’Viva Frelimo’ rallies, organised by the BPC and SASO, take place even though they were banned by Government

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Magazine cover.

Wednesday, 25 September 1974

The achievement of independence in Mozambique inspired the South African Black Consciousness Movement organisations, the Black People's Convention (BPC) and the South African Students' Organisation (SASO), to organise a 'Viva Frelimo' rally. If Portuguese colonialism could be defeated in Mozambique, so could settler-colonialism in South Africa.  The idea was conceived by the SASO president at the time, Muntu Myeza.  These rallies were the only national campaigns to be staged by SASO and it accelerated tension between SASO and the South African government.

The Minister of Justice, Jimmy Kruger, banned the rally planned for 25 September 1974. But, much publicity had already gone out, and the image of the Black Consciousness Movement was at stake. On the day of the rally people turned up in large numbers in Durban and Turfloop.  Police arrests followed and many BCM/BPC/SASO leaders were arrested, including Myeza, Cyril Ramaphosa, Zithulele Cindi, Cooper, Lekota, Aubrey Mokoape, Strini Moodley, Nkwenkwe Nkomo and Kaborane Sedibe. Most of these leaders were subsequently charged under the Terrorism Act.

Definition: FRELIMO - Acronym for the Liberation Movement, 'Front for the Liberation of Mozambique', which fought to achieve the independence of Mozambique.

References:
• South African Democracy Education Trust (2006). The Road to Democracy in South Africa: 1970-1980, UNISA Press, University of South Africa, pg 142-143.
• Christenson, R., (1974), 'Political Trials in History: From Antiquity to the Present', pp. 84.

Last updated : 18-Sep-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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