”Free Us To Defend Our Homes”: Statement, March 1942

Swift successes for Fascist Japan’s treacherous aggression in the Pacific have brought war to our door-step. Japanese or Nazi bombers may any day now rain death and destruction on our homes and our country. We are in danger. Our homes and our country arein danger. What must we do?

The peoples of the world must put up a united front and stop the Nazis of Germany and the Fascists of Japan and Italy from murdering, looting and raping the peoples of the countries they invade.

Some of us believe that since the Japanese belong to the non-European group of races, they are fighting this war to liberate the non-European peoples.

It is a belief based on false reasoning and emotional, wishful thinking. The capitalists and financiers of Japan are waging this war for their own selfish interests. This they are doing in close collaboration with the European Nazis of Germany, the Fascists of Italy and the pro-Nazis in South Africa and elsewhere.

The white pro-Nazis in South Africa, the Pirows and Van Rensbergs, openly welcome Japanese victories – which they would most certainly not do if the Japanese imperialists had any intention of helping the non-European peoples.

They are only praying for further Nazi and Japanese successes in order to pounce on this country and take control of the Government.

We know only too well that we are not free to do all that we want to do in order to defend our homes and smash the Fascists.

We have no arms, military pay for our soldiers and dependants’ allowances are miserable, we have to suffer the brutalities of some police and civic guards, we have to suffer from pass laws and poll-tax, colour-bar in industry, non-recognition of African trade unions, segregation, starvation due to low wages and inadequate land for agricultural purposes and a host of other discriminatory laws.

We, therefore, demand that the Union Government give us arms and free us from all oppressive restrictions so that we can “go all-out to win this all-in war”. We say to the Government: “Free us to defend our homes and our country before it is too late.”

Non-European Peoples of South Africa:
FORWARD to the defence of our homes and our country!
FORWARD to Victory over Fascism!
FORWARD to Freedom!

Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo South Africa's Freedom Struggle: Statements, Speeches and Articles including Correspondence with Mahatma Gandhi

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