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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

A.N.C. Conference in December 1958

An upsurge of new confidence in the leaders and their aims was displayed, however, at a conference held in Durban during December 1958. The National Executive was re-elected almost en bloc. Ex-Chief A. J. Luthuli was re-elected as President-General, Mr. Oliver Tambo, a Johannesburg attorney who had previously been the Secretary-General, was elected as Deputy President, and Mr. Duma Nokvve, a Johannesburg advocate, became the new Secretary-General. Mr. Robert Resha was appointed Press Relations Officer.

The conference fully endorsed the leaders' policy of striving by non-violent means to bring about a common society, in which all citizens would have equal political rights. Among the resolutions passed was one acclaiming the Pan-African Conference in Accra, which had just been concluded, as an historic event of great importance to South Africa and the world.

Congress called upon "all the enemies of the Nationalists to fortify their resolve to struggle relentlessly against the racialists by strengthening the Congress alliance and by broadening the front to include all those who arc loyal to the ideas of a multiracial society".

Members decided to prepare themselves for a long and bitter struggle against passes, which they described as "the main pillar of our oppression and exploitation." They reiterated their "condemnation of Bantu Education", and resolved to intensify their boycott of school boards and committees and to establish further cultural clubs "directly orientated to fight Nationalist incloctrinatiou". They condemned, also, the Bantu Authorities system as "a backward and reactionary form of oppression".

The executive was directed to appoint a committee to prepare a nation-wide economic boycott of such commodities or institutions as might be decided from time to time. Branches were instructed to take an active part in the strengthening of trade unionism and of the S.A. Congress of Trade Unions, and to continue to popularize the demand for a minimum wage of £1 per day for all workers.

It was decided that the primary task of the organization was to mobilise and rally the African people around the African National Congress.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.