South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Harare Declaration: Declaration of the OAU Ad-hoc Committee on Southern Africa on the question of South Africa

21 August 1989




    1. The people of Africa, singly, collectively and acting through the OAU,
      are engaged in serious efforts to establish peace throughout the continent
      by ending all conflicts through negotiations based on the principle of
      justice and peace for all.


    1. We reaffirm our conviction, which history confirms, that where colonial,
      racial and apartheid domination exists, there can neither be peace nor


    1. Accordingly, we reiterate that while the apartheid system in South
      Africa persists, the peoples of our continent as a whole cannot achieve
      the fundamental objectives of justice, human dignity and peace which are
      both crucial in themselves and fundamental to the stability and development
      of Africa.


    1. With regard to the region of Southern Africa, the entire continent
      is vitally interested that the processes, in which it is involved, leading
      to the complete and genuine independence of Namibia, as well as peace in
      Angola and Mozambique, should succeed in the shortest possible time. Equally,
      Africa is deeply concerned that the destabilisation by South Africa of
      all the countries of the region, whether through direct aggression, sponsorship
      of surrogates, economic subversion and other means, should end immediately.


    1. We recognise the reality that permanent peace and stability in Southern
      Africa can only be achieved when the system of apartheid in South Africa
      has been liquidated and South Africa transformed into a united, democratic
      and non-racial country. We therefore reiterate that all the necessary measures
      should be adopted now, to bring a speedy end to the apartheid system, in
      the interest of all the people of Southern Africa, our continent and the
      world at large.


    1. We believe that, as a result of the liberation struggle and international
      pressure against apartheid, as well as global efforts to liquidate regional
      conflicts, possibilities exist for further movement towards the resolution
      of the problems facing the people of South Africa. For these possibilities
      to lead to fundamental change in South Africa, the Pretoria regime must
      abandon its abhorrent concepts and practices of racial domination and its
      record of failure to honour agreements all of Which have already resulted
      in the loss of lives and the destruction of much property in the countries
      of Southern Africa.


    1. We reaffirm our recognition of the rights of all peoples, including
      those of South Africa, to determine their own destiny, and to work out
      for themselves the institutions and the system of government under which
      they will, by general consent, live and work together to build a harmonious
      society. The Organisation of African Unity remains committed to do everything
      possible and necessary, to assist the people of South Africa, in such ways
      as the representatives of the oppressed may determine, to achieve this
      objective. We are certain that, arising from this duty to help end the
      criminal apartheid system, the rest of the world community is ready to
      extend similar assistance to the people of South Africa.


    1. We make these commitments because we believe that all people are equal
      and have equal rights to human dignity and respect, regardless of colour,
      race, sex or creed. We believe that all men and women have the right and
      duty to participate in their own government, as equal members of society.
      No individual or group of individuals has any rights to govern others without
      their consent. The apartheid system violates all these fundamental and
      universal principles. Correctly characterised as a crime against humanity,
      it is responsible for the death of countless numbers of people in South
      Africa, resulting in untold loss of life, destruction of property and massive
      displacement of innocent men, women and children. This scourge and affront
      to humanity must be fought and eradicated in its totality.


    1. We have therefore supported and continue to support all those in South
      Africa who pursue this noble objective through political, armed and other
      forms of struggle. We believe this to be our duty, carried out in the interest
      of all humanity.


    1. While extending this support to those who strive for a non-racial and
      democratic society in South Africa, a point on which no compromise is possible,
      we have repeatedly expressed our preference tor a solution arrived at by
      peaceful means. We know that the majority of the people of South Africa
      and their liberation movement, who have been compelled to take up arms,
      have also upheld this position for many decades and continue to do so.


    1. The positions contained in this Declaration are consistent with and
      are a continuation of those elaborated in the Lusaka Manifesto, two decades
      ago. They take into account the changes that have taken place in South
      Africa since that Manifesto was adopted by the OAU and the rest of the
      international community. They constitute a new challenge to the Pretoria
      regime to join in the noble effort to end the apartheid system, an objective
      to which the OAU has been committed from its birth.


    1. Consequently, we shall continue to do everything in our power to help
      intensify the liberation struggle and international pressure against the
      system of apartheid until this system is ended and South Africa is transformed
      into a united democratic and non-racial country, with justice and security
      for all its citizens.


    1. In keeping with this solemn resolve, and responding to the wishes of
      the representatives of the majority of the people of South Africa, we publically
      pledge ourselves to the positions contained hereunder. We are convinced
      that their implementation will lead to the speedy end of the apartheid
      system and therefore the opening of a new dawn of peace for all the peoples
      of Africa, in which racism, colonial domination and white minority rule
      on our continent would be abolished for ever.


II Statement of Principles


    1. We believe that a conjuncture of circumstances exists which, if there
      is a demonstrable readiness on the part of the Pretoria regime to engage
      in negotiations genuinely and seriously, could create the possibility to
      end apartheid through negotiations. Such an eventuality would be an expression
      of the long-standing preference of the people of South Africa to arrive
      at a political settlement.


    1. We would therefore encourage the people of South Africa, as part of
      their overall struggle, to get together to negotiate an end to the apartheid
      system and agree on all the measures that are necessary to transform their
      country into a non-racial democracy. We support the position held by the
      majority of the people of South Africa that these objectives and not the
      amendment or reform of the apartheid system, should be the aims of the


    1. We are at one with them that the outcome of such a process should be
      a new constitutional order based on the following principles, among others:


South Africa shall become a united, democratic and non- racial state.


All its people shall enjoy common and equal citizenship and nationality,
regardless of race, colour, sex or creed.


All its people shall have the right to participate in the government
and administration of the country on the basis of a universal suffrage,
exercised through one person one vote, under a common voters roll.


All people have the right to form and join any political party of their
choice, provided that this is not in the furtherance of racism.


All shall enjoy universally recognised human rights, freedoms and civil
liberties, protected under an entrenched Bill of Rights.


South Africa shall have a new legal system which shall guarantee equality
of all before the law.


South Africa shall have an independent and non-racial judiciary.


There shall be created an economic order which shall promote and advance
the well-being of all South Africans.


A democratic South Africa shall respect the rights and sovereignty
and territorial integrity of all countries and pursue a policy of peace,
friendship and mutually beneficial co-operation with all people.


    1. We believe that the agreement on the principles shall continue the
      foundation for an internationally acceptable solution which shall enable
      South Africa to take its rightful place as an equal partner among the African
      and world community of nations.


III. Climate for Negotiations


    1. Together with the rest of the world, we believe that it is essential,
      before any negotiations take place, that the necessary climate for negotiations
      be created. The apartheid regime has the urgent responsibility to respond
      positively to this universally acclaimed demand and thus create this climate.


    1. Accordingly, the present regime should, at the very least:


Release all political prisoners and detainees unconditionally and refrain
from imposing any restrictions on them.


Lift all bans and restrictions on all proscribed and restricted organisations
and people.


Remove all troops from the townships.


End the state of emergency and repeal all legislation, such as, and
including, the Internal Security Act, designed to circumscribe political


Cease all political executions.


    1. These measures are necessary to produce the conditions in which free
      discussion can take place – an essential condition to ensure that the people
      themselves participate in the process of remaking their country. The measures
      listed above should therefore precede negotiations.


IV. Guidelines to the process of negotiation


    1. We support the view of the South African liberation movement that upon
      the creation of this climate, the process of negotiations should commence
      along the following lines:


Discussions should take place between the liberation movement and the
South African regime to achieve the suspension of hostilities on both sides
by agreeing to a mutually binding cease fire.


Negotiations should then proceed to establish the basis for the adoption
of a new Constitution by agreeing on among, others, the Principles enunciated


Having agreed on these Principles, the parties should then negotiate
the necessary mechanism for drawing up the new Constitution.


The parties shall define and agree on the role to be played by the
international community in ensuring a successful transition to a democratic


The parties shall agree on the formation of an interim government to
supervise the process of the drawing up and adoption of a new constitution;
govern and administer the country, as well as effect the transition to
a democratic order including the holding of the elections.


After the adoption of the new Constitution, all armed hostilities will
be deemed to have formally terminated.


For its part, the international community would lift the sanctions
that have been imposed against apartheid South Africa.


    1. The new South Africa shall qualify for the membership of the Organisation
      of African Unity.


V. Programme of Action


    1. In pursuance of the objectives stated in this document, Organisation
      of African Unity hereby commits itself to:


Inform governments and inter-governmental organisations throughout
the world, including the Non-Aligned Movement, the United Nations General
Assembly, the Security Council, the Commonwealth and others of these perspectives,
and solicit their support.


Mandate the OAU ad-hoc committee on Southern Africa, acting as the
representative of the OAU, assisted by the Frontline States, to remain
seized of the issue of a political resolution to the South Africa question.


Step up all-round support for the South African liberation movement
and campaign in the rest of the world in pursuance of this objective.


Intensify the campaign for mandatory and comprehensive sanctions against
apartheid South Africa; in this regard, immediately mobilise against the
re-scheduling of Pretoria`s foreign debts; work for the imposition of a
mandatory oil embargo and the full observance by all countries of the arms


Ensure that the African continent does not relax existing measures
for the total isolation of apartheid South Africa.


Continue to monitor the situation in Namibia and extend all necessary
support to SWAPO in its struggle for a genuinely independent Namibia.


Extend such assistance as the Governments of Angola and Mozambique
may request in order to secure peace for their people.


Render all possible assistance to the Frontline States to enable them
to withstand Pretoria`s campaign of aggression and destabilisation and
enable them to continue to give their all-round support to the people of
Namibia and South Africa.


  1. We appeal to all people of goodwill throughout the world to support
    this Programme of Action as a necessary measure to secure the earliest
    liquidation of the apartheid system and the transformation of South Africa
    into a united, democratic and non-racial country.