Anthea Jeffery: the People’s war and ANC’s quest for hegemony

From News24

Dr. Anthea Jeffery is Head of Policy Research at the IRR and author of Patents and Prosperity: Invention + Investment = Growth + Jobs, published this week by the IRR and available on the IRR website.
Dr. Anthea Jeffery is Head of Policy Research at the IRR.

Pretoria – During the last decade of the struggle in South Africa, the ANC wanted hegemony over the country, Dr Anthea Jeffery, head of policy research at the Institute of Race Relations, said on Friday.

She said the ANC has always depicted its liberation struggle as a just war, fought by just means.

“But, in fact, the ANC’s struggle – in its last decade from 1984 to 1994 – took the form of a ruthless people’s war that was primarily aimed at giving the ANC hegemony over the new South Africa, rather than at liberation,” Jeffery told people attending an AfriForum conference in memory of the victims of the Church Street bombing.

“This was especially the case from 1990 onwards, when the door to democracy had already been thrown open and there was no need to batter it down.”

Read also: Anthea Jeffery: Jobs, not racism, SA’s most serious unresolved problem

Jeffery, in her address titled “People’s war and ANC Hegemony”, said the war did not depend for its success on the class of competing armies.

“Which helps to explain why it mattered little that the ANC’s armed wing, UMkhonto we Sizwe, had no capacity to defeat the South African army. It rests in part on bomb attacks, including the car bomb in Pretoria in May 1983, which killed 19 people,” she said.

The bomb was set off outside the Nedbank Square building in Church Street on May 20, 1983. The target was the South African Air Force offices. Nineteen people, including the two bombers, were killed and 217 people were injured.

Jeffery added that the underlying aim of the ANC was not only to rob the National Party government of its will to rule, but also to weaken and destroy it’s black political rivals.

“This last was essential if ANC was to gain hegemony over the new South Africa and then use its power to push forward with the second stage of its revolution. It also helps explain why the great majority of the victims of the people’s war were black, rather than the white South Africans,” said Jeffery. – News24


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