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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Love I cannot begin to explain': the politics of reproduction in the ANC in exile, 1976-1990
Author:Sandwell, Rachel
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:anti-apartheid resistance
African National Congress (South Africa)
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2015.991988
Abstract:During its years in exile, the African National Congress (ANC) found itself responsible for the welfare and upkeep of its members. The arrival of thousands of new members fleeing political violence inside South Africa after 1976 significantly added to the organisation's responsibilities, and spurred the ANC to create a large administration, providing healthcare, education and housing to its members, and enforcing discipline upon them. This article examines the tensions that resulted from this process of governing in exile, with a focus on debates around the treatment of pregnant women and anxieties over sexual conduct. Material from the ANC's official archive, and from oral histories and published memoirs, suggests that the question of how to deal with dating, sexuality, and pregnancy elicited significant concern and interest among both rank and file and leadership; these issues became flashpoints in the negotiation of relationships of responsibility and obligation between membership and the organisation. Discussing these tensions of governance sheds new light on how ANC members experienced exile life, and highlights the ways in which ANC leadership attempted to negotiate legitimate rule over its members in the difficult context of exile. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]