Defiance Campaign 1952

A selection of documents related to the Defiance Campaign

  • The defiance campaign by M. P. Naicker - This paper was published in connection with the tenth anniversary of Defiance Campaign in 1972...
  • American supporters of the defiance campaign by George M. Houser. - Mr. Houser describes the work of the Americans for South African Resistance (AFAR) in support of the Defiance Campaign ...
  • The Crucial Period - Extract from Karis, T & Carter G. M.

    The years 1950-1952 were among the most crucial in the history of the African National Congress (ANC). They followed the adoption of the Programme of Action in December 1949, which abandoned the ANC's traditional reliance on tactics of moderation such as petitions and deputations...
  • The Defiance Campaign, 1952: Social Struggle or Party Stratagem? - Extract from Baruch Hirson - Hirson, B. (1988). On 26 June 1952, a campaign to secure the repeal of six unjust laws was launched by a Joint Planning Council (JPC), composed of leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Indian Congress (SAIC), and the Franchise Action Council (FrAC), an ad hoc organisation formed to fight against the removal of the Coloured vote. During the first phase of the campaign 'volunteers' courted arrest by breaking unjust laws; and this led over a four months period to approximately 8,000convictions in the courts...
  • The Defiance Campaign - Extract from Karis, T & Carter G. M.

    "April 6: People's Protest Day

    The African National Congress has served notice on the Government that the Non-European people can no longer go on tolerating the ill-treatment they suffer in the land of their birth..."
  • The Story of Defiance - Drum Magazine, October 1952

    "On 6 April 1952, exactly 300 years after Van Riebeeck and the first white settlers landed at the Cape, the first mass demonstrations were held in Red Square, Fordsburg, Johannesburg (now called Freedom Square), and the other main centres of the Union..."
  • Defiance Campaign in South Africa, recalled by E.S Reddy

    The "Campaign of Defiance against Unjust Laws" - launched jointly by the African National Congress of South Africa and the South African Indian Congress - was one of the greatest non-violent passive resistance campaigns in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi...
  • Defiance Campaign: After 50 years, the spirit of service and sacrifice lives on. by Nelson Mandela

    "Our Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign began on 26 June. It is going smoothly and according to plan; though there have been minor setbacks, like the arrest of Y. Cachalia, SAIC General Secretary, and myself, which was not according to plan." This was how Nelson Mandela described the launch of the historic defiance campaign which took place 50 years ago next week...
  • 'We defy'. 10,000 volunteers protest against 'unjust laws' by Nelson Mandel. Drum: August 1952 Our Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign began on 26 June. It is going smoothly and according to plan; though there have been minor setbacks, like the arrest of Y. Cachalia, SAIC General Secretary, and myself, which was not according to plan...

Quotations - 1952 Defiance Campaign

1952 was the year of the Defiance Campaign. At meetings held in April in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, it was decided that groups of volunteers would defy apartheid, and that this action should spread throughout the country. When arrested, the volunteers would serve sentences rather than pay fines. This action was, as the Congress emphasised, based on disciplined non-violence. At a press conference on April 17th, Dr Yusuf Dadoo, President of the South African Indian Congress, was asked: 'Do you think there will be any incidents?' He replied: 'Not from our side. Ours will be a controlled, disciplined movement.

References: http://www.liberation.org.za/

Pledge by the volunteers of the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign, 1952

I, the undersigned, Volunteer of the National Volunteer Corps, do hereby solemnly pledge and bind myself to serve my country and my people in accordance with the directives of the National Volunteer Corps and to participate fully and without reservations to the best of my ability in the Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws. I shall obey the orders of my leaders under whom I shall be placed and strictly abide by the rules and regulations of the National Volunteer Corps framed from time to time. It shall be my duty to keep myself physically, mentally and morally fit.

Last updated : 21-Jun-2012

This article was produced for South African History Online on 30-Mar-2011