For over fifty years the African National Congress has led the people of South Africa in the struggle for freedom. For over fifty years it has been the sword and shield of the people. The African National Congress has now called the people to armed struggle, and now we are at war. Since August 1967, our brave fighters, together with their brothers of Zimbabwe, have met the oppressor bullet for bullet in Zimbabwe, and have seen him run. The myth of white superiority has been exploded in the field of armed encounter. The soldiers of Vorster and Smith have been taught a lesson they cannot forget easily. They fear our guerrillas. But this is only the beginning. They shall yet know the wrath of a people who have suffered centuries of white oppression, and are now determined to break the chains of white domination.
We are at war. But not alone. In Mozambique and Angola, our brothers fight to liberate themselves from the terror of the Portuguese colonial rule and Portugal is taking severe blows from the courageous people of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa. In Namibia the oppressed people have taken up arms against the foreigners from Pretoria. In Zimbabwe, the Smith regime is living on borrowed time and relying on borrowed white troops from apartheid South Africa. All southern Africa is in flames - the flames of revolution and freedom.
On this day, June 26, we look back at the record of white rule in our country. The oppressors have stolen our land, driven us out of our homes, enslaved us under their pass laws. They live like lords on the wealth of our country and the sweat of our labour. We toil like slaves and live in poverty. Thousands upon thousands of our babies and our youth die of starvation every year; they drive thousands of our people into their jails every week; our leaders are jailed for life, murdered in jail, hanged; our brave sons and daughters tortured in police cells. The whole story of white oppression is a story of brutal persecution: Chief Albert Luthuli - his brutal death is still unexplained. Caleb Mayekiso - who killed him in jail? Wilson Khayinga, Vuyisile Mini and others - they were hanged. Babla Saloojee, Looksmart Solwandle, Lenkoe and others - they were tortured to death. Simon Mkele, Sindile Ncaphayi, Marks, Florence Matomela and others - they were refused medical treatment in jail and they have since died.
Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki, Kathrada, Motsoaledi, Fischer, Goldberg, Steve Dlamini, Dorothy Nyembe, Lawrence Phokanoka, Lungephi Lengisi, and many others are languishing on Robben Island, in Pretoria jail, Baberton, Leeukop and elsewhere - these names fill us with anger and they spell the doom of white rule. No massacres, no murders, no imprisonment, no torture of our people can save the enemy. Vorster, van den Bergh - boss of BOSS Bureau of State Security - Swanepoel and his Special Branch will fail. They have already failed to destroy the African National Congress. They have failed to subdue our people or make them accept baaskap. Their soldiers are no match for the soldiers of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Their handful of white supporters cannot resist millions of oppressed people armed with courage in their veins, determination in their hearts, weapons in their hands and a just cause to fight for.
We call on all our oppressed people and all compatriots to rise up and fight the common foe; to punish him for his crimes against the people, to attack him everywhere, to harass him, to give him no rest. We call on you today to rededicate yourselves to this great struggle for freedom in our motherland.
We call on the youth of our nation - our young men and young women, we call on our toiling people - our fathers and mothers; we call on the workers and farm labourers; we call on our Indian and Coloured people, on all right-thinking and farsighted white South Africans; we call on all of you to seize control of the future and destiny of your own country - your future, your destiny which is defined in the Freedom Charter. Under the banner of the African National Congress the phase of revolutionary armed struggle has begun. You have heard the sound of gunfire from across our borders in Zimbabwe. The day must come when it will be heard throughout the length and breadth of our motherland.
Be prepared. The battle will be long, hard and bitter. But it will end with victory for us and FREEDOM AT LAST!
Maatla ke Arona!
Power to the People!