Azania Komitee

The Azania Komitee was officially founded in October 1974 and its objective was to support the liberation movements in South Africa in their struggle against the colonial Apartheid regime. The term Azania is the name of liberation for many people and movements in South Africa.

Setting up the Azania Komitee originated in the fact that in the Netherlands Anti-Apartheid Movements AABN (Anti-Apartheid Movement Netherlands), BOA (Boycott Outspan Action) and KZA (Committee South Africa) exclusively supported and informed only about the ANC (African National Congress). Other resistance organizations, including their campaigns and political prisoners, were barely mentioned, trivialised and inadequately represented. Pan-Africanism and Black Consciousness e.g. were labelled anti-white racism. The initiators of the Azania Komitee wanted to correct that unjust situation. For the Azania Komitee the struggle and sacrifices of the black South Africans/Azanians and their liberation movements were their point of focus. They were crucial. Solidarity movements could only exist through the struggle and the pain there and had to establish a cause and effect relationship with racism, colonial past and neo-colonial present here.

Basically the Azania Komitee supported all liberation organizations and related movements in their efforts towards unity in the resistance against the Apartheid regime. It was considered to be a neo-colonial attitude from the West to establish which was the ‘best’ movement. We wanted to help prevent a situation in which external opportunist manoeuvres would define the ultimate conditions for the struggle.

The liberation movements in exile and resistance organizations in the country supported by the Azania Komitee were a.o.:

  • ANC (African National Congress) with the armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation)
  • PAC (Pan Africanist Congress of Azania) with the armed wing Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA), previously Poqo
  • BCM (Black Consciousness Movement of Azania) with AZANLA (Azanian National Liberation Army)
  • AZAPO (Azanian People’s Organisation)
  • CAL (Cape Action League), later WOSA (Workers Organisation for Socialist Action)
  • National Forum and UDF
  • Black trade unions, youth and student organizations, community organizations etc.

The activities of the Azania Komitee comprised a.o. publishing publications and the magazines Azania Vrij and Azania Presscuttings, fundraising (through de Stichting Steun het Volk van Azania) for resistance organizations and political prisoners, campaigns for political prisoners (a.o. preventing applying the death penalty of the Sharpeville Six and Upington 14), organizing information evenings, Sharpeville events and Soweto Commemorations with representatives of black resistance, picket lines and protests. In addition the Azania Komitee was actively involved in anti-racists campaigns in their own country and supported actions of South African/Azanian refugees that stayed in the Netherlands.

The members of the Azania Komitee were volunteers who worked at no personal benefit from home.

De activiteiten van het Azania Komitee bestonden onder andere uit het uitgeven van publicaties en de periodieken Azania Vrij en Azania Presscuttings, fondsenwerving (via de Stichting Steun het Volk van Azania) voor verzetsorganisaties en politieke gevangenen, campagnes voor politieke gevangenen (o.a. voorkoming uitvoering doodstraf van de Sharpeville Six en Upington 14), het organiseren van informatieavonden, manifestaties Sharpeville en Soweto Herdenkingen met vertegenwoordigers van het zwarte verzet, picketlines en demonstraties. Daarnaast nam het Azania Komitee ook actief deel aan antiracistische acties in eigen land en steunde ook activiteiten van in Nederland verblijvende vluchtelingen uit Zuid-Afrika/Azania.

Het Azania Komitee bestond uit vrijwilligers die belangeloos werkten vanuit huis.