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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 433

Paragraph Numbers 279 to 283

Volume 6

Section 3

Chapter 4

Subsection 24


Political and military leadership
1960s: PAC National Working Committee/Task Force/Poqo

279. The PAC explained in its submission that the response of the government to the anti-pass campaign (the Sharpeville massacre) led to the ‘formation of rudimentary units comprising mainly task force members. Armed operations were carried out at Bashee, Paarl, Ntlonze and Queenstown between 1960 and 1962’. Poqo was formed in September 1961, following the formation of underground cells and the decision to embark on armed struggle and target police stations, postoffices , power installations, fuel depots and various government buildings. In addition, white suburbs were selected as targets. Branches, theoretically consisting of no more than fifteen members, were set up. In larger branches, smaller cells were set up – with their own small committees and ‘task force’ leaders. The task forc e was made up of foot soldiers to be in a state of readiness at all times. Foot soldiers also served as the organisation ’s police who stood guard during meetings.

280. While the PAC Disciplinary Code encouraged members to air their views ‘and to agree or disagree with all or any member of the movement, including the leader …’, there were incidents where action was taken against those who disagreed openly with the leadership. No political education programme was provided for members. Such a programme would have helped members define who the enemy was, rather than inciting the membership to kill whites and their informers in a m o re general way. Where the enemy was not clearly defined, gross abuses of human rights were inevitable. Some of the violations committed by PAC or Poqo members took place during this period.

212 See Chapter Two of this section.
1962: Revolutionary Council

281. Mr Potlako Leballo (founding PAC national secretary and acting president in exile) set up the Revolutionary Council in Lesotho, which was to plan and execute the next phase of the PAC struggle to overthrow white domination and establish ‘an Africanist socialist democracy’ via Poqo cells.

282. In the late 1960s, the PAC established a base in exile, headquartered first in Lusaka, Zambia and later in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. It established missions in eighteen countries and began a programme of military instruction for PA C members: first in the Congo alongside the FNLA213 and later in Ghana and Algeria.

213 National Front for the Liberation of Angola
1968: Formation of APLA/PAC High Command and Military Commission

283. APLA was founded in exile in 1968 and the PAC planned for the infiltration of trained guerrillas into South Africa. After 1975, members of the APLA High Command were despatched to the frontline states to prepare an underground trail.

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