n Africa Insight - The ANC and the 'myth' of liberation solidarity - 'othering' in post-apartheid South(ern) Africa

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


In the official narratives concerning Southern Africa's former national liberation movements, the concept of a collective, regional solidarity in the struggle against white minority rule features prominently. Since gaining political power in 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) has consistently repeated the mantra that the unwavering assistance and solidarity from its kindred movements was vital to its success. However, lingering beneath this façade, the reality is entirely different; instead a picture emerges of inter-party disputes, a litany of broken promises and soured relations. Yet, a collective amnesia prevails, which has been replaced by a self-serving portrayal of history designed to suit their current political demands centred on the continued retention of power. Focusing primarily on the ANC, this article seeks to delve into the 'myths' by examining the historic origins of liberation solidarity; revealing the problems in the official narrative; and demonstrating the continued importance of the solidarity 'myth' today.

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