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The History of the SACP 1912-1990

Years

Important events
in the party's history

Other important
South Africa events

Important International events

1912

 

Launch of the ANC

 

1914

  

First World War
A war between imperialists

1915

The ISL
Launch of the International Socialist League

  

1917

  

The Bolshevik Revolution
The world's first socialist state is born

1919

 

ICU Launched
In a few years, it sweeps through the country

Communist International (CI) launched

1921

Launch of the CPSA
The first Marxist Leninist party in Africa is formed, emerging from revolutionary socialist active among white workers

  

1922

 

Rand Revolt
The most militant white workers' strike is anti-boss- and anti-black workers!

 

1924

Africanisation of the Party
Stalwarts such as JB Marks and Johannes Nkosi join the party

  

1926

 

ICU expels communists
The ICU's star begins to fade

 

1927

 

JT Gumede elected ANC President
A new progressive leadership emerges

 

1928

Emergence of African Leadership
1600 of the CPSA's 1750 members are black

 

CI 6th Congress
the task of the South african communist is to transform the ANC 'into a fighting nationalist revolutionary organisation'

1929

Black Republic thesis
The CPSA developes a strategic line, with the assistance of the Communist International:'The most direct line of advance to soccialism runs through the mass struggle for majority rule'

  

Early 30s

Factionalism
The CI also has negative effects:
Factionalism leads to the expulsion of veterans like SP Bunting

  

1935

 

All African Convection
Forerunner of today's broad front politics

CI 7th congress
Dimitrov urges 'united fronts, not left-sectarianism, in the face of the fascist onslaught

Late 30s

Non-sectarianism
A non-sectarian leadership emerges around Moses Kotane

  

1939

  

Second World War

1941-5

Stonger Structures
Strong CPSA branches are built in the townships.
Communists also play leading roles in building the Congress movement

  

1941

 

CNETU Formed
Congress of Non-European Trade Unions launched as South Africa's manufacturing industry booms

Soviet Union invaded
Hilter's forces slaughter 20-million Soviet citizens...but are finally crushed

1945

  

Cold War
The anti-fascist war ends,but imperialism leads a renewed anti-communist propaganda war

1946

 

Black miner's strike
100 000 miners strike, led by JB Marks a long standing Party member

 

1948

 

National Party elected whites-only parliament

 

1949

 

ANC Programme of Action
The ANC moves towards a more militant, mass line

 

1950

CPSA Banned

  

1950s

 

Years of ANC-led mass action
Defiance Campaign, Congress of the People, boycotts and national strikes

 

1953

SACP Launched
A new underground Party is launched

  

Late 50s

  

African decolonisation
African countries begin to win political independence

1959

 

PAC split
On a right-wing,anti socialist platform, Sobukwe splits from the ANC

 

1960s

  

Southern African guerilla wars
Liberation movements in Angola, Mozambique, and then Namibia and Zimbabwe launch armed struggles

1960

 

ANC banned

 

1961

 

Armed Struggle
On December 16, Umkhonto we Sizwe is launched

 

1962

Road to Freedom
At an underground conference,the
SACP adopts a new programme

  

Mid 60s

Repression
Hundreds of communists are jailed. Some, like Vuyisile Mini, are sent to the gallows

  

1967

 Wankie and Sipolilo campaigns
With ZIPRA comrades, MK combatants fight Zimbabwe
 

1969

 

ANC Morogoro Conference

 

1970

Augmented Central Committee
The SACP reviews 9 years of armed struggle and concludeds:' Armed struggle without mass mobilisation and organisation will lead nowwhere'

 

These struggles result in ......

1971

Internal reconstruction
The Party rebuilds its clandestine structures.
Inkululeko appears - a voice from ther underground

  

1973

 

Durban strikes
A new era of trade unionism begins

 

Mid 70s

  

Independence for Mozambique for Mozambique and Angola
and......

1976/7

 

Uprisings
The start of 15 years of semi insurrectionary struggles

 

1980

  

Independence for Zimbabwe

1896

65th Anniversary
Inspired by the growth of a powerful union movement, the SACP reasserts a more independent profile

 

Perestroika/glasnost
Faced with an economic crisis, the Soviet Union begins a struggle to re-connect socialism with its democratic roots

1989

7th Party Congress
A new Party programme is adopted
  

1990

Relaunch
The SACP is unbanned, and relaunched at a mass rally in Soweto

1989 COSATU Launched

 

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