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Manifesto (originally the
Manifesto on Southern Africa) is
a document created by the Fifth Summit Conference of East and Central
African States which took place between 14 and 16 April 1969 in
Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Produced at a time when the Republic of
South Africa and its affiliated white-ruled regimes in Mozambique,
Angola were relatively strong but politically isolated,
Manifesto called upon them to relinquish white supremacy and
minority rule and singled out apartheid South Africa for violation of
human rights. In the Manifesto, which was subsequently adopted both by
Organisation of African Unity
Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations, thirteen
Heads of State offered dialogue with the rulers of these Southern
African states under the condition that they accept basic principles
of human rights and human liberties. They also threatened to support
the various liberation wars if negotiations failed.
Manifesto represented one of two strategies to deal with
white minority rule in Southern Africa: To try to contain violence,
preserve the status quo, and improve the humanitarian situation little
by little through diplomatic means, small reforms, and compromises.
The other strategy, to wage independence wars, would eventually
6.3 Further reading
In the late 1960s South Africa's apartheid regime became increasingly
politically isolated, both internationally and continental. Under
B.J. Vorster it developed the so-called
"outward-looking policy", an effort to bind southern African countries
economically, and in this way to discourage them from openly
criticising its repressive internal politics. This policy first was
openly opposed only by
Tanzania under president
Julius Nyerere and
Zambia under Kenneth Kaunda, but their lobbying made the United
Nations General Assembly (UNGA) reject any further dialogue with South
At that time independence movements had been formed in all white-ruled
territories of Southern Africa, either with an explicit commitment to
guerrilla warfare and sabotage or recently having scaled their
activities from passive resistance, petitioning, and lobbying to an
openly armed struggle. The
African National Congress
African National Congress (ANC) in South
Africa had launched its military wing
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961.
It immediately executed several sabotage acts against the country's
infrastructure. In South-West Africa SWAPO's paramilitary wing, the
People's Liberation Army of Namibia
People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) was founded in 1962, its
first military action occurred in
Omugulugwombashe in 1966.
Yet South Africa was politically strong at the time of the declaration
agreed upon in Lusaka. Its border states except
Botswana were all
ruled by white minorities. In the United States, National Security
Study Memorandum number 39, issued by president
Richard Nixon and
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, had just reiterated that "the
Whites in southern Africa [are] there to stay". Memorandum 39,
Tar baby memorandum for its reluctant acceptance of
apartheid and minority rule in order to gain anti-communist allies in
Southern Africa, strengthened South Africa's position
Prime Minister Vorster had had a secret conversation with Kaunda for
some time since 1968, eventually leading to the Manifesto. A threat
to reveal existence and content of this conversation was issued by
Vorster to influence Kaunda's public presentation of South African
politics. When Kaunda did not react, Vorster published the complete
exchange and later in 1970 confirmed it in the South African
Manifesto starts with a declaration on human rights and
equality and specifically rejects racial discrimination, both the
then existing White minority racism against Blacks and discrimination
by Blacks against Whites, a widespread fear of the White minorities at
that time. It further offers dialogue to the White regime in South
Africa, stating that the signatories would "negotiate rather than
destroy, talk rather than kill".
For Namibia, Mozambique,
Manifesto called for
self-determination and the establishment of majority rule. For
South Africa its tone was sharper, and its recommendations went much
further, including the suggestion to expel South Africa from all
international political and economic bodies. This distinction between
the suggested treatment of South Africa and the other white-ruled
territories also contained an acknowledgement of South Africa's status
as an independent, sovereign UN member, while Namibia, Mozambique,
Angola were colonies without recognition as states.
The significance of the
Manifesto has been compared to that of
Magna Carta and the Freedom Charter. The liberalism expressed in
it was in direct opposition to South African apartheid which saw
rights and liberties of individual people as tantamount to communism,
and as irreconcilable with its own nationalist policies.
Manifesto was published in Britain in form of an advertisement,
paid for by the Zambian government, in
The Times and The Guardian.
It was endorsed by the
Organisation of African Unity
Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and by the
24th session of the
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The OAU issued several other documents after the
concerned the situation in South Africa, for instance the Mogadishu
Declaration of 1970 and the Dar es Salaam Declaration of 1974. They
were mainly updates, without a real diversion from the Manifesto's
general direction, although, in reaction to South Africa's complete
rejection of the original document, they are written in a decisively
tenser tone and stress much more the support of armed liberation
North America and former colonial powers in Europe positively received
Lusaka Manifesto, reportedly "because Africa argued, not
The manifesto was a document in the moderate line of thought on how to
improve the situation of Blacks in Southern Africa. It acknowledged
the right of all the whites who had settled in southern Africa to stay
there. It recognized South Africa as a sovereign and independent state
and proposed no changes of boundaries. It advocated boycott and
isolation, rather than armed intervention or internal revolt, in South
Africa. Above all, it urged negotiation and accepted that change could
not come overnight.
Manifesto has been criticised for not involving any of the
contemporary liberation movements and, more generally, of entrenching
capitalism on the African continent rather than supporting the various
socialist movements of that time.
The White South African regime rejected the document. The ANC was
likewise opposed to the
Manifesto as in their view the
declaration legitimised the apartheid regime, pronouncing its status
as a sovereign and independent UN-recognised entity. They further
criticised that the call for a peaceful resolution came at a time
South Africa intervened militarily in Rhodesia, and that the
Manifesto's wording artificially separated the liberation struggles in
South Africa, South-West Africa, and Rhodesia. In 1971 the ANC
It is a tragedy that now—when black South Africa is launching an
unflinching, full scale armed struggle against Vorster and his
henchmen—African States [...] have seen it fit to have a 'dialogue'
with white South Africa [...] If there should be a dialogue it should
be between Voster and the real leaders of the people, Mandela, Sisulu,
Mbeki, Kathrada, Fischer, Motsoaledi.
ANC's main disappointment, though, was that its armed struggle, and
that of its likeminded liberation movements FRELIMO, MPLA, SWAPO,
ZAPU was not directly supported and rather seen as a
possible future legitimate action, even if it already was in full
In the spirit of the Manifesto,
Namibia conducted the Turnhalle
Constitutional Conference between 1975 and 1977, an event widely
criticised for providing "pseudo-reforms" entrenching the racial
segregation of Namibia's population, and indirectly reinforcing the
economic and political power of the white population. Several
black delegates, however, welcomed the start of institutionalised
communication between the parties.
Ian Smith entered into several round of talks with
ZAPU. These were, however, interspersed with military action, at times
supported by South Africa. In 1975 the talks finally broke down, and
Frontline States supported armed liberation from 1976 onwards.
Mozambique already were in a state of full-scale wars of
Angola since 1961 and
Mozambique since 1964. The
Manifesto made no difference to the developments in these countries.
After a successful coup d'état in Portugal on 24 April 1974 the
Portuguese colonial power collapsed, and Portuguese colonies were
allowed to establish majority-rule governments. This development
encouraged liberation movements in other white-ruled territories as
well. Following the
Alvor Agreement in January 1975
independent in November, ending its war of independence but starting a
devastating civil war.
Mozambique likewise became independent in 1975
and saw its own civil war from 1977 to 1992.
Only a few years after the
Manifesto the buffer of white-ruled
countries north of South Africa disintegrated rapidly, forcing the
apartheid regime to take a different course of politics. Mid 1976
uprisings in Soweto and Gulguleto brought the country to the brink of
a civil war. The Southern African Development Coordination Conference
(SADCC), the predecessor of today's Southern African Development
Community (SADC) was founded in 1980 in order to "reduce member
states' dependence, particularly, but not only, on apartheid South
Africa". The white rulers of South Africa eventually relinquished
power to the black majority in 1994 but instead of acting on the
moderate suggestions of the
Manifesto faced independence wars in all
^ Ndlovu 2004, p. 616.
^ "Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Timeline 1961–1990, entry for 1961". South
African History Online. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
^ Reno, William (2011). Warfare in Independent Africa. New Approaches
to African History. 5. Cambridge University Press. p. 101.
^ de St. Jorre 1977, p. 64.
^ a b c d Shamuyarira 1977, p. 247.
^ de St. Jorre 1977, p. 68.
^ Shamuyarira 1977, p. 252.
^ de St. Jorre 1977, p. 62.
^ Grundy 1973, p. 115.
^ a b c Ndlovu 2004, p. 617.
^ a b c de St. Jorre 1977, p. 63.
^ Macmillan 2013, p. 68.
^ de St. Jorre, John (October 1976). "Inside the Laager: White Power
in South Africa". Foreign Affairs. Council on Foreign Relations.
^ Henderson 1974, pp. 40–41.
^ Hall, Richard (1970). "The
Lusaka Manifesto". African Affairs. 69
^ His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie at the opening of the 7th
session of the OAU rastaites.com Archived 2015-03-15 at the Wayback
Machine., 2 September 1970
^ Grundy 1973, pp. 116–117.
^ Shamuyarira 1977, p. 249.
^ Ndlovu 2004, p. 620.
^ Plaut, Martin (25 June 2008). "Africa's new 'Frontline States'". BBC
^ Napierala 2010, p. 16.
^ Landis 1977, p. 21.
^ Seiler 1982, pp. 693–694.
^ Ramdhani 2002, p. 7.
^ Shamuyarira 1977, p. 248.
^ de St. Jorre 1977.
^ "History and treaty". SADC. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
Henderson, Willie (January 1974). "Independent Botswana: A Reappraisal
of Foreign Policy Options". African Affairs. Oxford University Press.
73 (290). JSTOR 720979.
de St. Jorre, John (Autumn 1977). "South Africa: Up Against the
World". Foreign Policy. Washington Post Newsweek Interactive (28):
53–85. doi:10.2307/1147796. JSTOR 1147796.
Landis, Elisabeth (1977). "The Turnhalle Constitution: An Analysis".
Africa Today. 24 (3): 12–23. ISSN 0001-9887.
Macmillan, Hugh (2013). The
Lusaka Years: The ANC in exile in Zambia,
1963 to 1994. Jacana Media. ISBN 9781431408214.
Napierala, Nils (2010).
Namibia zu Zeiten des Kolonialismus und der
Namibia During the Periods of Colonialism and
Foreign Administration] (in German). GRIN.
Ndlovu, Sifiso Mxolisi (2004). "12: The ANC's Diplomacy and
International Relations". The Road to Democracy in South Africa:
1970–1980. The Road to Democracy in South Africa. 2. Unisa Press.
Ramdhani, Narissa (2002). "Competing for the heart and soul of the
American Nation: Regional Dynamics and its impact on the ANC's
relationship with the
United States of America, 1970–1976" (PDF).
University of California, Davis.
Seiler, John (December 1982). "South Africa in Namibia: Persistence,
Misperception, and Ultimate Failure". The Journal of Modern African
Studies. Cambridge University Press. 20 (4): 689–712.
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Shamuyarira, NM (April 1977). "The
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States and its Consequences for the Freedom Struggle in Southern
Africa" (PDF). The African Review. Michigan State University. 2
Full text of the Manifesto: Grundy, Kenneth W, ed. (1973).
Confrontation and Accommodation in Southern Africa: The Limits of
Independence. The Center of International Race Relations, University
of Denver, and University of California Press. pp. 315–324.