Defiance Campaign

In: Historical Events

Submitted By raminakrivich
Words 1274
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Defiance Campaign 1952
The post-1948 period saw the African National Congress (ANC) abandoning its traditional reliance on tactics of moderation such as petitions and deputations. In December 1949, with the support of the ANC Youth League, a new leadership came to power in the ANC. Walter Sisulu was elected secretary-general and a number of Youth Leaguers were elected to the national executive, including Oliver Tambo , Sisulu's successor. The period 1950 -1952 began with a commitment to militant African nationalism and mass action and to tactics of boycotts, strikes and civil disobedience. The period culminated in the Defiance Campaign, the largest scale non-violent resistance ever seen in South Africa and the first campaign pursued jointly by all racial groups under the leadership of the ANC and the South African Indian Congress (SAIC).
D.F. Malan's National Party (NP) government followed up its unexpected election victory in 1948 with a massive social restructuring programme, which included the enactment of new apartheid laws, as well as the stricter application of existing discriminatory legislation such as the Pass laws and amendments to the Immorality Act. In 1951 the Separate Representation of Voters Bill to remove Coloureds from the common roll was enacted. The apartheid policy of the nationalist government was not simply a small-scale social rearrangement and an extension of administrative controls. It was in fact a process which sought to deny political representation and participation of Black people at all levels of government and which affected all sectors and all classes within the Black communities. It was this that provided a context for the mounting tide of popular democratic resistance to the apartheid state in the 1950s.
On 6 April 1952 while white South Africans celebrated the tercentenary of Jan van Riebeeck's arrival at the Cape in 1652, the…...

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