3 minute read
15 Jun 2021
7:27 am

ANC rides on coattails of the ’76 uprising

Much of the BCMA and PAC philosophy has cynically been incorporated into the ANC’s world view – although unacknowledged and, in some cases, twisted to its own purposes.

Mmusi Maimane visits the Hector Pieterson memorial in Soweto on Youth Day, 16 June 2020. Picture: Neil McCartney

Historian Padraig O’Malley summed it up well when he said the ANC was taken aback by the Soweto uprising in 1976; but it grabbed on to the “coattails of the revolution” with alacrity, “later claiming ownership of the entire coat”. That, though, is not likely to be the story you will hear tomorrow from assorted ministers and ANC bigwigs as they commemorate one of the watershed moments in South African history. Much as they did with another turning point – the Sharpeville massacre in March 1960 – those officiating at memorials will seek to glorify the nonexistent role the ANC...