Letter to E. S. Reddy, Director, United Nations Centre Against Apartheid
African National Congress (South Africa) Office of the President
Dear Mr. Reddy
Your letter of September 7th, addressed to Comrade Nzo, our Secretary General, was discussed at our Headquarters and a decision taken that I write to you, responding specifically to your proposals for the observance of the 20th Anniversary of M.K. and the 70th Anniversary of the ANC.
May I, at the very outset, place on record our deep appreciation and acknowledgment of yet another act in support of our cause by the U.N. Special Committee against Apartheid in its decision to observe these two historic landmarks in our struggle. This decision has, in our view, opened up new areas of close co-operation between the ANC on the one hand and, on the other, both the Special Committee and the Centre. It is in this context that we consider it necessary to explain our approach to the observance of, in particular, the 70th Anniversary.
For any political organization, especially among the countries of the non-aligned world, the 70th Anniversary is a momentous occasion. In Africa , it is unique. Therefore, in order to give full meaning to the occasion and effectively project its essence, we consider it imperative that commemorative activities by the friends and supporters of our struggle around the world should be co-ordinated by the ANC through its headquarters machinery.
Further, we feel it is essential that, as a specific act of commemoration of the occasion, the ANC should itself publish as much material as possible, broadly covering the period of the past 70 years, bearing upon the present and making projections into the future. Needless to say, our published material will incorporate statements made by ANC and other leaders, such as Seme, Abdurahman, Thema, Lutuli and others.
We face two major problems: First, although we are working on a programme which extends to January 8th, 1983, it is in the course of the period before January 8th 1982 that the foundations for fruitful commemoration must be laid. The time factor, therefore, confronts us with serious problems. Second, we lack the funds necessary for the fulfillment of our programme.
In regard to the time factor, we trust we can rely on your co-operation on such matters as research, translation into the major United Nations languages, and distribution.
On the question of funds, we should like to appeal to the Centre, as well as to the Special Committee, for a special donation to help us finance our 70th Anniversary publications programme.
Our delegation to the Political Prisoners and other meetings in New York has been asked to discuss our proposals and requests with you, and with the Chairman of the Special Committee Against Apartheid, H.E. Ambassador Sule.
With very best wishes
(sd.) O. R. Tambo
President, ANC (SA)