Liberation Struggle in South Africa


Although Apartheid only ‘officially’ started in 1948, repression was rife in South Africa long before that date. This special project examines the Freedom Struggle from the beginning of the 20th century up until South Africa's first democratic election in April 1994.

This archive presents this history in two parts, namely; Emerging African Nationalism and Working-Class and Popular Resistance 1900-1950s, and The Armed Struggle and Popular Resistance 1960-1994 respectively. Please note that ‘periodizing’ history is subjective and in this case, reflects the nature of the highlighted theme, the shifting locus of power. In the first half of the twentieth century this shifts between the new state (Union of South Africa), the imperial interests (for example, the two world wars) and the protests of different social groups. In the post-Sharpeville phase, the locus of power is poised between the state and the resistance movement and is increasingly concentrated in the popular resistance movement.

In each section you will find a list of biographies, organization histories, resources and further reading lists, legislation listings, timelines and galleries.