Armed Struggle and Democracy: The Case of South Africa

Synopsis

The impact of the concept(s) of armed struggle for the notion(s) of democracy in South(ern) Africa is the focus of this paper. Originally submitted to a conference on (Re-) Conceptualising Democracy and Liberation in Southern Africa, held in Windhoek, Namibia during July 2002, it argues from the point of departure of the personal involvement of the author in the issues raised.The author was part of a group which criticised the strategy of armed struggle in the ANC. With this paper he inspires a debate, which can claim relevance for current issues of democracy in South Africa and the Southern African region more generally. Given the degree of personal involvement of its author, this analysis is contemporary history based on personal insights, and provides arguments for a necessary discussion.