Defiance Campaign

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Fighter for liberation of South Africa Nelson Mandela on a 1988 USSR commemorative stamp

The Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws was presented by the African National Congress (ANC) at a conference held in Bloemfontein, South Africa in December 1951.[1]

The ANC decided to implement a national action the following year based on non-cooperation with certain laws considered unjust and discriminatory. The conference in the course of a lengthy public statement on this historic decision stated:

Demonstrations in support of the Defiance Principles were organised for 6 April 1952, the 300th anniversary of white settlement in the Cape of Southern Africa.

Of approximately 10,000 people who protested the apartheid laws, around 8,500 of them were imprisoned, including Nelson Mandela.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Lodge, Tom (1983). Black Politics in South Africa since 1945. London and New York: Longman. p. 39. ISBN 0-582-64327-9.