tune as a black tune.
There's no such tune as a white tune.
There's only music, brother.
And it's music we're going to sing
where the rainbow ends.

In 1814 the British took formal sovereignty over the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch who since 1652 had been using Table Bay as a way station between Amsterdam and the Dutch East Indies. By the advent of the British takeover, Dutch, German, and French Calvinists comprised the majority of several thousand European colonists.

Their influence on the course of South African history would be profound, in part due to their belief in predestination, that they were predestined by God to experience heaven. These Calvinist farmers, or Boers from the Dutch word for farmer, believed that Africans were heathens predestined by God for hell. Boer religious beliefs helped formulate the racist relationship between Europeans and Africans that evolved into apartheid, literally "separateness." Several years ago this religious pillar of apartheid was declared a heresy by South Africa's Dutch Reformed Church.

Just as in the United States where Europeans dispossessed Native Americans, so in South Africa Europeans took land from 3 African ethnic groups: the Khoikhoi, the San, and Bantu-speaking black Africans.

Formerly called the pejorative term, "Hottentots," the Khoikhoi, which means men of men, herded cattle and occupied the Cape from at least 2,000 BCE. By 1713, however, after some 60 years of European contact, the Khoikhoi had either succumbed to European diseases, migrated north away from Boer control, or entered into servile labor relationships. While the Khoikhoi today no longer exist as a separate ethnic group, their gene pool lives on in the present-day Cape Coloured population of some 2 million.

With Khoikhoi land firmly in Boer control, settlers turned inland to subdue the San, a people you may know as "Bushman," now a pejorative term. San means man. While the San had much in common with the pastoral Khoikhoi--their yellow-hued Asian features and clicking languages--they were migratory hunter-gatherers. The Boers hated them, classified them as sub-human, and often executed them on the spot. Over time, some San were absorbed into the Cape Coloured population; others retreated into the Kalahari desert. Today some 5,000 San retain a precarious existence.

With the Khoikhoi and the San now subjugated, the eastward expanding Europeans met a much more formidable opponent, Bantu-speaking black Africans. For almost 4,000 years Bantu-speakers, originally from West Africa, had been dispersing in a series of migrations east and south across the continent. The resulting peoples and languages came to be called Bantu, which means people. As these Bantu-speaking Iron Age farmers and herders encountered the Stone Age San and Khoikhoi, they absorbed or pushed them southward. By the time the Dutch founded Cape Town in 1652, Bantu-speakers had been in South Africa for at least 600 years. From 1819, conflicts on the eastern Cape frontier between European settlers and the southern most Bantu-speaking ethnic group, the Xhosa, became frequent.

By 1836, many Cape Boers found British culture and liberal views of Africans offensive. Some 4,000 Boers called voortrekkers carried out the Great Trek into the interior of southern Africa away from British rule. They found land temporarily depopulated by the Mfecane, meaning the "Time of Troubles," which was the period of warfare and devastation brought about by the rise of the Zulu nation and empire. Out of this interior territory two Boer republics were created, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.

On the eve of the births of Albert John Luthuli (1898), Nelson Mandela (1918), and the African National Congress (1912), the major themes in South African history between European and African were self-serving views of predestination, struggle over land, and manipulation of labor. Once agricultural, mineral, and industrial development were underway, Boers and Britons institutionalized customs and laws to force Africans into a labor force that served settler capitalist interests. Thus, apartheid in the twentieth century had its genesis in 300 years of religious, land, and labor conflicts.

Europeans overcame persistant African resistence by using advanced weapons, divide and rule tactics, and African collaborators. A major catalyst that united African ethnic groups to oppose European racist rule was the aftermath of the Second Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1901. Africans who fought on the British side were promised a redress of their grievances once British rule in South Africa had been restored. British popular support for the war effort, however, diminished the longer the Boers, who employed guerrilla warfare tactics, stayed in the field. Support fell further when horrified Britons learned that thousands of Boer women and children were dying of diseases in British concentration camps. When the Boers refused to discuss African rights issues in the peace negotiations, rather than reopen hostilities, the British abandoned their African allies. They abandoned them again in the Union of South Africa in 1910, when the British returned much self-rule to the Boers.

Africans soon responded on 8 January 1912 by organizing the South African Native National Congress. Reverend John Dube, a US-educated teacher, was elected president. Solomon Plaatjie, a journalist and translator of Shakespearean plays became secretary. Pixley ka Isaka Seme, the US-educated and London-trained advocate and organizer of the meeting, became treasurer. They sought to protect African rights through peaceful protests, propaganda, and petitions. They made little progress. A change in name in 1923 to the African National Congress did little to raise popular support. The ANC's educated leadership seemed too removed from the impoverished masses.

Years passed. Then on Easter 1944 a group of younger members organized the ANC Youth League to promote activism. Organizers included Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, and Anton Lembede. While Tambo advocated a multi-ethnic ANC to combat white racism, Mandela at first supported Lembede's blacks-only coalition. After Lembede's sudden death from natural causes in 1947, Youth Leaguers chose Tambo's multi-ethnic approach. In 1949 they devised the Programme of Action, which called for strikes, boycotts, and defiance, in response to the Afrikaner's National Party's platform of apartheid and election victory in 1948.

The ANC soon made an alliance with the South African Indian Congress, whose activism between 1893 and 1914 had been led by Mohandas Gandhi, the Mahatma (Great Soul). Gandhi's "satyagraha," which meant "getting at the truth," employed "ahimsa" or passive resistance. Gandhi introduced ahimsa in Johannesburg in 1907 to resist misguided and wicked people with love and suffering.

Alliances were also made with the South African Coloured Peoples Organization, the white Congress of Democrats, and the South African Congress of Trade Unions. Together these groups came to be called the Congress Alliance.

By 1952, power in the ANC had passed to the Youth Leaguers. They needed an older leader who could command the respect of ANC members and the Congress Alliance.

The Zulu chief, 54-year old Albert John Mvumbi ("Continuous Rain") Luthuli ("Dust") was a candidate. Luthuli had spent his childhood herding cattle. At ten he moved near Durban to live with his uncle, Chief Martin Luthuli of the Abasemakholweni clan of the Zulu nation. Young Luthuli was educated by American missionaries, influenced by Seventh Day Adventists and Methodists, and became a devout Christian.

In 1920 he completed his teacher's degree and was offered a scholarship to attend Fort Hare University College, the famous college that Nelson Mandela would later attend. Instead, Luthuli became a teacher of African teachers near his home so he could care for his ailing mother. In 1936 Luthuli left teaching to take up his clan's elected office of chief. Now outside the ivory tower, Chief Luthuli grew increasingly disillusioned with the government. In 1945 he joined the ANC.

Three years later Luthuli toured the United States to lecture on Christian missions in South Africa on behalf of the North American Missionary Conference. In the states Luthuli advocated both adapting Christianity to traditional African beliefs and employing the non-violent tactics of Jesus and Gandhi to oppose the racist policies of the National Party.

The Defiance Campaign of 26 June 1952 was the ANC's first widely supported call to protest against the National Party's policies of apartheid. In response the Afrikaners demanded that Luthuli choose between the ANC or his position as chief. When he did nothing, the Afrikaners stripped him of his chieftainship. Impressed, the Youth Leaguers overwhelmingly elected Luthuli president-general of the ANC on 16 December 1952.

Fearing his moderate, non-violent message of a South Africa in which all people participated in government, in May 1953 the Afrikaners banned Luthuli from attending public gatherings and in July 1954 confined him to the vicinity of his rural home. Elected Luthuli's deputy-president, Nelson Mandela was also banned from public speaking and confined to his residential area, Johannesburg. ANC membership increased from 7,000 to 100,000.

Out of the Defiance Campaign grew the idea of convening a popular parliament to create a constitution for all South Africans. Some 3,500 delegates and spectators met at Kliptown near Johannesburg on 25-26 June 1955 and created the multi-ethnic Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter called for equal rights, redistribution of land, and for an end to apartheid. Since Luthuli and Mandela were both banned, neither could legally attend, though Mandela observed proceedings in disguise. In absentia Luthuli was presented the Istwalandwe ("one who has fought courageously in battle"), the ANC's highest award.

In December 1956 the Afrikaners arrested Luthuli, Mandela, and 154 others and charged them with treason, in part based on documents police confiscated when they broke up the Freedom Charter conference. After being detained for a year, charges were dropped against Luthuli. During Mandela's five-year Treason Trial, disillusioned ANC members led by Robert Sobukwe formed the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in 1959. The PAC opposed the Freedom Charter and the ANC's multi-racial alliance policies. The PAC advocated a black-dominated South Africa. To promote their liberation agenda, the PAC organized a protest movement that culminated on 21 March 1961 when 69 children, women, and men were killed and 186 wounded, many shot in the backs fleeing police at Sharpeville, near Johannesburg.

Eight days later three white judges declared Nelson Mandela and his alleged co-conspirators innocent of treason. The next day the Afrikaners declared a state of emergency, banned the PAC and the ANC on 5 April, and imprisoned 18,000 anti-apartheid activists, including Luthuli once again. Nelson Mandela went underground immediately.

The Afrikaners released Luthuli six months later, and desperate for favorable international publicity they let Luthuli leave South Africa to receive his Nobel Peace Prize. On 10 December 1961 Albert John Luthuli became the first African to receive the honor, in his case for his courage, humanity, and nonviolent tactics to promote social reform. In his acceptance speech Luthuli called for international sanctions against South Africa and a nonracial, democratic government. Upon his return, Afrikaners banned both Luthuli from addressing cheering crowds and his autobiography, Let My People Go. He spent his prize money on two Swaziland farms to provide havens for political exiles.

With the ANC now banned and the Afrikaners stepping up their violence by killing women and children, Oliver Tambo was sent abroad to stir the world's conscience. Sharpeville convinced the ANC to take up armed struggle. Umkonto We Sizwe ("Spear of the Nation", "MK"), the military wing of the ANC, was created to carry out sabotage against such non-human targets as power stations and government buildings. Fugitive Nelson Mandela was appointed commander. Within 18 months MK launched 200 acts of sabotage.

Mandela, the royal advisor to the Thembu king of the Xhosa and a lawyer, had now taken up arms. Born into a branch of the Thembu royal family on 18 July 1918 near Umtata, Transkei, Rolihlahla (pulling the branch of a tree or troublemaker) Nelson Dalibunga (founder of the Bungha, the traditional ruling body of the Transkei) Mandela, like Luthuli, had had a traditional pastoral childhood. After challenging Fort Hare University College administrators over a contested student election, Mandela left college and fled traditional life for the lure of Johannesburg. He soon developed an interest in defending Africans from racist laws. Against enormous odds he earned a correspondence law degree and established a joint practice with best friend, Oliver Tambo.

Now some 18 years later, when Luthuli heard of the policy change to take up armed struggle and that Mandela was MK's commander, he considered resigning his ANC presidency. Mandela, now the "Black Pimpernel," as he came to be called in the press after the Scarlet Pimpernel of the French Revolution, had just returned from a confidential mission to gather African support for the ANC's military wing. He continued to evade the Afrikaner manhunt and secretly met Luthuli on 4 August 1962. Mandela told Luthuli that the ANC had been forced to change tactics in the wake of Sharpeville and the ANC's banning, but Luthuli was not persuaded. The next day, the Black Pimpernel was captured en route to the Transaal. Many people believe that he was betrayed by a US consular official who informed the CIA who in turn informed the Afrikaners.

With its first commander in prison, MK carried on from its secret headquarters, Liliesleaf Farm in the Johannesburg suburb of Rivonia, where the Black Pimpernel had lived in disguise as a house boy. Then while Mandela was serving the first of five years at hard labor for illegally leaving the country, most of MK's military command was captured at Liliesleaf on 11 July 1963. Called the Rivonia 9, including Mandela who, as the first MK commander, was implicated in the evidence captured at the farm, went on trial for treason on 8 December 1963. If convicted, the penalty was death. On the stand in a crowded courtroom before the international press corps, Mandela pierced the world's conscience with these courageous words: "I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

On 11 June 1964, the founding year of ECU's Symposium on History and the Social Studies, the Rivonia defendants were found guilty of treason by the single Afrikaner judge, who then proceeded to commute their death sentences to life imprisonment. These South African revolutionaries immediately began life sentences on South Africa's Alcatraz, Robben Island, about 5 miles off Cape Town. Mandela would spend the next 18 years on the island, often busting rocks. With the ANC's leaders now in exile or imprisoned, apartheid reached its peak of institutionalization.

Luthuli responded from Natal by proclaiming that the imprisoned leaders of MK represented the highest in morality and ethics, that no one could blame them for seeking justice by using violent methods against non-human targets, and that the ANC had never abandoned its policy of nonviolence. In 1965 he called upon the United States to implement full sanctions against South Africa. After Robert Kennedy visited Luthuli in his rural village in 1966, Albert John Luthuli, president-general of the ANC since 1952, was killed by a train while crossing a bridge on 21 July 1967. Alan Paton, a white conscience of South Africa and Luthuli's friend, gave the funeral oration and said, "History will make Luthuli's voice speak again." And so history has, for Luthuli yet again has spoken here today of freedom and justice.

With the ANC without its helm, a new protest movement rose to fill the vacuum. Bantu Steven Biko, believing that Africans had to take matters into their own hands because it was only they who fully experienced apartheid, helped found the Blacks-only Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) in 1972. The BCM contributed to the gathering storm that burst suddenly on 16 June 1976.

Compelled to accept Afrikaans as a language of instruction, angry African students began a protest movement in Soweto, near Johannesburg. Within weeks some 10,000 adults and 12,000 students had launched the first massive strike since 1961 and Sharpeville. Police killed 20 students a day for a week. By October 1977 some 1,000 were dead and 2,400 imprisoned incommunicado. One of the dead, brutally beaten and killed by police on 12 September, was Steve Biko.

The Afrikaners were increasingly besieged. In 1982 they transferred Mandela off Robben Island to Cape Town's Pollsmoor Prison. It was the first step in many toward his release.

In 1983 some 300 organizations formed the United Democratic Front (UDF), a symbolic recreation of the Congress Alliance. The UDF adopted the same non-violent program as the banned ANC.

In 1985 MK commander Joe Slovo and ANC president Oliver Tambo, both in exile for over twenty years, called for arming the masses, promoting consumer and educational boycotts, and making Black townships ungovernable. They also drafted proposals for negotiations with the National Party: a bill of rights for all South Africans, a unitary state, and redistribution of wealth. Secret meetings in West Africa began between South African student and business leaders and the exiled ANC leadership.

The National Party responded with a state of emergency in 1985, arrested most of the UDF leadership, and implemented martial law in June 1986. Repression, however, could not break the multi-ethnic coalition. Afrikaners began to negotiate more seriously with Mandela and moved him to more comfortable surroundings at Victor Verster Prison near Paarl.

In September 1989 Frederick Willem de Klerk came to power, allegedly a "verligte" (enlightened) Afrikaner. De Klerk freed Mandela on 11 February 1990 and unbanned the ANC. Weeks later Mandela became the ANC's deputy-president; in May 1990 official talks began between the ANC and the government; and on 6 August 1990 the ANC suspended the armed struggle.

Yet celebrations were premature. Hoping to derail talks, members of the government's security forces encouraged sustained violence between ANC members and Zulu nationalists that killed hundreds and lasted from February 1990 to December 1991. Even though on 20 December 1991 the promising multi-delegation Convention for a Democratic South Africa, CODESA, met in Johannesburg to create the new South Africa, negotiations stalled, new violence broke out, and the talks lapsed.

In an attempt to gain support for his verligte policies, in March 1992 white voters endorsed de Klerk's reform program. Finally, on 26 September Mandela and de Klerk met for an official summit. Their "Record of Understanding" proved to be the breakthrough to majority rule.

In late April 1994 400 representatives were elected to a constituent assembly empowered to write a new constitution and serve as a parliament. On 18 November 1994 an interim constitution and a bicameral parliament comprised of national and regional representatives were approved. The first election of the new South Africa was held in 1999. One outcome was the Nobel Peace Prize awarded jointly to Mandela and de Klerk in 1993.

The new South Africa is one of the twentieth century's greatest achievements, yet lingering effects of decades of apartheid remain. Unemployment is about 40%; murder and theft are endemic; Black ownership of land remains largely unfulfilled; a slow growing economy is not keeping pace with population growth; and the uncertainty of Mandela's forthcoming retirement--all of these problems must be met in the twenty-first century. Still, South Africans of all colors have endured and overcome much since 1652. The obstacles they face now are daunting, but seem no more difficult than the long night of tribulations they have already suffered through. Dawn has come at last to South Africa. Once the early storms of the new South African morn have passed, beneath the rainbow where one would expect to find Witwatersrand gold drying in the African sun, one will find the true treasure of South Africa--its people in all their rich diversity now baptized in freedom. South Africa, once the outcast of nations, may have much to teach us all in the next millenium.

Selected Bibliography


The historiography of apartheid in South Africa is vast. The books below represent ten fine works to use to begin your exploration of revolution in twentieth-century South Africa.

Biko, Steve, I Write What I Like, A Selection of His Writings (New York: HarperCollins, 1986). Statements from the leader of the Black Consciousness Movement are given.

Christopher, A.J., The Atlas of Apartheid (London: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994). The devastating effects of apartheid on the people of South Africa are represented with cartographic analysis.

Fanon, Frantz, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1963). The landmark treatise on revolution in Africa by the Algerian psychologist.

Fredrickson, George M., Black Liberation, A Comparative History of Black Ideologies in the United States and South Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995). An erudite study by an imminent scholar of South Africa and a major participant at the African Studies Committee's symposium on apartheid, East Carolina University, 1986.

Johns, Sheridan and R. Hunt Davis, Jr., Mandela, Tambo, and the African National Congress, the Struggle Against Apartheid, 1948-1990, A Documentary Survey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991). An important collection of documents that illustrate the history of apartheid.

Luthuli, Albert, Let My People Go (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962). The autobiography of Albert John Luthuli, president-general of the African National Congress.

Mandela, Nelson, Long Walk to Freedom (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1994). The exciting autobiography of South Africa's popular revolutionary, Nelson Mandela.

Stremlau, John, A House No Longer Divided, Progress and Prospects for Democratic Peace in South Africa (New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York, July, 1997). The latest in a series of Carnegie studies on government and society in South Africa.

Williams, John A., From the South African Past, Narratives, Documents, and Debates (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997). Considers documents and controversies dating back to 1652.

Woods, Donald, Biko (New York: Paddington Press, 1978). The famed biography of Steve Biko by the banned South African journalist and former speaker at East Carolina University, Donald Woods.


Although there are fewer films about apartheid in South Africa than American involvement in Viet-Nam, the quality is just as high. Three feature-length films and three series follow.

Apartheid, PBS (1987). A Frontline series in five one-hour segments, these is a splendid documentaries explore the history of apartheid.

California Newsreel. This film producer has created several anti-apartheid documentaries including films on the ANC and Steve Biko. Their Internet address is ( Their address is 149 Ninth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103; phone: 415.621.6196; fax: 415.621.6522.

Cry Freedom, Richard Attenborough, director (1987). One of three important feature films on the anti-apartheid movement. This one focuses on the life of Steve Biko and his friend, Donald Woods. The film was created to gain Western support for the anti-apartheid movement.

A Dry White Season. The second of three important anti-apartheid feature films. Donald Sutherland and Marlon Brando appear in this anti-apartheid film that examines the transformation of a traditional Afrikaner from a defender of the status quo to a supporter of the anti-apartheid movement. The film explores the devastating consequences on both his family and himself.

The Gordimer Stories. A series of seven films from 30 to 60 minutes each which reflect the consequences of apartheid on a variety of South Africans. Different ethnic groups are portrayed in different films. Gordimer won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991.

A World Apart. The third of three feature films that explores the anti-apartheid movement. This film examines the life of Ruth First, wife of Joe Slovo. While Slovo goes into exile to lead the armed struggle, First remains behind to carry on until she is killed by a letter bomb sent by apartheid extremists.


Abasemakholweni--Luthuli's Zulu clan

African National Congress (ANC)--organization created in 1912 to promote black rights in South Africa

ahimsa--the passive resistence component of Ghandi adopted by the African National Congress


Bantu-speaking black Africans--migrants from West Africa who speak one of Africa's largest language groups; calling someone a "Bantu" is considered very pejorative

Bloemfontein--capital of the Orange Free State

Boers--Dutch-speaking Calvinist farmers

Bushman--the San, a hunter-gatherer ethnic group of the Cape; "Bushman" is now considered pejorative

Cape Coloured--people primarily African and European ancestry

Cape Province--sometimes called the Cape, it is the southern maritime province of South Africa

CODESA--Convention for a Democratic South Africa was the name of the broad-based negotiation body that began to craft South Africa's constitution

Dube, John--the US-educated founding president of the African National Congress

Fort Hare University College--college for Africans near East London in the Cape

Gandhi, Mohandas--the Mahatma or Great Soul, an Indian who led the early anti-apartheid movement in Natal

Great Trek--the migration of Cape Dutch who fled British rule in the 1830s and settled the interior of present-day South Africa, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State

Hottentot--the Khoikhoi, pastoralists of the Cape; "Hottentot" is now considered pejorative

Istwalandwe--one who has fought courageously in battle, the ANC's highest award

Khoikhoi--one of two indigenous African population groups in southern Africa

de Klerk, Frederick Willem--the verligte National Party leader who freed Nelson Mandela and negotiated the end of Grand Apartheid

Lembede, Anton--Congress Youth League founder who supported the blacks only policy of membership to the ANC

Liliesleaf Farm--secret headquarters of Spear of the Nation

Luthuli (also Lutuli, means Dust), Albert John Mvumbi (means Continuous Rain)--Zulu leader of the ANC and first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Mandela, Rolihlahla (pulling a branch off a tree/troublemaker) Nelson Dalibunga (founder of the Bunga--the traditional ruling body of the Transkei)--a founder of the ANC Youth League, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and president of South Africa

Mfecane--Time of Troubles when Shaka Zulu created the Zulu nation and empire

Natal--South Africa's northeastern maritime province that incorporates Zululand

Orange Free State--in mid-South Africa and one of the two Boer Republics created in the aftermath of the Great Trek

Plaatjie, Solomon--a journalist, founder, and first secretary of the African National Congress

Rivonia--Johannesburg suburb in which Liliesleaf Farm was located; leaders of the Spear of the Nation came to be called the Rivonia 9 during their trial

San--one of the Cape's indigenous African ethnic groups; southern African hunters and gatherers

Seme, Pixley ka Isaka--first treasurer, US-educated and founder of the African National Congress

Sisulu, Walter--an ANC Youth League founder

Slovo, Joe--leader of the South African Communist Party who became the head of Umkonto We Sizwe (Spear of the Nation)

Sobukwe, Robert--founder of the Pan Africanist Congress; splintered from the ANC and promoted a blacks-only front against apartheid

Tambo, Oliver--an ANC Youth League found and member who lobbied abroad during Mandela's long imprisonment

Thembu--the Xhosa clan of Nelson Mandela

The Transvaal--one of South Africa's four provinces created in the aftermath of the Great Trek of the Boers; province of South Africa's famous Witwatersrand gold deposits

Umkonto We Sizwe ("Spear of the Nation" or "MK")--the military wing of the African National Congress

verkrampte--literally unenlightened; applied to Boers who refused to end apartheid

verligte--literally enlightened; applied to Boers who advocated negotiations with the ANC to end apartheid

Xhosa--one of South Africa's largest Nguni ethnic groups, circa 4 million; Nelson Mandela's is a Thembu Xhosa

Zulu--one of South Africa's largest Nguni ethnic groups, circa 4 million; Albert Luthuli is an Abasemakholweni Zulu

Please email corrections/suggestions to Kenneth Wilburn.

Kenneth Wilburn's Academic Home Page

First Online Edition: 27 September 1997
Last Revised: 10 January 2007