Azanian People's Organisation
|Azanian People's Organisation|
|Chairperson||Zithulele Nyangana Absalom Cindi|
|Slogan||The People's Alternative|
|Founded||28 April 1978|
|Merger of||BCMA and Azapo|
|Preceded by||Black People's Convention|
|Headquarters||Suite 702, Nedbank Building, 145 Smal Street, Johannesburg|
|Student wing||Azanian Student's Convention|
|Youth wing||Azanian Youth Organisation|
|Liberation Army||Azanian National Liberation Army
|Colours||Black, Red, and Orange|
|National Assembly seats|
|Politics of South Africa
The Azanian People's Organisation, or AZAPO is a South African political organisation and a former liberation movement. The organisation's two student wings are the Azanian Student's Movement (AZASM) for high school learners and the other being for tertiary students called the Azanian Student's Convention (AZASCO), its women's wing is Imbeleko Women's Organisation, simply known as IMBELEKO. Its inspiration is drawn from the Black Consciousness Movement philosophies developed by Steve Biko, Onkgopotse Tiro and Vuyelwa Mashalaba.
It was founded in 1978 out of three organisations: the Black People's Convention (BPC), the South African Students' Organisation (SASO) and the Black Community Programmes (BCP). These were three of a number of black consciousness organisations that were banned on Wednesday, 19 October 1977 for their role in the armed resistance and the 16 June 1976 Soweto uprisings. In October 1994, AZAPO merged with its sister organisation in exile, the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCMA).
AZAPO campaigned for the isolation of South Africa during its apartheid years by waging a so-called "cultural boycott" in the country; black people increasingly regained their resolve to fight for their rights and formed trade unions and civic organisations that drew the blueprint for the conduct of struggles by civil society.
During the Apartheid era, the armed wing of AZAPO was the Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA) which received support and military training in Libya, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Eritrea.There was an agreement with Iraq to train AZANLA combantants but that was thwarted by the invasion of Iraq by the US in 1990.
On 21 March 1998 a faction broke away to form the Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA)
During the 1980s, it was engaged in a bloody internecine feud with the ANC. Since then, AZAPO has carried on as a small political party, winning two seats to the South African Parliament at the 2004 general election, though this was reduced to one seat after a recount. The current leader of the party is Jacob Dikobo. Their three platforms in 2006 include:
- Stretch the Rand Campaign - Support black owned businesses.
- Defend Democracy Campaign - Eliminate the floor crossing provisions of the South African Parliament
- Save Mumia Abu-Jamal Campaign - Free a Black Panther activist