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ANC strategy, which emerged in the late 1960s but gained momentum during the 1970s and 1980s, was defined by what was called the "Four Pillars of Struggle”: mass mobilisation, the armed struggle, underground organisation and international solidarity.

Numerous countries across the world provided support to South Africa’s liberation movement in various forms, such as political and economic pressure on the apartheid government, asylum for political activists forced into exile, military training, humanitarian aid, and, crucially, funding that enabled the liberation movement to operate effectively.

The support of the international community was a significant factor in overthrowing the apartheid state, leading to the first democratic elections in 1994, proving beyond a doubt the importance of the fourth pillar of the struggle.

‘International solidarity is a precondition to human dignity, the basis of all human rights, and a human-centred approach to development, and has a bridge-building function across all divides and distinctions.

It encompasses the values of social justice and equity; goodwill among peoples and nations, and integrity of the international community; sovereignty and sovereign equality of all States, and friendly relations among them.’

Rudi Muhammad, report to the UN Human Rights Council, 2010

‘ Given the number of people that participated in the transnational anti-apartheid movement, as well as its geographical dispersion and its achievements, there is no doubt that it was one of the most influential social movements during the post-war era.‘ Håkan Thörn


What the pandemic has starkly highlighted and shown is as global citizens we must move away from the selfish inward introspection, that has taken hold of our body-politick, and acknowledge the only we can truly begin to address and tackle the global challenges confronting us is if we come together in solidarity.

Should we continue along the path of selfish indifference, the politics of “I” and the inward-looking focus that has taken hold of the real-body politick, it will do nothing to help us effectively address the challenges ahead of us.

The challenge now is to rebuild the bridges of multilateralism predicated on the foundations of solidarity – an awareness of shared, common interests and objectives.

Through the exhibits at Liliesleaf on solidarity, which vividly highlight the support shown and given by the international community to the liberation movement in its struggle against apartheid, Liliesleaf is committed to reigniting the bonds of solidarity predicated on those very meaningful and significant bonds of support which contributed towards defeating apartheid and the apartheid state.

Below is the link to a 3 minute Solidarity Promo the Liliesleaf professional team put together.

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