Have you ever expressed any views yourself in regard to the advantages or disadvantages of a non-violent struggle?
Well, I have spoken about it...
Would you tell their lordships, do you consider there are any advantages to be gained in a non-violent struggle?
Would you mind explaining to their lordships what you consider to be the advantages of various methods of non-violent struggle?
First, I would say that it is always better for one to gain freedom, or for that matter any obective that you might be striving for, in a peaceful way. It is certainly better than indulging in fights. If you can do it, it's preferable at all times, and if one has regard to a nation, a group of people, it certainly should lay a foundation for better co-operation, because there would be fewer sores, if one may say so, afterwards, and people would not have to refer to the past with a certain amount of heartache and saying well, this happened so that all round it is better, humanly speaking, to gain your ends that way.
Then, also, my lords, one must hold the view very strongly that if you are struggling for fundamental rights, such as we are niggling for, you can never expect the authorities just to give you everything on a platter, and therefore you must struggle, and in struggling, where you find that the method of supplication fails, you must use other methods which are not violent to persuade the authorities to see your point of view. So that all round it is better to gain your ends that way.
As far as you personally are concerned, would you be party to a violent struggle to achieve your aims?
In the circumstances that obtain in the country ”” I must say this first, my lords ”” I may have indicated that there might be differences of point of view among different members, but as far as the congress is concerned, in the circumstances that obtain definitely we are for non-violence. When it comes to a personal level, as to whether at any time one would, I would say that if conditions are as they are, I could never be a party to the use of violence because I think it would be almost national suicide, in the circumstances as they are.
And quite apart from that point of view, what would you say with regard to your own beliefs?
My own beliefs as I have already said are to a certain extent motivated by Christian leanings. Because of my Christian leanings I would hesitate to be a party to violence, my lords. But, of course, I must say in that connection that I am not suggesting that the Christian religion says this and that I am not a theologian, but my own leanings would be in that direction.
Therefore, in so far as there is a suggestion in this case, an allegation by the Crown, that the ANC either is adopting a violent policy or educating the people for violence, and educating the people violently to overthrow the government, what would you say in regard to that? Is there any truth in that at all?
There is no truth whatsoever in that.
Now, a suggestion has been made that while non-violence may be a method currently employed in the sense that it pays you to employ it currently, it is not ”” the suggestion is made by the Crown ”” really part of the ANC policy?
There is no foundation for that.
You say there is no foundation for that?
What is the true position?
The true position is this, that it is a policy, a basic policy of the African National Congress.
Now, in theory, who could change that policy?
We could, my lords.
Yes, but who could change it?
The African National Congress.
Are you at any level of the African National Congress heard a suggestion that the policy should be changed?
My lords, I've never heard any such suggestion, nor a whisper that effect.
As far as you personally are concerned, what would be your altitude if such a suggestion were made?
I would oppose it.
Well, I would oppose it on two grounds really: firstly, from a personal angle, but also because it's not ”” or it would not be ”” the interests of the liberation movement, it would not be a practical thing.
Does the congress ”” as far as you are concerned, for the moment ”” we'll deal with the congress later ”” as far as you are concerned, have you watched events in Ghana and in India?
That is so.
What attitude do you have in regard to Ghana and India?
The events in Ghana and India...
Those events have encouraged me in my effort to seek freedom for my people, particularly with reference to the method which India and Ghana used ”” it has made me believe more and more the possibilities and the efficacy of non-violence...
By the way, Lutuli, do you visualize being able to persuade ”” we'll deal with the methods later ”” the while people who hold the vote this year, or the next year ”” what is your time factor; have you a time factor?
My lords, we have no timetable, and I personally never like to work in the sense of tomorrow, or this or that time; I rather prefer to work very hard, do all I can to make it tomorrow ”” well, if it can't be tomorrow, it's just bad luck, and that's all I ask...
Now you mentioned earlier that non-violence is completely accepted by the leadership of the African National Congress?
That is so.
Why is it that from time to time, if that is the accepted policy, one finds at meetings reference to your non-violent policy; why should it be necessary to do that?
Well, it is very necessary that we should do so, firstly because in so far as we are concerned we are embarking on something which people may not be fully acquainted with, so that our task is to educate our own members and the African people. Then, of course, the other reason is that we so believe in it that we feel that we should take no chance of anybody not knowing and being tempted to deviate...
Now, this address, JJ.3, my lords, is an address delivered by the witness at Uitenhage on 26 June 1954, on the occasion of the opening of the Provincial Conference of the ANC Cape Province on that date. Do you recognize that address?
That is so.
Now, on page 2 of that document, you say: "We realize that your success has come only as the result of much sacrifice, determination, courage and thoroughness. But let me remind you also, friends, that your grand success came not only in the campaign ”” it not only brought you well-deserved honour but also increased your responsibility to see the struggle through. Should tiredness and despondency ever assail you, take courage and comfort in the fact that the unseen spirits of Hintsa, Fandele Sikana, Dingaan, Tshetwayo, Moshesh ... and others, who resisted aggression and invasion of their respective countries urge us to resist oppression, whatever the cost". Now would you mind telling me whether this implies incitement to violence?
Far from it, my lords.
Would you explain why you refer to the unseen spirits of Hintsa and the other chiefs whose names are mentioned?
In any group, my lords, you have heroes, and I for one have the greatest respect for our past leaders; as I indicate in that statement when their territories were attacked by the whites coming into the country, they did not merely just stand by and allow their land to be taken, or to lose their freedom. They did what was in their power to retain their freedom, and I think that it would be expected of any man to do that.
Such men, my lords, remained an inspiration to coming generations and we who are confronted by a situation where we are meeting oppression which is really unbearable, have to resist. We use entirely different methods, but nevertheless it is the spirit of not giving in to oppression which is inspired in us, as far as I am concerned, by our forebears. I honour them for that, greatly honour them. And I think with any group your ancestors will here and there provide you with inspiration. There are others, of course, whom you just choose to forget.
Does this mean that you are not opposed to violence to protect people's lives, which in the circumstances justify that and make it practicable?
No, my lord, I don't think that can be read into the statement. All I'm saying, my lord, is this, that our people when faced with a situation did not merely acquiesce; they did what was right to do. So far as method is concerned, my lord, I have already said...
Chief, perhaps we can help. I think his lordship is really putting you a different question, if I may say so with respect. Are you a Pacifist?
No, I'm not.
Then perhaps you might explain the position, the difference between the non-violence campaign and your not being a pacifist?
My lords, I merely talk as one feels ”” I'm not conversant with theory of pacifism, but I am not a pacifist.
In other words”¦?
There are situations which arise in a country that a country must resist; take for instance the fact that we have been plunged into two world wars. Now, I'm not defending those wars, they probably could have been avoided ”” I don't know, but you go to the limit of trying to avoid a war, but then your country becomes involved in war and in that situation one would have to come to the defense of the country which stands for the values which it upholds.
Now, can we go to page 4 of that document, where you quote the Natal Mercury of 13 February 1954, and you say: "Here is what the Natal Mercury of February 13 1954 has to say in its leading article on some aspects of the African land question. 'Eighteen years have elapsed, but in that time successive governments have purchased for the natives only 4 562 534 morgen, which represents some 63 % of the land promised to them as part compensation for the launch of their franchise rights on the common voters', roll in the Cape Province'. It is hard to believe that if
the natives had been in a position to bring pressure to bear on successive governments through the ballot box, that the full area of land promised them in 1936 would not have been secured long ago". What do you have to say with regard to this quotation from the Natal Mercury?
All I have to say, my lords, regarding that quotation is this, that it emphasizes what we say, namely that until we are accorded franchise rights so that we can vote, the situation will always be that our needs will not be sufficient, just because we cannot vote, and here I call the Natal Mercury to witness that view.
Now page 5 of the same document, we have paragraph 4, "Just to quote one of the utterances of the Minister of Labour, Mr B, Schoeman. The native must not progress at the cost of the Europeans. The correct policy is that unskilled work should as far as possible be confined to non-Europeans. On another occasion he said 'Let me say this again, categorically, that I am not in favour of throwing open the doors of the skilled trades to natives'." What is the attitude, what is your altitude and what do you say is the attitude of any self-respecting human being to this kind of utterance?
My lords, as I have already indicated, no self-respecting human being should accept a situation like this.
Then you proceed to say, "While South Africa as represented by its governments in parliament will have to radically change from what it is before we can entrust our future to them. We are grateful to the few whites who support us in different ways in our efforts to gain freedom in our land of birth". Now, Lulhuli, one looks through this document and one finds the same sort of statement you make constantly, "We believe in the dignity of man and in the brotherhood of man from which flaws the equality of man". Is that your belief?
That is so, my lords.
Then now wish to refer, my lords, to Exhibit ORT. 55. It is at page 3423 and cross-examination 3560 of the record, my lords. It is a joint message to the Congress of the People of South Africa, meeting at Kliptown, on June 25, 1955, by yourself and Mr. Yengwa?
Do you recall that document?
That is so.
Would you mind taking a copy please. Now in this message, I don't want to read it again, Mr. Luthuli, to summarize it you express the hope that the Congress of the People would have an effect on public opinion?
That is the burden of this message?
That is so, my lord...
...Your various campaigns from 1952 to 1956, what were they part of, in so far as the policy of the ANC is concerned?
They were part of our efforts to get liberation.
Were they examples of violent resistance?
None of our campaigns have ever been violent campaigns; they have all been on the non-violent plane.
Have you ever plotted a violent campaign?
We have never.
Have you ever plotted a violent campaign in the future?
We have never.
Have you ever heard of such a thing being plotted within the African National Congress?
I have never heard of it.
I'm going to read to you a page supplied by the Crown, or part of a page in the Particulars to the Indictment, Paragraph 8, where it is said that it was part of your policy to subvert and overthrow the stale. What do you say to that?
There is no truth in that.
"To make active preparation for the violent resolution against the slate?"
There is no truth in that at all, my lords.
"To disturb, impair or endanger the security of the authority of the state?
There is no truth in that.
"To hinder and hamper the state in the enforcement of laws and themaintenance of peace and order?"
There was no such effort.
"And to oppose and resist the authority of the state and in particular thepower of the state to make and enforce laws?"
Well, my lords, only to the extent that campaigns will be organized against certain laws only to that extent.
And then it says that you support a liberation movement which is described in a particular way, and I’ll deal with that later in the course of your evidence. I don't want to confuse it at the moment. Just let's leave that for the moment. It says trial part of your aims, part of your policy was to establish a Communist stale or some other stale in the place of the present stale. Is there any truth in that?
There is no truth in that.
It is said furthermore, by the Crown in this case, that the inspiration of the African National Congress was a compound of Bantu Nationalism, racial hatred and Communism. What do you have to say to that, Mr. Luthuli?
Well, my lords, all I can say is that I don't know of any such compound. We are not motivated in our opposition by any of the things mentioned there. I've already indicated in my evidence my lords, that we are interested in liberation; we are not influenced by any outside group like the Communists ”” I have already indicated, my lords, that in so far as Bantu Nationalism is concerned we are nationally conscious but in so far as what is sometimes described as the narrow outlook ”” we rather desire to see a larger unity.
Are you actuated by racial hatred?
Far from it, my lords.
Far from it.
And what is the attitude of the African National Congress in regard to that policy?
I've already stated in evidence, my lords, that we recognize the fact that South Africa is a multiracial country and we therefore seek a policy that will make that a happy reality.
Notwithstanding the resentment of many Africans towards whites, is there still in your view goodwill left among Africans towards white people?
I think, generally, there is still goodwill.
Would you say it's limited, or is there a great deal of it?
Well, my lords, I would say with the years it's becoming more rated.
As the years pass?
Yes, as the years pass and oppression increases.
Do you believe that a multiracial state is possible?
My lords, I believe it is possible; for one thing I should start by lying that it is inescapable in our country ”” we are multiracialists not because anyone planned it ”” we are just multiracial ”” however, I do believe that that being the fact we can build a happy and harmonious nation in South Africa, if we go about it the right way.
Do you believe that the white man can be won over to your point of view?
I've already said in evidence here that I believe that strongly, I believe there is an element of goodness in man, and I think the right men can be won over.
In regard to winning the white man over to your point of view, do you think he can be won over merely by acts of supplication?
No, my lords, I think we have long discarded that view; we feel that in order to pursue our course we must carry out certain measures that will appeal to the white man ”” first of all to his moral sense but finally it must be something that is going to hit his pocket, so that he may have, in his own interests, to look at things differently.
Is that not applying to his innate goodness then?
Do you equate the innate goodness to the purse here?
Well, my lord, I think that in so far as innate goodness is concerned it is there, but when it comes to the purse I think an enlightened self-interest comes in. I mean, whether a man wants to or not, he is motivated more by self-interests. He says ”” "I don't
think I should go to this extent to wreck what I have and even to possibly impede the progress of the country".
You have all along said that there are a large number of people who are motivated by completely unselfish motives?
That is so.
And others by, as you say, enlightened self-interest?
That is so.
Do you think from your knowledge of the African people, that there are many Africans in South Africa who do not subscribe to the aims of the African National Congress to remove all forms of racial discrimination in South Africa?
There would be very few my lords, very few.
Do you think there is much Communism among Africans?
I don't think so.
What is the motivation behind all the work of the African National Congress?
Behind all the work of the African National Congress...
What's the driving force?
The driving force is to remove oppression by getting the government or the authorities to accord us democratic rights, without which we cannot enjoy, freedom.
Now I want to go to the various campaigns which were conducted by the African National Congress during the period of the indictment and just prior thereto. In March, 1952, as you have already told us in examination-in-chief, the Natal ANC Conference under your Presidency had given full approval to the Defiance Campaign?
That is so.
And to the congress policy of non-violent civil disobedience?
That is so...