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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'The bay and the ocean': a history of the ANC in Swaziland, 1960-1979
Author:Simpson, ThulaISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:African Historical Review
Volume:41
Issue:1
Pages:90-117
Language:English
Geographic terms:Swaziland - Eswatini
South Africa
Mozambique
Subjects:African National Congress (South Africa)
refugees
national liberation struggles
political history
1960-1969
1970-1979
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17532520902917036
Abstract:South African political refugees began arriving in Swaziland in the late 1950s. In the mid-1960s, the ANC tried to recruit these refugees to engage in operational activities but with little success. After Swazi independence in 1968, the kingdom's rulers were too scared of South African retaliation to provide active support for the ANC's armed struggle. Meanwhile ANC members in Swaziland were cut off from ANC structures in central Africa because the kingdom was landlocked between white-ruled South Africa and Mozambique. This changed following the army coup in Lisbon in 1974 which led to Mozambican independence. Mozambique's provisional government allowed the ANC access to Swaziland. The ANC sent Thabo Mbeki to try and establish links with activists in South Africa, but whilst he made some progress, this was reversed by police countermeasures early in 1976. A rump of activists left behind after Mbeki's expulsion led ANC efforts to handle the exodus of youths into Swaziland after the June 1976 Soweto uprising. In the late 1970s, Swaziland formed part of what the ANC referred to as the 'Eastern Front' of its liberation struggle. In trying to stop ANC infiltrations South Africa made use of an extensive network of highly-placed agents in the Swazi establishment. However, this collaboration proved ineffective in stopping the ANC because, even if it wished to, Swaziland lacked the resources to prevent its territory being used, whilst there were also many prominent Swazis, including King Sobhuza II, whose sympathies lay with the ANC. By the end of the 1970s, ANC activity in Swaziland had grown to such a scale that it began to unnerve the Swazi authorities. This set the stage for the closing of the 'Eastern Front' in the early 1980s. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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