It has come to our notice that the issue of the Johannesburg Sunday Times of November 4, 1979, carries an article that there has recently been a secret meeting in London between representatives of the African National Congress and Inkatha. There has been no secret meeting.

The said article also raises other points which are likely to give the impression that the African National Congress has abandoned some of its most fundamental positions. We hereby wish to affirm with all the authority at our command that such an implication is without any foundation whatsoever.

The African National Congress is convinced that there can be no meaningful negotiations between itself and the fascist and militarist regime of Prime Minister Botha and Magnus Malan. We affirm once more that the strategic objective that we pursue is the seizure of power by the people and the use of that power to build a united democratic, nonracial and peace-loving South Africa as visualised in the Freedom Charter.

Our situation dictates that we must use all means and methods to achieve this objective, including legal and illegal ones, combining both the political and the military. The masses of the oppressed black people constitute the principal and central instrument of change - the forces charged with the task of carrying through this struggle in all its forms.

It is therefore the task of the ANC and all other patriotic forces in South Africa consistently to seek to raise the level of conscious, organised political activity of these masses through strikes, demonstrations, petitions and any other form of mass activity which enable the people to defeat the tyrannical measures which the apartheid regime imposes on us daily. More than at any other time before we need to protest vigorously against the brutalities that the racist regime is perpetrating against us.

It is also true that on their own, these mass actions, however brave and heroic, as the Soweto uprising was brave and heroic, cannot win us our liberation. Armed struggle and people's war therefore remain key elements in our strategy.

The very militarisation of South African society that is such an outstanding feature in the current strategy of the apartheid regime should be sufficient demonstration to all of the fact that Botha and Malan are, as their predecessors, more than ever determined to defend the iniquitous system of apartheid by force of arms. To liberate ourselves we cannot but take up arms.

The people accepted this option many years ago while at the same time understanding very clearly that ours will have to be a protracted people's war by virtue of the strength of the enemy forces, the conditions that we have to fight and imperialist support for the apartheid regime.

The urgent need to respond to the call issued by the ANC twenty years ago to the international community to isolate the apartheid regime remains an important obligation on the world community.

In this respect, the ANC would like to reiterate its appreciation of the work that the OAU, the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the socialist countries, the world anti-apartheid movement - the work that the overwhelming majority of mankind has done in pursuit of this objective.

The transnational corporations and the governments of the major Western powers such as the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, France, Japan and so on continue to ignore the will of the peoples of the world. The results of the criminal policy they pursue of strengthening the apartheid regime have inevitably led to the Soweto massacre of 1976, the intensified oppression and exploitation of the black majority of our country, the policy of consistent aggression against independent African states and now, the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

The need therefore becomes more pressing that the international campaign to isolate the racist regime and to support the South African liberation movement headed by the African National Congress, should be stepped up.

The African National Congress remains convinced that our victory demands the unity in action of all the oppressed people and the patriotic and democratic forces of our country, whatever their organised strength and regardless of secondary differences they might have among themselves on questions of policy strategy and tactics. We shall therefore continue to work for this unity as a fundamental prerequisite of our victory. Equally, we remain convinced that all these forces must direct their attention against our common enemy, the apartheid regime and its imperialist allies, and at all costs avoid the fratricidal strife which the enemy seeks to provoke.

The leadership of the African National Congress is conscious of the fact that the ANC represents the collective experience and sacrifices of our people made over a period of nearly seven decades to build an organisation which can lead us to victory over our colonial and racist oppressors. Whatever the difficulties and temporary setbacks, we know that the ANC and our people's army, Umkhonto we Sizwe, will carry out their historic mission of leading the united forces of the South African liberation movement to victory in our lifetime.

The Struggle Continues! 
Victory is Certain! 
All Power to the People!

Oliver Tambo