Pan Africanist Congress of Azania

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Pan Africanist Congress of Azania
President Alton Mphethi
Chairperson Bishop Waters Toboti
Secretary-General Narius Moloto
Founder Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
Slogan Izwe Lethu!!
Our Land!!
Founded 6 April 1959 (1959-04-06)
Split from African National Congress
Headquarters 10th Floor, Marble Towers, cnr Eloff & Marshall Streets, Johannesburg, Gauteng[1]
Student wing Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania
Youth wing Pan Africanist Youth Congress of Azania
Women's wing Pan Africanist Women's Organisation
Paramilitary wing Azanian People's Liberation Army (formerly)
Ideology Pan-Africanism,
Black nationalism,
African socialism
Political position Left-wing
National Assembly seats
1 / 400
Party flag
Pac sa flag.gif
Politics of South Africa
Political parties

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (once known as the Pan Africanist Congress, abbreviated as the PAC) is a South African Black Nationalist[2] movement, and is now a minor political party. It was founded by Robert Sobukwe.


The PAC was formally launched on 6 April 1959 at Orlando Communal Hall in Soweto. A number of African National Congress (ANC) members broke away because they objected to the substitution of the 1949 Programme of Action with the Freedom Charter adopted in 1955. Further they objected to the inclusion of other national groups such as the Communist Party of South Africa. Robert Sobukwe was elected as the first president, and Potlako Leballo as the Secretary General.

On 21 March 1960, the PAC organized a campaign against pass laws. People gathered in Sharpeville and Langa and Sobukwe and other top leaders were arrested and later convicted for incitement. Sobukwe was sentenced to three years and Potlako Leballo to two years in prison. Sobukwe died in Kimberley, Cape Province, 1978 of lung cancer. Immediately after the Sharpeville massacre the National Party Government banned both the ANC and PAC on 8 April 1960. The PAC responded by founding its armed wing, the Azanian People's Liberation Army.


The PAC followed the idea that the South African Government should be constituted by the African people owing their allegiance only to Africa, as stated by Sobukwe in the inaugural speech of the PAC:

"We aim, politically, at government of the Africans by the Africans, for the Africans, with everybody who owes his only loyalty to Africa and who is prepared to accept the democratic rule of an African majority being regarded as an African."[3]

It is Pan Africanism with three principles of African nationalism, socialism, and continental unity. Its body of ideas drew largely from the teachings of Anton Lembede, George Padmore, Marcus Garvey, Martin Delany, Kwame Nkrumah, and W. E. B. Du Bois.

Leadership struggles[edit]

In recent times, the PAC has been beset by infighting and has had numerous changes of leadership. In August 2013, the PAC elected Alton Mphethi as president, after previous leader Letlapa Mphahlele was expelled in May amidst allegations of attempting to cause division in the party, financial impropriety and poor quality leadership [4][5]

Election results[edit]

National elections[edit]

Election Votes % Seats
2009 48,530 0.27 1
2004 113,512 0.73 3
1999 113,125 0.78 3
1994 243,478 1.25 5

Municipal elections[edit]

Election Votes %
2011 118,822 0.4%
2006 306,747 1.2%
2000 1.2%
1995-96 104,455 1.2%

See also[edit]


External links[edit]