Chapter 9 - People’s Education and People’s Power: Mobilisation and Collective Action

In this chapter my concerns are with SANSCO's mobilisation of students and its collective actions, and especially the form and content of mobilisation and collective action, during two distinct periods. The first covers the years 1979 to 1986 during which various political reforms were instituted by the apartheid state and there was an intensification of political resistance by the dominated classes. The second period covers the years mid-1986 to early 1990 when a country-wide State of Emergency was imposed by the apartheid government in an attempt to smother opposition and destroy popular organisations. Although for purposes of analysis and presentation I make a distinction between struggles around education issues and those around political issues, all SANSCO's collective actions should be treated as, ultimately, 'political' activities of different forms.

Mobilisation and Collective Action, 1979 to mid-1981

During this period SANSCO existed largely in name and lacked an organisational infrastructure that could mobilise students and spearhead mass action. According to Nkoane, we did not take up educational issues.... What we tended to do was take up community issues, assisting workers for instance to form trade unions, getting involved in local communities in terms of health matters and other issues (Interview, August 1995).

Indeed, the first public meeting of SANSCO was held in Soweto around civic issues, at which Nkoane called upon students to identify themselves with the overall struggle in SA. He said that students could do this in many ways, one of which was to join hands with their parents in fighting increases in bus fares and rents (SAIRR, 1981: 542). Criticism was also levelled at the expulsion of students from black universities.

After the break with AZAPO there was close co-operation with COSAS, with meetings held to formulate a joint approach to issues (SAIRR, 1981: 543). With the detention of key COSAS officials in 1980, SANSCO activists helped to keep COSAS afloat and assisted with attempts to build SRCs and a COSAS infrastructure in schools. There was also some popularisation of the Freedom Charter through its distribution at public meetings and at schools.

At the University of the North, the only institution at which SANSCO had an organisational base, activists mobilised students around a campaign for an SRC which was eventually formed in 1981. The branch also initiated a boycott of graduation ceremonies, a boycott and disruption of the twenty-first anniversary celebrations of the North, and campaigned for the disaffiliation of the college football team from a multi-racial sport association. However, it was only through its participation in the Anti-Republic Day campaign of early 1981 that SANSCO began to achieve a national public profile and attempted to mobilise students on a large-scale.

Mobilisation and Collective Action, 1981 to 1986

Struggles around Education

SANSCO mobilised black students and initiated collective actions around a wide variety of educational grievances, problems and issues.

Authoritarian Controls and Repression

First, there was mobilisation and collective action around the authoritarian and repressive behaviour of higher education administrations. One issue which provoked perennial conflict was the refusal of some administrations to permit autonomous SRCs, their suspension and banning of SRCs and student organisations like SANSCO, and the imposition of various controls on student activities. As a result, throughout the 1981 to 1986 period SANSCO spearheaded various forms of actions ranging from marches, demonstrations and lecture boycotts either to advance or defend the right of students to autonomous organisations and to protest curbs on student activities.

During the early 1980s struggles around SRCs were mainly confined to the universities and technikons. From the mid-1980s, however, campaigns for SRCs also spread to teacher-training colleges as SANSCO began to target these institutions for organisation. The Transvaal College of Education provides a good example of the process of struggle around student demands for an SRC. The initial demands for an SRC were greeted by the authorities with the attempt to foist on students an SRC with extremely limited autonomy. With the initiation by students of a lecture boycott to press home their demand, the police were summoned by the administration. In an attack by the police on students, one student was killed. The anger and solidarity generated by this event was dramatically captured by a student leader when referring to an attempt by the rector to address students:

"Just as he was about to speak, like a volcano all our frustrations, disaffections and grievances erupted in one voice saying ‘WE WANT AN SRC'" (AZASO, 1984c, emphasis in original).

The police were frequently summoned by campus authorities during student protests. Clashes between students and the police, arrests and detentions of students, and the occasional occupation of campuses by the police and/or army tended to trigger a new wave of student mobilisation and action. Thus, in 1986 one of the demands of students at colleges in the Lebowa bantustan was for the removal of the army which had occupied one of the colleges following student protests around the banning of COSAS and other issues.

Another cause of student action was the practice of many campus authorities to quell student activism by expelling, suspending, and refusing to register student activists and students participating in protest actions. The usual response of SANSCO was to mobilise in defence of students on the basis of the slogan 'An injury to one is an injury to all' (AZASO, 1984a). Thus, in mid-1983 the expulsion of 8 students from the Mabopane East technikon resulted in a lecture boycott and the eventual expulsion of the entire student body of about 1000 students. The practice of expelling and refusing students readmission intensified during the State of Emergency of 1985-1986. About 100 students were refused readmission at Fort Hare for being 'agitators', while a similar number were refused enrolment at the University of Zululand. Both cases provoked widespread student mobilisation and protest actions. On various occasions, parent committees were established to negotiate with campus authorities around the readmission of students.

The paternalistic and parochial policy of teacher colleges of expelling students who were pregnant was another source of student action. Thus, the expulsion in 1983 of 5 Transvaal College of Education students resulted in a solidarity lecture boycott by 600 students. From the mid-1980s, as students at colleges began to mobilise around democratic SRCs, one frequent additional demand was for the scrapping of the policy of expelling pregnant students.

There was also periodic collective action on various campuses around the repressive role played by campus security personnel and the collusion of the authorities with state security agencies. For example, in 1984, following a pledge by the University of Transkei rector to uproot all 'politicians' from campus, four students were requested to report to the academic registrar's office and thereafter escorted to the offices of the state security police. The subsequent detention of the students led to intense conflict, with clashes with police and various confrontations throughout 1984 (SAIRR, 1985: 700).

Finally, students did not engage in collective actions solely around their own particular grievances, but also participated in solidarity actions with students on other campuses and at schools. Often, the action was local in scope as in the case of University of Western Cape (UWC) students who in mid-1983 participated in a one day solidarity boycott in support of local secondary school students. Sometimes, however, solidarity actions took on a national dimension as when SANSCO declared 30 May 1984 as a "Day of National Solidarity" with students involved in conflicts with administrations on various campuses. On this occasion, students were mobilised country-wide and engaged in various forms of protest actions (AZASO, 1984b). Similarly, following a SANSCO call, there were also national protests when COSAS was banned by the government in September 1985.

Academic Conditions and Issues

Dissatisfaction with academic conditions and grievances around specific academic issues was a second source of student collective action. At Durban-Westville (UDW) in 1984, there was a lecture boycott to protest the alleged incompetence of a lecturer in Human Physiology. At UWC during the same year, students boycotted lectures for a week to demand that the library's opening hours be extended and that the practice of having to pay for lecture notes be terminated (AZASO National Newsletter, June 1984). Also during 1984, at the University of Natal Medical School the focus of student action was dissatisfaction with new rules, a high failure rate during the previous year and academic exclusions.

Students enrolled the support of parents as well as the National Medical and Dental Association, a progressive professional body, and formed a Crisis Committee to deal with their grievances (AZASO, 1984d). Finally, there were occasional protests around academics accused of unfairly failing students, and around examination time-tables.

During the early 1980s, with increasing black student enrolment and militancy at the white English-language universities, the government introduced a bill proposing a quota on black enrolments at such institutions. SANSCO linked with NUSAS to protest the government's 'quota bill' and called on university authorities to refuse to implement a quota system. The response of the university authorities was to argue the need for institutional autonomy and the right of universities to decide whom to register and teach.

While some SANSCO branches engaged in joint actions with the university authorities, staff and white students, to protest the quota bill, their specific responses extended beyond proclamations of university autonomy. Thus, during a joint demonstration at Natal University, SANSCO highlighted the Freedom Charter clause "The doors of learning shall be opened" so as to link opposition to the quota bill to the general demand for an end to racially segregated education and to apartheid laws and institutional practices that denied blacks equality of access and opportunity. At Rhodes, the SANSCO affiliate invited the vice-chancellor to a debate around the institutions' admission policies and argued that a policy based solely on the criterion of academic merit disadvantaged black applicants. The problem of a policy that only took academic merit into account was well expressed by a student leader:

While race is completely unacceptable as a criterion by which to admit students, 'academic merit' in the South African context, is not an objective criterion either. The unequal education system and unequal access to wealth and resources in our society enormously limits the number of black students who will have access to university education. There is no such thing as freedom of opportunity in South Africa.

The outcome of the protest against the quota bill was a government decision that a quota would not be applied but that black student numbers would be monitored and the quota would remain as an option (SAIRR, 1984: 463).

Racism on Campuses

A fourth cause of collective actions was the racism that black students experienced on campuses. At the predominantly white Rhodes, an anonymous pamphlet accused black students of "drunkenness, harassment of white women students, attempted rapes, spreading venereal disease" and other misdemeanours (SAIRR, 1983: 517). As a result, there was a student march on the administration to demand action against the authors of the pamphlet. The racist attitudes of certain staff also provoked student action. During 1985, the Soweto College was closed following a lecture boycott demanding the expulsion of two allegedly racist lecturers.

At the University of Venda there were student actions demanding the expulsion of an academic who allegedly called students 'baboons'. At UWC there was a lengthy lecture boycott by dentistry students demanding the removal of an academic accused of racist behaviour and a concomitant solidarity boycott by students from other faculties. The boycott ended when the university authorities determined that the academic was not suited to the institution.

Physical Conditions

Physical conditions on campuses was another issue which triggered intermittent student action. In the first place, there was action around the shortage of residential accommodation for students, the practice of the racial segregation of residences at the white English-language universities and the denial of residential accommodation to African students at UDW. Such struggles were sparked by increasing enrolments at black universities which stretched the ability of some institutions to accommodate students in residences, the increasing registration of African students at UDW and UWC, and the expansion of black student enrolments at the white English-language universities.

Examples of accommodation struggles are student actions at UWC, UCT and UDW in 1984. At UWC, students used marches, demonstrations and squatting in residences to pressurise the administration to address the shortage of residential accommodation. At UCT, the shortage of accommodation for black students was linked to protesting the university authorities acquiescence to an apartheid law which prohibited black students from being accommodated with white students and meant that black students were housed at a separate residence in an African township.

Mobilisation was spearheaded by an ad-hoc committee comprising SANSCO, SOYA, and individual black students, and actions included the pitching of a squatter shelter in front of the main hall at UCT. The protests, which generated considerable support from black and white students, eventually resulted in all the UCT residences being opened to black students. Racialist residential practices were also challenged at UDW where African students were prohibited from living in the residences. The form of action employed here was the collection of 2500 signatures for a petition that called for residences to be opened to all.

There were sporadic demonstrations and food and lecture boycotts around the cost and quality of food in cafeterias and residences. At UDW, a two week boycott of cafeteria food which was said to be high in price but low in quality and of limited variety was organised in 1982 by the SANSCO-affiliated SRC. In 1984, there were meal and/or class boycotts around "tasteless, unpalatable and even rotten food" at various institutions in the Transvaal. A SANSCO newsletter provided a tongue in cheek sketch of the context:

Students are subjected to a total onslaught: if the cops are not bashing or detaining us, then the admins. try to victimise us. The one aspect of the attack that has escaped any analysis, any national protest, any unequivocal condemnation is the total onslaught on our diet. Student at Mabopane Tech, Medunsa and Wits recently decided enough is enough. They will no longer tolerate being attacked by admins. most lethal weapon - res. food (AZASO National Newsletter, June 1984).

The frustrations sometimes generated by grievances associated with physical conditions and the way that a tardy response from a campus authority escalated conflict was dramatically illustrated at Fort Hare. There, in August 1982, continuous electricity failures in the residences led to a mass lecture boycott, a refusal to write tests and to students venting their anger on lamps in the well-lit "Freedom Square" courtyard. During the ongoing confrontations, 1500 students were expelled, the SRC disbanded, and all meetings were banned.

The Campaign for an Education Charter

One important national campaign initiated by SANSCO related to the formulation of an Education Charter (EC). The idea of an EC emerged at SANSCO's December 1981 GSC which was devoted to the theme of "Education towards Democracy", and in coming years issues to do with goals, processes and participants were further developed. Within SANSCO it was felt that:

[M]uch confusion exists over the type of education system South Africans wish to have. Although the Freedom Charter does lay down certain broad principles for education, we need to amplify this more concretely.

It was suggested that an Education Charter Campaign (ECC) should explore the educational demands set out in the Freedom Charter and to give then greater content. The doors of learning and culture shall be opened to all that is still our demand. Now the question we must ask is what specific demands in the long and short term will help us force those doors open.

It was also argued that students needed to be "mobilised in the realisation of a common set of goals", and that in view of state reforms "it becomes necessary for us to have a Charter of... demands against which we can compare the reforms". SANSCO believed that an ECC had the potential to popularise and strengthen the organisation, and enhance its quality through research into education and through organisers developing organisational and technical skills related to the campaign.

The "Declaration" that served as a framework for the ECC pledged participants to:

A campaign for an Education Charter that will embody the short-term, medium-term and long-term demands for a non-racial, free and compulsory education for all in a united and democratic South Africa based on the will of the people.

The objectives of the ECC were wide-ranging and comprised a combination of substantive and procedural goals. First, the sponsors of the ECC - SANSCO, in alliance with COSAS, NUSAS and the National Education Union of South Africa (NEUSA), a teacher organisation - aimed to produce a document that would serve both as "a guideline for a future education system in a democratic South Africa that will satisfy the needs of all the people", and a guide to "student struggles in years to come". However, the EC was not conceived as a product purely of the intellect. The EC, it was emphasised, had to be "a product of struggle". As the 1984-85 SANSCO president, Mguduso put it:

"People don't just sit and close their eyes for a few minutes and think what should they write down. Their demands are produced in the arena of what they are fighting for".

Moreover, it was felt that the EC had to embody not only demands articulated in contemporary education struggles, but also those raised in past struggles such as "the 1953 campaign against Bantu education, 1976 student revolt, [and] 1980 schools boycott", while the ECC itself was to "provide a concrete channel for student grievances".

Second, there were specific procedural goals in that the ECC was intended to "collect the demands of the people regarding education through a process of widespread consultation" and the objective was "to reach and mobilise as many sectors of the community as possible round the issue of education (bearing in mind that education affects all sectors of society)". SANSCO was wary of the EC "being the product of a handful of intellectuals". Recognising the centrality of students in the education sphere, Phaala stressed that:

[T]he only way to develop an alternative in education in South Africa is to involve students in formulating an education charter. The process will inevitably be as important as the charter itself - if not of more value.

However, the ECC was not viewed as involving only students. Since education was seen as affecting "all sectors of society" and defined broadly to include pre-school learning and adult education and training, the ECC was conceived of as a mass popular campaign involving trade unions, and women's, youth, civic and other popular organisations.

Third, in a context in which the majority of South Africans were denied the opportunity to participate in determining educational goals and policy, the ECC was also viewed as providing an opportunity to participate in formulating an alternative to apartheid education. The importance of mass involvement was well put by the 1984-85 SANSCO president, as follow:

The Education Charter must involve as many people as possible if it is to have any meaning. Any document drawn up by a handful of intellectuals cannot possibly be of value. It will not raise our people's consciousness and build their different organisations which is what the ECC sets out to do.

The reference to the raising of consciousness signalled SANSCO's view that the ECC should extend beyond merely a concern with the collection of education demands. Instead, the ECC should also help "to clarify the role of education in apartheid South Africa and the role of a progressive education system", through seminars, workshops and conferences.

Finally, the reference of the SANSCO president to organisation-building highlighted an organisational objective of the ECC. It was hoped that mobilisation around the EC would be translated into expanded membership for the "non-racial student alliance" (SANSCO, COSAS and NUSAS) and other fraternal formations such as the Young Christian Students and NEUSA. Thus, the ECC Declaration also posited as aims:

To build student unity and strengthen the non-racial student alliance; to build and strengthen the organisations involved in the campaign; to build unity between students and parents, workers, teachers and members of the community.

The ECC was viewed as spanning a number of phases. To begin with, there were to be consultations with trade unions and other popular organisations to harness support for the initiative. Thereafter, the ECC was to be publicised and popularised and local, regional and national structures were to be established to co-ordinate the campaign. During this phase there were to also be workshops, seminars and debates around educational issues. The actual collection of demands was to constitute the third phase of the ECC. During a fourth phase, demands were to be collated and consolidated into a draft EC and there was to be discussion of the draft EC within local and regional ECC committees and within organisations. Finally, a national conference was to adopt the Education Charter.

By any measure, the ECC was both an ambitious and massive undertaking. During the consultative phase it became apparent that while trade unions and popular organisations were sympathetic to the ECC, immediate, active and full participation could not be expected from these formations. A special joint session of SANSCO and COSAS in December 1982 acknowledged that the alternative commitments of other organisations, as well material and human resources, had not been adequately taken into account in the conceptualisation of the ECC.

Moreover, SANSCO and COSAS were themselves preoccupied with establishing a strong organisational infrastructure. In view of these factors, the ECC began to be conceived as a long-term campaign and one that needed to be creatively inserted into ongoing struggles around education.

During 1983 little progress was made around the ECC, partly because of the embroilment of SANSCO and COSAS in various other educational issues and political struggles, and partly because of a lack of person-power and financial resources. However, there was some popularisation of the ECC during the SANSCO/COSAS focus week on the 30th anniversary of the Bantu Education Act, and a few ECC committees existed at schools and at campuses. Still, at the end of 1983 SANSCO felt itself to be ready to take up the ECC more resolutely and the theme "Organising for a People's Education" was adopted to provide focus for the ECC.

By the end of 1984, the ECC was formally launched in the Eastern Cape, Natal and Transvaal with backing from many trade unions and popular organisations. In July 1985 the ECC was launched in the Orange Free State at a meeting of 6000 students, workers and youth, and with support from local trade unions, youth organisations, and parent formations. Thereafter, a national co-ordinating committee was established.

Despite some progress in 1985, the target date of early 1986 for the production of the EC proved impossible to meet. The ECC failed to become generalised country-wide and in late 1985 it was commented that "it is of note that the progress of the Education Charter Campaign is not impressive" (AZASO National Newsletter, late 1985: 8). Activists reported a "lack of organisational skills, resources and finances as major problems in the campaign". Further problems were the declaration of a partial state of emergency in July 1985, the banning of COSAS two months later and intensified state repression in the face of escalating mass popular resistance. As an ECC publication put it:

The initial period of the State of Emergency was most devastating to us as we had not as yet learned to operate in those difficult conditions. We cannot deny that this was a blow to our organisations and their programmes.

In the light of these difficulties participants were called on to utilise 1986 to, as conditions required, establish, consolidate and advance the ECC. Demands for the EC were to be submitted to the national co-ordinating committee by December 1986 and the target date for the national adoption of the EC was put back to 1987.

However, the ECC was once again disrupted by the new and country-wide State of Emergency which was declared in June 1986 and remained in effect for four years. Even before the State of Emergency was declared, there began to be a state crackdown on mass activities and a planned ECC rally in Soweto was banned and the crowd was dispersed by the police (The Citizen, 6 May 1986). Still, there was some progress in particular areas. The “Cape Town Education Charter News”of November 1986 commented that:

The Education Charter is moving towards completion with the last stage of the campaign - the national collection of demands for a future education in our country. In the Western Cape region, as in the Johannesburg area, demands have begun to pour in from schools, colleges and universities.

The ECC was now linked to the "People's education for people's power" theme of the National Education Crisis Committee (NECC), the newsletter stating "let us use the Education Charter Campaign as a programme for a People's Education" (ibid.).

The statement that the ECC was "moving towards completion" was far-fetched. Many of the procedural goals of the ECC with respect to mass participation had yet to be fully realised, and an EC produced in contradiction with many of the commitments of the campaign would have been of questionable value. Still, in early 1987 a circular noting the demands collected until the end of January 1987 was distributed to local and regional ECC committees. The available demands were listed under some eight categories that included rights related to education, curriculum, methods of education, and rights related to student organisation.

It is likely that the circular was more to motivate activists and not a serious draft EC. During 1987 the responsibility for spear-heading the ECC was handed over to the NECC. However, although the ECC was spoken about intermittently in the NECC it never became a priority issue, and as a result the ECC was never concluded, and the EC was never formulated.

While a campaign to collate demands that were articulated during education struggles and produce an EC to guide the deracialisation, democratisation and transformation of education was an important and timely initiative it was, ultimately, too massive an undertaking for SANSCO and its allied student and teacher organisations. The ECC called for the kind of intense, single-minded campaigning that was never possible, given the many other issues that required the attention of student and teacher activists. Moreover, the ECC also demanded a level of human, financial, and organisational resources that was never available to its sponsoring organisations.

Finally, the ECC had to be undertaken under conditions in which SANSCO and its allies often had to often struggle, in the face of authoritarian controls and repressive actions, simply to survive and maintain a presence at educational institutions, never mind engage in major proactive campaigns.

Political Mobilisation and Actions

Although SANSCO emphasised that student activism should be geared towards contesting educational issues, it did not refrain from taking up issues related to broader social and political conditions in South Africa. Consequently, students were mobilised and collective actions were undertaken around a range of social and political issues.

Apartheid Political Institutions

First, there was consistent student action in opposition to racially-based political institutions established in terms of the framework of separate development, and to the balkanisation of South Africa through the bantustan policy. Thus, during late 1981, SANSCO participated in a campaign which mobilised Indians to boycott elections for the South African Indian Council; and in the Anti-Ciskei independence campaign which mobilised opposition to the proclamation of Ciskei as an 'independent' state and to the entire system of bantustans. SANSCO's specific contribution was to mobilise student opposition on campuses through mass meetings and placard demonstrations, and to channel activists to assist political and popular organisations and trade unions in campaign activities in black townships. During both campaigns, SANSCO joined other Congress movement formations in calling for a unitary, non-racial democracy based on the Freedom Charter.

A second political issue around which SANSCO mobilised students was in rejection of the government's 1982 constitutional proposals for a new tri-cameral parliament incorporating Indian and Coloureds. The UCT branch of SANSCO summed up the proposals:

As an attempt to further extend racial oppression and capitalist exploitation. The proposals... try to divide the oppressed and destroy the unity that has been forged in struggle over the past few years (AZASO UCT, 1983).

The UCT branch also noted that "the proposals.... do not end racist education", and stressed that "as oppressed students we have a long, proud and militant history of resistance to racist education and to apartheid as a whole. AZASO is committed to continuing this tradition of resistance" (ibid.). In rejecting the proposals and the entrenchment of racist education, the Education Charter campaign was highlighted and students were called upon to "formulate our own educational demands" (ibid.). Protest meetings were held on campuses to educate students around the dangers represented by the proposals and to mobilise students in active opposition.

Concomitantly, SANSCO activists lent assistance to township-based initiatives to reject the constitutional proposals. Thus, a civic leader in the Johannesburg area when asked "where is the support coming from in terms of people who are actually going out and organising and assisting", replied that "initially support came from mostly the radical young people... from various organisations like... COSAS, AZASO".

In January 1983, when a broad front was proposed to oppose the government's constitutional proposals, SANSCO was the first national organisation to endorse the idea. In a joint statement with COSAS, SANSCO expressed its support for the United Democratic Front (UDF) and called on:

All democrats to commit themselves to this initiative against apartheid exploitation and oppression. Unity is essential to fight the proposals. Such unity must emerge from our common commitment to a non-racial democratic South Africa. Unity becomes real only when we act together.

However, while both organisations were committed to a broad alliance and united action around the constitutional proposals, they also re-affirmed their "commitment to the Freedom Charter as a basis for the future South Africa" (ibid.). SANSCO played a vital role in popularising and rallying support for the UDF at higher education institutions. It also channelled members and supporters towards activities related to the public launches of the regional UDFs and the national UDF. Furthermore, hundreds of SANSCO members and supporters worked in black townships alongside members of other UDF affiliates to mobilise support for the UDF and establish grassroots structures. During the million signature campaign of the UDF in 1984, one of the instruments to mobilise mass rejection of the constitutional proposals, there was a similar involvement by SANSCO on campuses and in black townships.

Finally, during the period immediately prior to elections to the new tri-cameral parliament in August 1984, SANSCO made a joint call with COSAS for a "Fortnight of Protest". Political and educational struggle was linked through a call on students to also protest the deteriorating conditions and endemic conflict in secondary schools. It was stated that "a massive stayaway from the polls must be the objective of every democrat", and students were urged to take part in "mass demonstrations", to boycott classes and hold "mass rallies", to "focus on racist education" and to be actively involved in mass mobilisation in the black townships (AZASO, 1984e).

The response to the call was tremendous. Despite a wave of repression around the election period, students withstood threats of suspensions, school closures and tough police action...(and) almost one million students from South African schools, universities, technikons and training colleges boycotted classes countrywide.

Through its contribution on the campuses and to a broad popular front, SANSCO helped to ensure that Indian and Coloured political parties entered the new tri-cameral parliaments with minimal support amongst these national groups.

Apartheid Personnel and 'Collaborators'

Popular resentment of government officials and black politicians operating within separate development political institutions was a third source of student mobilisation. In March 1981, an address by a government minister at Wits was disrupted by 300 black students. According to Brewer,

[t]he disruption of the speech marked a new development, for it saw the emergence of a well-organized, articulate, and powerful group of black students on a white campus. They organized themselves into the Black Student's Society, and similar societies exist on other white university campuses (1986: 87).

In May 1982 the invitation by the Fort Hare authorities to the Chief Minister of Ciskei to attend a graduation ceremony was greeted by mass student protests which resulted in police shooting two students, detaining twenty-five, and arresting 1,500 others. These actions led, in turn, to a boycott of classes. SANSCO's response was a call on higher education students to participate in a 'National Day of Solidarity' with their Fort Hare colleagues. University administrations were also pressurised to urge the Fort Hare authorities to address student grievances.

Student protests were also engendered by the visit of F. W. De Klerk, then Minister of Education, and South African Indian Council members to the Springfield teacher-training college in Durban. Police were summoned to deal with the student protests and the college was closed by the rector on the grounds that he would "not tolerate political involvement by students at the college". Although the protests at the Springfield college were not organised by SANSCO, the organisation immediately pledged support for the student actions and offered to assist in consolidating student mobilisation into longer-term organisation.

A particular target of SANSCO was Gatsha Buthelezi, president of the ethnic Zulu movement, Inkatha, and chief minister of the KwaZulu bantustan. Buthelezi was intensely disliked by SANSCO for his participation in the bantustan system and his use of bantustan institutions to engage in ethnic mobilisation, for his pro-capitalist and pro-Western sentiments, and for his criticism of the exiled liberation movements strategy of armed struggle. The presence of Buthelezi at a university usually sparked student demonstrations and attempts to disrupt his visit. At UCT, students prevented him from addressing a meeting. At the University of Natal, a walk-out was organised during a speech by him and derogatory slogans and songs were chanted, actions which resulted in his aides attacking students with sticks and truncheons (SAIRR, 1984: 472). Of course, (as noted earlier), SANSCO's most bitter clashes with Buthelezi were at the University of Zululand, where he was chancellor (SAIRR, 1984: 474-75).

Collective action against bantustan politicians signalled the rejection by most students of their claims to black political leadership and of separate development political institutions. One feature of the conflict with bantustan leaders was that there was an acknowledgement that in some areas such leaders had been able to establish sizeable support bases. In the light of this, a distinction was drawn between the bantustan leaders and their rank-and-file followers. Thus, even in the aftermath of the brutal Inkatha attack on students at Zululand, the public response of SANSCO urged students:

We must have sympathy for rank and file Inkatha members. These are our people, misled by Gatsha and Inkatha for their purposes. Our ranks are always open to them to join us (Moseneke, quoted in Frederikse, 1986: 157).

State Repression

The banning, detention and imprisonment of student activists, and generally state repression, was a further issue around which there was student mobilisation. In late 1982, the detention of two female University of the North SANSCO activists under the Terrorism Act led to a six day lecture boycott and the subsequent closure of the university for ten days. The detentions generated particular student hostility because of the assistance provided by white campus security staff to the security police.

Mass meetings, co-ordinated by SRC, were held daily to formulate plans of action and for report-backs. Student actions received the support of the Black Academics Staff Association which, although rejecting a SRC call for a strike, provided other forms of assistance, including collecting money for legal representation for the detained students.

Collective action was also undertaken around the killing by police of political detainees, and the assassination of radical political activists. In September 1984, a former University of Transkei (UNITRA) SRC leader, Batandwa Ndondo, was killed by police. Both the killing and the refusal of the UNITRA authorities to permit a commemoration service for Ndondo gave rise to demonstrations. The killing in late 1985 of a SANSCO activist and political detainee by Lebowa bantustan police also sparked extensive protests.

Finally, protest and commemoration meetings and demonstrations were routinely organised around the murder of anti-apartheid activists within South Africa and abroad, Thus, the brutal killing in 1982 of Griffiths Mxenge, a Durban attorney and underground ANC member who counselled Congress student activists to attend the first congress of SANSCO and also provided financial support to SANSCO; and the murder, three years later, of his partner, Victoria Mxenge, resulted in lecture boycotts and memorial services on a number of campuses (AZASO National Newsletter, late 1985).

One important campaign around state repression spearheaded by SANSCO was to secure the repeal of the death penalty served on six ANC guerrillas. Beyond the immediate objective of securing the repeal of the death penalty, the "Save the Six" campaign was used by SANSCO to draw attention to the nature of social conflict in South Africa and the historical development of the armed struggle.

A SANSCO pamphlet argued that the "six young men are the product of an oppressive, exploitative and unjust society, and their actions must be seen in this context" (AZASO Western Cape Region, 1983: 2). It also emphasised that "the death penalty will never serve as a deterrent to people committed to... a united, non-racial and democratic South Africa"(ibid.). SANSCO challenged the state's labelling of the guerrillas as "terrorists", highlighted their claims of torture in detention, and proclaimed that the six, even though found guilty of high treason were, “in the eyes of their people, heroes, if executed, martyrs” (ibid.).

For the "Save the Six" campaign, thousands of stickers and pamphlets were produced to mobilise opposition to the death penalty. Mass meetings were organised on campuses and in townships, some in conjunction with political organisations and church bodies. The meetings provided a platform for family members of the six guerrillas to appeal for the repeal of the death penalty and to explain the circumstances that had led them to take up arms. On the eve of the executions, numerous all-night vigils were organised which included poetry reading and education sessions.

On the day of the actual executions of three of the guerrillas, protest meetings and commemoration services were held on various campuses, and students in Durban staged a march through the city centre, as did Fort Hare students in Alice. Three of the guerrillas eventually had their death penalties commuted to life imprisonment, and with wide support for the "Save the Six" campaign on the campuses and the attendance of hundreds of township residents at the all-night vigils and mass meetings the campaign was interpreted by SANSCO as a considerable success.

Finally, state repression in the form of the State of Emergency declared in mid-1985 also stimulated mass actions on the part of students. On numerous campuses there were lecture boycotts and placard demonstrations. In Cape Town, there were attempted marches on Pollsmoor prison, where Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders were imprisoned, by UCT and UWC students and staff, college and school students, and township residents. Banners and placards called for an end to the State of Emergency and for the release of Mandela and all political prisoners. For the first time, black students at a white Afrikaans-medium university participated in mass action when University of Stellenbosch students attempted to march through the town of Stellenbosch to protest against the State of Emergency (SAIRR, 1986: 406).

International Issues

On various occasions there was also collective action around international political issues. During 1982, a meeting was organised by the Wits SANSCO affiliate to express solidarity with Palestinians and the Palestine Liberation Organisation. The meeting triggered the outrage of Jewish students and led to physical clashes between black and Jewish students and the suspension of 12 students (SAIRR, 1983: 516). On another occasion there was a demonstration at the American consulate in Johannesburg to highlight SANSCO's opposition to the Reagan administration's policy of ‘constructive engagement' with the apartheid government.

Finally, a special target of SANSCO was meetings organised by conservative student bodies at the white English-language campuses which featured representatives of political movements which had a close relationship with the South African government. Such meetings were constantly disrupted, as was the case at Wits in early 1986 when students prevented member of the Angolan UNITA party from addressing a gathering of the Student Moderate Alliance.

Commemorations of Historical Events

Significant episodes related to political oppression and resistance in South Africa were a regular source of student mobilisation and collective action.. Events such as the massacre of anti-pass demonstrators at Sharpeville in 1960, the ANC's Defiance Campaign of 1952, the Soweto Uprising of 1976, the Congress of the People at which the Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955, and specifically designated days such as National Detainees' Day, International Worker's Day, and National Women's Day were all routinely commemorated.

Commemorations took the form of one-off mass meetings, or focus weeks which included mass meetings, seminars, photo displays, videos and films, and were accompanied by publications and pamphlets. Commemorations were intended to achieve a number of objectives. First, was to educate students around the history and nature of South African society, and around resistance to racial, class and gender domination in South Africa. A second goal was to strengthen among students anti-state and anti-apartheid sentiments, and to motivate them to join popular organisations and to actively participate in political struggle. Frequently, prominent political leaders were invited to address commemorations, both as a means of attracting students to meetings but also to persuade them to participate in struggle. Thus, Gretta Ncapai of the Federation of South African Women reminded Wits students:

"The Defiance Campaign was a stepping stone to bringing about a democratic, just society. It is in this spirit that students must continue".

A third objective of commemorations was to popularise and win support for SANSCO, the Congress movement (including organisations such as the ANC and the SACP) and for the Freedom Charter. Thus, in 1982, SANSCO utilised the 15th anniversary of the death of Chief Albert Luthuli, a former president of the ANC and the first South African to be awarded the Nobel peace prize, to popularise the history of the ANC and the Freedom Charter. Fourth, commemorations were also used to popularise exiled, imprisoned and banned political leaders. In this regard, there were also intermittent campaigns for the release of Nelson Mandela and all political prisoners.

Fifth, commemorations also provided the opportunity to reinforce student mobilisation around state reforms and repression and popular anti-apartheid campaigns. Thus, a joint SANSCO-NUSAS Sharpeville massacre meeting at the University of Cape Town in 1984 was used to attack the Nkomati peace accord between South Africa and Mozambique and to condemn the absence of peace and justice within South Africa. A final objective of commemorations was to, of course, recruit students into SANSCO.

'Community' Action and Worker Support

One of SANSCO's aims was to "organise students so that they could play a more meaningful role in the community in general" (Appendix 2). SANSCO believed that because students had relatively greater free time on their hands, were less constrained by family commitments, and were more mobile, they could render useful support to popular organisations ( AZASO National Newsletter , June 1983: 3). Consequently, on various occasions students were mobilised to participate in campaigns and activities of popular township-based organisations and trade unions - around transport and rent struggles, housing conditions and evictions, consumer boycotts, and opposition to African local authority bodies.

In regions where community newspapers were produced by popular organisations, SANSCO members participated in producing and selling these newspapers. Thus, in Cape Town, a regular activity of the UCT SANSCO branch was to sell the community newspaper Grassroots at bus and train stations.

Relations with popular organisations were essentially confined to those organisations supportive of the Congress movement, ideological and political differences precluding relations with BC and other progressive organisations. While SANSCO provided support to popular organisations, the latter also contributed towards strengthening SANSCO branches by encouraging their student members to join SANSCO and to participate in campus-based activities.

Moreover, on various occasions civic formations and church organisations assisted in the formation of parent committees when students were suspended or expelled from or refused registration at higher education institutions. Such committees exerted pressure on university authorities to re-admit students, negotiated on behalf of students, and sometimes initiated legal action to secure the re-admission of students.

The relationship between the UDF and SANSCO in some regions was not always smooth. On some occasions the UDF was criticised for its campaigns placing too many demands on student activists and for not providing assistance to the Education Charter campaign. It was also argued that UDF campaigns and activities diverted SANSCO from its own activities and programmes. Finally, it was suggested that the media focus on the UDFs' Declaration, which articulated the Front's principles, objectives and aspirations, had the effect of diverting attention away from the Freedom Charter.

The UDF response was that nothing prohibited SANSCO from promoting the Freedom Charter on UDF platforms and at UDF meetings. It was also argued that it was SANSCO's responsibility to define the nature of its role within, and contribution to, the UDF. Moreover, it was pointed out that UDF campaigns and popular mobilisation had the potential to facilitate the work of SANSCO on campuses and to provide new recruits and supporters. It was SANSCO's task however to translate such support into organised membership.

While there were meetings between SANSCO and the UDF to address SANSCO's concerns, tensions, if submerged, remained. The tensions had much to do with the inability of local and regional SANSCO structures to clearly define the nature of their participation within the UDF. Certainly, in the context of the strategic alliance that the UDF represented, there was scope for SANSCO to make explicit its ideological commitments and popularise the Freedom Charter, and to also assert more radical political positions.

However, for various reasons this did not occur. In some cases, there was a lack of consistent attendance of UDF fora on the part of SANSCO delegates. In other cases, SANSCO delegates were not able to participate fully in debates around campaigns and strategies because the branches they represented failed to discuss issues on the UDF agenda and delegates lacked a mandate. No doubt, on occasions, SANSCO activists were also intimidated by political ‘heavyweights' from other organisations and lacked the confidence to participate fully. However, notwithstanding the problematic relationship between some SANSCO and UDF regional structures, SANSCO remained fully committed to the UDF.

With respect to worker issues, there was regular participation by SANSCO in International Worker Day activities, through both meetings on campuses to which unionists were invited to address students, and meetings in townships. There was also involvement in consumer boycotts initiated by unions. Thus, during the boycott of Wison-Rowntree products, SANSCO popularised the boycott on campuses and collected funds for striking workers. Support was also provided to campus workers engaged in disputes with the university management, and at UCT the process of organising workers into a progressive union was initiated by a SANSCO activist.

Mobilisation and Collective Action, 1986 to 1990

In this section, I now examine student mobilisation and collective action in relation to the conditions of intense repression experienced by SANSCO and other mass organisations. Two considerations guide the contents of this section. First, since I have already sketched the educational and political issues around which students were mobilised and collective actions were undertaken between 1981 and early 1986, there is little purpose in simply providing further examples of mobilisation and actions around these issues. I confine myself here to discussing only new or distinct issues around which student educational and political mobilisation occurred. Second, I discuss how the activities of the security forces in townships and the stifling of dissent gave rise to new challenges for SANSCO.

Educational Issues and Struggles

One key feature of this period was the strong repression experienced by students at the University of the North (UNIN). Following student protests in mid-1986 and the arrest of some two hundred students, the campus was occupied by the army and police, and students were subjected to a curfew, restrictions on movement, and various forms of intimidation. Despite this, there were intermittent protests around the army and police occupation, the detention of students, and the demand for a new SRC.

In early 1989, a mass meeting resolved to demand the resignation of a white academic who was also a local town councillor and member of the Conservative Party, called on the administration to re-admit students excluded on academic grounds, and renewed the demand for the withdrawal of the army form the campus. (The Star, 14 March 1989). On 21 March 1989, the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre, there was a lecture boycott. On numerous campuses, there were solidarity actions with UNIN students. SANSCO also persuaded the heads of the white English-language universities and UWC to voice their concern at the situation at UNIN (UWC Campus Bulletin, 16 March 1987).

During this period there was a general intensification of efforts to increase pressure on and further isolate the apartheid government through sanctions, disinvestment, and a sports, cultural, and academic boycott. SANSCO committed itself to a total academic boycott that would prevent visits by foreign academics to South Africa, as well as overseas academic excursions by South Africans. In general, given the extent of contact between South African and overseas institutions and academics, and problems related to monitoring visits, there was little success in the implementation of the boycott. Still, there was at least one success, though the significance of the victory lay less in the stay of a well-known foreign academic being interrupted as much as in the public debate that the incident provoked around the academic boycott.

Had the Irish academic Conor Cruise O'Brien visited UCT without any public pronouncements on the academic boycott, as was the case of many academics visiting South Africa, his sojourn might well have gone unnoticed. O'Brien, however, publicly declared in a national newspaper:

"I am happy to break it" (quoted by WUS/AUT, 1989: 10).

This provoked SANSCO to retaliate: his presence was described as a "provocation", and it was stated that "his statements were deliberately constructed to ridicule the oppressed people of South Africa in their efforts to isolate South Africa from the international community" (ibid.). SANSCO mobilised students to disrupt O'Brien's lectures and to defuse the situation the university authorities requested him to cancel his lectures.

In a lengthy reply in a daily newspaper to what it described as a "vitriolic campaign" against it by the liberal media and various groups for its disruption of O'Brien's lectures, SANSCO's defence was to argue that that the academic boycott campaign was linked to the overall liberation struggle. It was stated that "the academic boycott is only one tactic within a broader struggle" and had to be seen as part of the strategy to isolate the apartheid government internationally in the sphere of education.

Foreign academics who visited South Africa and South African academics going abroad were said to contribute little to the struggle against apartheid or towards the achievement of a democratic education. SANSCO also rejected the charge of destroying academic freedom, and alleged that its critics were silent when academic freedom was constantly violated at black institutions.

The SANSCO response enquired why its critics sought to "isolate only one ‘freedom' among so many others", asserted that no freedom was possible under apartheid, and added that "to tell us to respect some mythical 'academic freedom' is tantamount to telling us to accept our oppression". With reference to UCT it was argued that:

[T]o talk of academic freedom at UCT as if it is an island in an ocean of apartheid is hypocrisy. UCT has all the characteristics of racism that we find in our society. Very few black students and lecturers are admitted there. From top to bottom the institution is a racist ivory tower which only serves the interests of those who monopolise wealth in this country.

Finally, the article acknowledged the work and support of individual academics for the democratic movement, but called on UCT to commit itself as an institution to the anti-apartheid struggle.

The criticism of academics and of UCT are both points that need greater discussion. Throughout the 1980s, small numbers of black and white academics were either active members of popular organisations or sympathisers and supporters of the democratic movement. SANSCO activists generally had good relations with such academics and utilised them as resource-persons, speakers, and advisors around particular issues.

On some campuses there were also small progressive non-racial or black academic staff associations and there were working relations with such bodies. A national progressive and non-racial formation of university staff, the Union of Democratic University Staff Associations, only came into being towards the end of the 1980s. Thus, for much of the 1980s, and had SANSCO been so inclined, there was little scope for major joint campaigns with academic staff around educational issues. On the whole, campuses were dominated by liberal and conservative academics.

The general passivity of liberal academics and their adherence to symbolic forms of protest meant that they were generally scorned by SANSCO activists and labelled as 'ivory tower' academics. Racists among the conservative academics were, of course, targets of SANSCO campaigns which demanded their removal from campuses. These conditions, then, gave SANSCO little reason to hold back from a commitment to a total academic boycott.

There was, of course, also little about higher education institutions that endeared them to SANSCO. The authoritarian and repressive nature of administrations at black institutions meant that relations between SANSCO and these administrations were perpetually conflictual. The liberal authorities at white English-language universities, in contrast, were considerably more accommodating of student organisations like SANSCO and student political activity. However, SANSCO was of the view that the white institutions played a crucial role in contributing, through research and teaching, to the reproduction of the apartheid social order.

The organisation was also well aware that the white English-language institutions were accorded a key role in the reform agenda of creating a black middle class. Also of concern to SANSCO was the close relationship between corporate capital and these institutions and the strong representation of big business on their governing structures.

It was for these reasons that the SANSCO article on the academic boycott referred to UCT as serving "the interests of those who monopolise wealth in this country". For the same reasons, an article titled "UCT not a People's University", called for governance structures at UCT to be radically changed so as to become more representative of and accountable to a wider constituency, and for the curriculum to be changed so as to address the real needs of South Africa (Cape Town Education Charter News, November 1986). At Rhodes, one of SANSCO's demands during a sit-in in 1987 was for representation on the university senate (SAIRR, 1988: 186). Finally, for the above reasons too, it was recognised that an especial challenge of SANSCO branches on the white campuses was to interrupt initiatives attempting to produce malleable black graduates and to ensure that black students were not co-opted into support of reformist political solutions.

Although repression during the State of Emergency was relatively successful in immobilising many township-based popular organisations and dampening the previous conditions of open rebellion, the campuses remained islands of protest and opposition. The all-white parliamentary elections of May 1987 provided a focus point for mass mobilisation and action on a number of campuses and led to the closure of UCT, Wits, UWC and UDW. With SANSCO making effective use of its organisational base on the campuses for continuing protest actions, the government responded by warning university administrations to either act against campus protests or face cuts in their revenues from state subsidies.

In a meeting with university heads, F. W. De Klerk, then Minister of National Education, warned that the state subsidy to universities would in future be conditional on the continuation of teaching and research; the prevention of unlawful and wrongful intimidation of students and staff; an end to unlawful gatherings, class and exam boycotts; students being prevented from using supplies, buildings and equipment for promoting the aims of unlawful organisations and promoting consumer boycotts, strikes, and civil disobedience; and on students being prohibited from printing and publishing material contravening the Internal Security Act. In short, university heads were required to impose State of Emergency conditions on campuses and to assist in crushing student protest and dissent. Councils of universities were required to also inform the relevant Minister in writing of all incidents, to describe the nature of the incidents, and the steps taken in response (WUS/AUT, 1989: 12-13).

These regulations came into effect on 19 October 1987, the tenth anniversary of the banning of SASO. At the same time, a new law was passed that gave councils of universities and technikons permission to cancel the registration of students who refused to attend classes. The regulations led to protests, and were, in effect, immediately defied, both by students and some staff, and also by a number of institutions. There were university assemblies of students, academics, administrators and workers, and protest marches at UWC and at all the white English-language universities bar Rhodes. The regulations were also challenged legally and, in a rare display of independence on the part of the judiciary, were ruled by the Supreme Court to be unlawful.

Political Struggles

Significant during this period were the expressions of dissent on some campuses in the bantustans. Thus, at the University of Bophuthatswana, the ousting of the president, Mangope, during a brief coup was greeted with open rejoicing and a student take-over of the campus. When the coup was ended with South African assistance, students were evicted from residences and the campus closed indefinitely. At the University of Venda and surrounding colleges, there were student boycotts in late 1988 as part of a worker stayaway, with demands including the scrapping of the Venda administration and Venda's status as a bantustan.

During the late 1980s, in the face of the repressive action directed at the United Democratic Front (UDF) and popular organisations, the political lead increasingly began to be taken by organised workers and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Using the relative protection afforded to it by its pivotal position in the economic arena, COSATU launched a number of stayaways related to both immediate worker issues and general political demands. A three day general strike in June 1988 around the Labour Relations Bill and in commemoration of the Soweto uprising, which was the "biggest national stayaway in the country's history" (Price, 1991: 267), saw extensive mobilisation of higher education students.

1989 was a turning point with respect to political relations between the state and popular forces, as popular organisations once again embarked on a number of campaigns and rolled back the relative success of the state in dampening political opposition through successive States of Emergency. There were student actions in March 1989 during a stayaway to commemorate the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre. A mass hunger strike by political detainees demanding immediate release from prison fuelled popular and student mobilisation and action. Fearing that the deaths of hunger strikers could intensify mass political action and stimulate further international isolation, the government released the vast majority of detainees.

Finally, the murder of the Wits academic and UDF activist David Webster, in May 1989, led to the further escalation of mass action in both townships and on campuses and a new mood of defiance. At a memorial service at Wits attended by 5000 people, ANC flags were unfurled (Weekly Mail, 12 May 1989).

Harnessing the new mood, in August 1989 the UDF and COSATU launched, under the umbrella of the 'Mass Democratic Movement' (MDM), a "defiance campaign". A spokesperson for the MDM defined it as:

That political movement which unites the broadest masses of the oppressed people from all classes and strata, together with white democrats, in action around a programme of securing the transfer of political and economic power to the democratic majority of the people (Weekly Mail, 4 August 1989).

The MDM defined its object as a united, non-racial and democratic South Africa and saw its organisational task as rebuilding the mass popular formations that were smashed by the State of Emergency, and strengthening those organisations that were still intact (ibid.).The most significant elements of the defiance campaign were a defiance of restriction orders on individuals and organisations, and a mass refusal to obey segregation laws and to accept segregated institutions and facilities such as public hospitals, schools, swimming pools and beaches. The campaign culminated in a week of mass action in early September, including a national stayaway to coincide with elections to the tri-cameral parliament.

Students at UWC and from Western Cape secondary school students were the first to engage in mass actions within the framework of the defiance campaign. Soon afterwards, defiance campaigns were launched at various campuses and mass meetings were held to declare SANSCO and its branches and affiliates ‘unbanned'. As part of the defiance theme, SANSCO officials met with the ANC in Tanzania and participated in celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the ANC's Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College.

On 6 September 1989, the defiance campaign reached its peak with a stayaway involving some 3 million people. Students participated through lecture boycotts and various other forms of protest. Mass action, however, continued. Police repression of protests and killings of demonstrators in Cape Town triggered a mass march of 35,000 through the city centre and provided the catalyst for similar marches in other cities and towns. As in the mid-1980s, support for the ANC and SACP was once again openly expressed through flags and posters. In October 1989, when veteran ANC leaders were suddenly released from prison, there were huge, and effectively ANC and SACP, gatherings to welcome them. The mass action of 1988-89 culminated in the government unbanning of the ANC, SACP and other organisations in February 1990 and in the lifting of restrictions on popular organisations, including SANSCO.

Mobilisation” needs to be distinguished from "collective action". Here, the former refers to means by which students were mobilised, while the latter refers to the form and content of the struggles that students were involved in.


"SADF raids N Tvl colleges", (article) SASPU National, June 1986, page 4.

“Boycotts spread to more schools", (article) The Star, 27 July 1983.

"SRC calls for 1 day boycott of lectures", (article) The Argus, 9 August 1983.

"Henderson agrees to debate", (article) Daily Dispatch, 19 May 1983.

SASPU Focus, 3, 1, February 1984.

SASPU National, 4, 2, May 1983, page 2.

"Student charter will strengthen, unite and guide", (article) SASPU Focus, 3, 2, November 1984, page 19.

"Summary of Commissions on the Education Charter at the AZASO Congress on 2-4 July 1982 at Hammanskraal".

ibid.

The National Co-ordinating Committee, Education Charter Campaign, 1986.

Ibid.

Ibid.

Quoted in "Student charter will strengthen, unite and guide", (article) SASPU Focus, 3, 2, November 1984, pages 18-19.

See also "They'd prefer to close than to listen to us", (article) SASPU Focus, 3, 2, November 1984, page 30.

"AZASO and COSAS inspire Education Charter campaign", (article) SASPU National, September 1983.

The National Co-ordinating Committee, Education Charter Campaign, 1986.

Ibid.

Ibid.

"AZASO and COSAS inspire Education Charter campaign", (article) SASPU National , September 1983.

Phaala, quoted in "Students launch blueprint", (article) SASPU National, 3, 2, August 1982, page 3.

Quoted in "Student charter will strengthen, unite and guide", (article) SASPU Focus, 3, 2, November 1984, pages 18-19.

The National Co-ordinating Committee, Education Charter Campaign, 1986.

Ibid.

"Education campaign spelt out", (article) SASPU National, 4, 3, March 1983, page 5.

SASPU, State of the Nation, October/November 1985, page 20-21.

Cited by "Doors of learning - Demanding the key", (article) SASPU National, 6, 2, June 1985, page 6.

The National Co-ordinating Committee, Education Charter Campaign, 1986.

Ibid.

The National Co-ordinating Committee, Education Charter Campaign, 1987.

Dr I Mohamed, quoted in Africa Perspective, 23, 1983, pages 46-57.

"Students reject reform proposals", (article) SASPU National, 4, 2, May 1983, page 3.

"Students stay away to keep constitution out", (article) SASPU National, 5, 5, September 1984.

"Durban Indian college shut after demo", (article) Natal Mercury, 7 May 1983.

"SAIC visit sparks protests", (article) SASPU Focus, 2, 1, June 1983.

"The Turf gets rough as students return to class", (article) SASPU National, 3, 4, November 1982, page 1.

R Becker and B Ludman, "Not even ivory towers can escape the strife", (article) Weekly Mail, March 27 to April 3, 1986, page 9.

SASPU Focus, 1, 2, June/July 1982, page 4.

"The academic boycott: Reply from AZASO", (feature article) Cape Times, 30 October 1986

Ibid.

Ibid.

P. Sidley, "A rare unity between academics and students", (article) Weekly Mail, October 30 to November 5, 1987, page 12.