Mbokodo: security in ANC camps, 1961-1990

TitleMbokodo: security in ANC camps, 1961-1990
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsS.D.K. Ellis
Secondary TitleAfrican affairs : the journal of the Royal African Society
Pagination279 - 298
Date Published1994///
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrican National Congress, defence, South Africa

Using four official investigations by the ANC into human rights abuses perpetrated by the organization during its years in exile, as well as a number of other sources, this article summarizes what has been established concerning the ANC's security apparatus in the 1980s, and in particular its response to indiscipline, espionage and widespread criticism by rank and file members of its armed wing, 'Umkhonto we Sizwe', in the period 1981-1984. This is compared with an earlier, and less well-documented, wave of unrest in 1967-1969. In doing so, the article concludes that the nature of the ANC in exile changed markedly in the period due to the organization's militarization under the guidance of the South African Communist Party (SACP), which after 1969 became the dominant force within the ANC's exile leadership, or the External Mission of the ANC as it was formally styled. The ANC security organ became known as 'Mbokodo', a Xhosa word designating a stone used for grinding maize, generally regarded as 'a euphemism for the harshness with which the Department treated its victims'. Notes, ref

IR handle/ Full text URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1887/9075
Citation Key1709