The Clausewitzian and Heuristic Evolution of the ANC' s Armed Struggle: A Dependent Pillar of the South African Revolution

Gcwelumusa Chrysostomus Khwela


The paper tries to address the armed struggle as one of the pillars of the South African revolution, especially its adoption, together with the underground component, after all other avenues had been restricted. The argument emphasises the centrality of the political struggle, particularly the other two pillars of the revolution: mass mobilisation and international isolation of the racist government. The armed struggle and the underground are regarded as extension pillars necessitated by objective conditions, which demanded the ANC to reveal its existence through other means, since it was banned as a legal political force internally. This argument is stressed by looking at the nature of the adoption of the armed struggle, its heuristic evolution, from armed propaganda until the late 1970s, and particularly the 1980s, when there was more focus on revolutionary people's war, its protracted nature, the role and structure of the people's army, and the armed seizure of political power through insurrection. Thereafter the paper discusses the debate that emerged with the realisation that there were possibilities of a negotiated settlement, the subsequent contest between absolute and relative victories, and the preparation of the cadres for integration into the new SANDF. The paper concludes with the need to revisit the Integration Process, especially the need to re-orient the uniformed members' political attitudes towards a common cause.


the armed struggle; political struggle; ANC; mass mobilisation and international isolation of the racist government; SANDF; The Clausewitzian and Heuristic Evolution of the ANC' s Armed Struggle; revolutionary people's war

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Copyright (c) 2018 Gcwelumusa Chrysostomus Khwela

ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

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