Mr. Chairman, 
Honourable Heads of State and Government, 
Distinguished Leaders of Delegations, 

On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, its militants and combatants inside and outside South Africa, on behalf of the oppressed millions of our country, we bring greetings to this august assembly of the leaders of our great continent.

Allow me, Mr. Chairman, to greet this assembly also in the name of Nelson Mandela and other national leaders and political activists held in the prisons of apartheid - men, women and these days, even children, who have been jailed and condemned to imprisonment because they dared to resist the criminal system of apartheid. The continued incarceration of these patriots is an intolerable affront to which we must and shall put an end.

It is a matter of honour to the people of South Africa that the African National Congress is participating in this crucial 21st Assembly of Heads of State and Government of our continent. It is most fitting that this meeting is taking place in Ethiopia, a country that is bravely and successfully rehabilitating itself from the ravages inflicted by drought and the current economic crisis facing the continent.

Despite these difficulties, we have enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of the Ethiopian people, their government and their party, under the very able leadership of Comrade Mengistu Haile Mariam, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Ethiopia, Chairman of the PMAC and Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Ethiopia.

Allow me to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, on your election to this vital post of our continental mother-body, the OAU. We are confident that you will ably discharge your heavy responsibilities and help to guide our organisation in the face of the formidable challenges that confront the peoples of Africa. Our confidence derives from the contribution your country, Senegal, has consistently made to the cause of Africa's liberation.

Senegal's ready response to the demands of our liberation struggle is a matter of record. The ANC has been the beneficiary of Senegal's solidarity in a number of ways that have contributed to the development of our struggle. This includes the fact that when Nelson Mandela was travelling through Africa, your country provided him with a Senegalese national passport.

We also wish to take this opportunity, Mr. Chairman, to pay a special tribute to the outgoing Chairman of the OAU, Mwalimu Dr. Julius Nyerere, the esteemed President of Tanzania. Mwalimu was among the founding fathers of our continental organisation.

Prior to that his vision of a liberated Africa had led him to establish what was called the Pan-African Freedom Movement for East and Central Africa which later incorporated southern Africa, as PAFMECSA - the forerunner to the present-day OAU. Through his efforts and selfless dedication to the cause of Africa's liberation, he has personally made an inestimable contribution to the success of all the liberation struggles in the southern cone of Africa. He has turned out to be one of the greatest strategists of our continent.

Both in his capacity as President of the United Republic of Tanzania and as Chairman of the Frontline States, Mwalimu Nyerere has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration and strength for our liberation movements. His wise counsel and determined leadership in the arduous battle to uproot colonialism and the apartheid system have proved invaluable. The statement he delivered to the 44th Session of the OAU Coordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa is a monument to his wisdom, foresight and resolute leadership.

Although this is the last occasion on which President Nyerere will attend the OAU Summit as leader of the Tanzanian delegation, we remain assured of his continued involvement and guidance in the cause of the complete liberation of Africa, to which he has consecrated all his life. For our part, we shall pursue the liberation struggle with renewed vigour till victory is achieved.

Mr. Chairman,

The repeal of the Clark Amendment and United States sponsorship of international mercenary organisations is an extension of the pernicious policy of "constructive engagement".

At a time when the people of the United States are voicing their rejection of this pro-apartheid policy, this is a move calculated to legalise overt support of Pretoria's war of aggression against Angola and its illegal occupation of Namibia.

The collective voice of Africa should condemn this hostile act against African independence and demand the immediate reinstatement of the Clark Amendment.

Mr. Chairman,

The tasks that this Summit has set itself are a continuation of the struggle for the restoration of the freedom and independence of Africa. It is a basic tenet of the OAU that Africa cannot truly be free while it is enmeshed in a web of international economic relations that emanate from the system of colonial domination. It is today universally recognised that these relations are the root cause of the economic problems that plague the continent.

On this basis, we are in full accord with the identification of four major areas of concern under the main item of our agenda, which is: the economic crisis facing the African continent.

The basic features of the economic relations that exist between Africa and the Western countries are replicated, on a smaller scale, between the countries of southern Africa and racist-ruled South Africa.

The unequal relations between southern African states and South Africa are not mere accidents of history. They are rather the results of a deliberate policy which transformed the other countries of our region into an exploitable hinterland for the economic development of South Africa. Historically, South Africa was made the core country in the development of southern Africa. The colonialists, as a matter of policy, shaped the economies of the neighbouring countries to depend on the export of cash crops and labour to South Africa.

In South Africa itself, white minority control and ownership of the decisive sectors of the economy was entrenched through the colonial system of apartheid. It is these objective realities that make it impossible for us to address the material conditions of life of the peoples of our region, without at the same time discussing the issue of the armed liberation struggle to eradicate the system of apartheid.

In its effort to perpetuate these unequal relations created by colonialism, the apartheid regime in Pretoria has already established its own rival institutions to promote its regional hegemony and undermine the efforts of SADCC. The methods it uses include economic blackmail and blatant military aggression. It is only under a democratic people's government that South Africa's economic strength will become a positive asset to assist in the material and spiritual upliftment of all the peoples of the region. The destruction of the racist regime is thus inextricably linked with the prospects for the economic liberation of southern Africa, enabling this region to contribute more effectively to the economic reconstruction of the entire continent.

Since the last OAU Summit, South Africa has passed through a period of unprecedented mass upsurge, affecting all areas. The level of confrontation between the racist enemy and the people, daily rises to new heights. Ironically this upsurge follows close on the heels of the regime's claims that it has successfully reduced the liberation movement to a tiny band of unrealistic diehards, isolated from the masses. It had been Pretoria's aim to drive the ANC out of southern Africa by destabilising and committing aggression against the African states of this region. The futility of such an exercise has been amply demonstrated in the past twelve months: the ANC is waging struggle inside South Africa and not anywhere else.

Mass struggles have swept through the black townships like prairie fire and have reached a level that has made it impossible for the racists to maintain order. First the police, and now the army, have failed to contain the situation, and racist ruling circles have been forced to admit as much. There is a growing realisation within the ranks of the enemy that they have failed quite singularly to crush the liberation movement through violent repression. Consequently Pretoria plans to attain through deceit the results it could not attain through brute force. It is vitally important that Africa appreciates the true dimensions of these plans.

Ten years ago, when Mozambique and Angola became independent, southern Africa became the scene of intense shuttle diplomacy. A close study of the events during those and subsequent years could be very instructive about the enemy's manoeuvres. The enemy and his allies will seek to embroil the liberation movement in interminable diversionary activities, while the colonial-racist regime remains intact. It is also clear that attempts to drive a wedge between the liberation movement and those forces in the international community who have been our consistent supporters have one aim: to make us easier prey for the enemy.

In response to a call the ANC made to our people to render South Africa ungovernable, the masses of our people have turned South Africa into a seething cauldron for the racist rulers. Not a day passes without some major incident involving the repressive machinery of the regime in clashes with the people. For all practical purposes the puppet bodies established by Pretoria to administer black townships as part of the apartheid system have been rendered imperative. Most of those who served on these puppet bodies, responding to the demand of the people, have resigned their positions. There are today pockets within all the major urban areas where the writ of the regime no longer runs. These pockets are increasing in number as are the cities where they are to be found. As the incumbent administrative machinery breaks down, in many parts of the country, the people are spontaneously creating rudimentary organs of popular power to maintain certain essential services. Under the inspiration of the ANC and our people's army, Umkhonto we Sizwe, popular self-defence units and groups of combatants have begun to coalesce. These few facts I have enumerated demonstrate the mood of our people. As their temper becomes more revolutionary, we can expect the capacity of the regime to exercise control to contract. Among the immediate tasks undertaken by the ANC at our National Consultative Conference was the decision to build on these developments by systematic escalation of the tempo of the struggle.

It is the aim of our movement to ensure that the momentum we have presently attained does not slacken. The mood of mass defiance must be spread to the smaller towns and into the countryside.

The enemy has been unable to contain and crush the mass movement that has unfolded since August 1984. Frustrated by its failure and eager to demonstrate to its followers that it is in command of the situation, one month ago the Pretoria regime violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an African country, the Republic of Botswana, in a fashion that has become all too frequent in southern Africa. Gaborone, its capital, was invaded by racist commandos; its citizens were terrorised and murdered; South African refugees were brutally done to death in their beds. The racist attack on Gaborone was intended as a warning to Africa and the world that, as the struggle is raised to a higher plane, Pretoria will respond with even greater violence. Spokesmen for the regime have already followed up this attack with threats to take action against Angola, Zambia and Lesotho, and yet again against Botswana. Consistent with the lofty principles of the OAU Charter, the countries of southern Africa have refused to submit to the diktat of the Botha-Malan regime. In doing so, they are upholding Africa's collective responsibilities and they need the collective support of Africa.

It is self-evident that peace in our region, indeed in the entire continent, will remain an unattainable ideal as long as the apartheid regime survives. The struggles being waged in South Africa and Namibia are the last stretch of the long road Africa has traversed since the beginning of the colonial era. The victories we shall inevitably score will represent the attainment of the OAU's cherished goal of the total liberation of our continent.

Mr. Chairman,

During the last two decades, our movement and our people have been sustained in our struggle by the firm solidarity of the African continent. The chief agency of that solidarity has throughout been the OAU and its Liberation Committee. African countries, some of them amongst the poorest in the world, have received wave upon wave of political refugees and freedom fighters from all the countries that have been engaged in liberation wars in southern Africa. The generosity and support we have enjoyed from the fraternal peoples of Africa has strengthened the bonds that bind us and confirmed us in our resolve to drive from the face of the earth this regime which is an insult to Africa and a crime against humanity.

Let us conclude by saluting the OAU. Assured of the continued support we shall receive from all the fraternal countries of Africa, we salute you all as comrades-in-arms in our collective endeavour to complete the liberation of our continent. SWAPO and the ANC, the people of Namibia and the people of South Africa, are allies in the struggle against the Pretoria regime. We salute in particular the people of Namibia, under the leadership of SWAPO, as fellow combatants in the frontline trenches of the struggle against a common enemy; we salute also the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, and urge this Assembly to ensure implementation of its resolution on Western Sahara. We pledge our solidarity with the PLO and the cause of the fraternal Palestinian people, as well as with all peoples fighting for justice, peace and social progress in Africa and the world.

Long Live the OAU! 
The Struggle Continues! 
Victory is Certain!