Concerning Marxism & National Liberation

Translated by
Willfred F. Feuser

Copyright: Franz J. T. Lee,
for the translation
W. F. Feuser.
November, 1982

This book, in its German edition, had the honour of coming under the censorship axe of apartheid; it was forbidden to possess, to cite or to read in South Africa.


This is a duplicate copied from the last existing book available in English in the archives of the University Library of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt on Main, Germany, under the signature Q 82/488/25  82488251T. This duplicate has been hand written by Iris Bühler and Stella Bühler between 1996 and 1998, as there was no way to photocopy the book, due to its unsharp and mostly faded printing. Orthographic errors have been corrected.

Final revision, editing and conversion of the manuscript into html-format by Jutta Schmitt.

Furthermore, deliberately we have not updated the original manuscript, in order to avoid the violation of the flowing truths of yester-millennium.


Original Title: Südafrika vor der Revolution?
Copyright: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH,
Frankfurt am Main, 1973.
ISBN: 346 016446

About this book

     The climatic conditions in Southern Africa have always appeared very attractive from the Central European point of view. For this reason oppressed and landless peasants especially from the Netherlands, England, France and Portugal at an early period started emigrating to the territories of what is at present known as the Republic of South Africa, Rhodesia, Mozambique and Angola. The very first contacts with the European powers had already brought about the decline of the great African empires such as Zimbabwe, Azania, Congo etc. so that the settlers found it easy to continue in turn the oppression they themselves had suffered in Europe and to reduce the indigenous African population to serfdom.

     These conditions, which date back to the early colonial period and European feudalism, have in more recent times been adapted to our industrial age through categories which are partly borrowed from German Fascism: „master race“, „racial purity“, „Bantustans“ (in actual fact residential areas for industrial reserve armies) etc. At the same time, however, the oppressed majority of the population is beginning to search for new ways of liberating itself from the white minority. The history of these liberation movements and their likely future development against the socio-economic background of South Africa is described in this book, which is the revised and enlarged version of a doctoral dissertation entitled "The Influence of Marxism on the National Liberation Movements in South Africa".

About the Author

     Franz John Tennyson Lee, born in Ficksburg in 1938, is a South African classified as „Coloured“ by the racist legislation of his home country. He has been living in the Federal Republic of Germany since


1962 where he studied Political Science, Philosophy and History under Professors Ernst Bloch, Theodor W. Adorno and Iring W. Fetscher. He obtained his Ph.D degree at the University of Frankfurt on the Main in 1970. Since January 1972, Dr. Lee has been a Senior Lecturer in Political Sciences at the Fachhochschule Darmstadt (Darmstadt University of Technology).

     Between April 1977 and March 1979, the author lectured at the University of Guyana, Georgetown, in the Department of Political Science and Law, of which he was Acting-Head of Department during the Academic year 1978/1979. Since September 1979, he joined the staff of the post-graduate department of the University of the Andes, Mérida, Venezuela, as Professor of International Politics, where he is still teaching. Between November 1982 and July 1983, as Visiting Scholar, he lectured at the University of Port Harcourt, in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies.

     Dr. Lee has published various works. Among them are: Technische Intelligenz und Klassenkampf  (1974); Teoría-Praxis de la Revolución-Emancipación (1983). He also made contributions to other books: „Raíces históricas y socio-económicas de la ideología del racismo: Sudáfrica y Guyana“, in Guyana Hoy (ed. R. G. de Romero, 1982); „Dependence and Revolutionary Theory: Relevance to the African Situation“, in Political Science in Africa: A Critical Review ( ed. Yolamu R. Barongo, 1983). At the end of 1983, the University of the Andes Press is publishing  his latest work: "Socialismo Cooperativista" en Guyana: Ocaso de un Mito.


DECEASED  11. MARCH,  1975



Both victims of Apartheid
like the millions of  South
African freedom fighters
whose names will never be
recorded in official history.

Download the complete English version in “.doc”-format (600 kbyte)




Foreword to the English Edition                                                                                   (7)

Chapter 1:  Political Literature on South Africa                                               (11)

   A:   Publications in the Federal Republic of Germany                                              (11)
   B:   On the historiography of the South African Liberation movements                   (16)

Chapter 2:   Concerning the History of the South African Liberation movements                                                                                     (22)

   A:   The transitorial period  (1880 - 1910 )                                                                (24)
   B:   The African political awakening                                                                         (31)
          1.  From forms of tribal organization to national political movements              (31)
          2.  The rise of politico-religious movements                                                      (36)
               a)   The Bulhoek Massacre, May 1921                                                          (38)
               b)   The Bondelswart Massacre, May 1922                                                   (40)
          3.   The beginnings of the Trade Union movement                                             (41)
          4.   The foundation of the All African Convention, 1936                                   (45)

   C:   The attempt to form a united front of the oppressed (1943 - 1960)                    (49)
   D:   The social revolutionary development since 1960                                              (54)
          1.   The foundation of the African People´s Democratic Union of Southern
                Africa  ( APDUSA )                                                                                    (57)
          2.   The foundation of underground movements developing methods of
                guerilla warfare                                                                                           (58)
                a)   Poqo and Umkhonto we Siswe                                                              (58)
                b)   The foundation of the Yu Chi Chan Club  (YCCC), later renamed
                       National Liberation Front of South Africa  (NLF)                               (59)
   E:    Summary                                                                                                          (64)


Chapter 3:   Trotskyism and Stalinism in South Africa                                  (67)

   A:   Concerning the theory of socialist revolution                                                     (67)
   B:   The genesis of the theory of Trotskyism and its development                             (73)
   C:   The criticism of Trotskyism in South Africa                                                      (82)
   D:   The policy of the Communist Party of South Africa                                          (83)
   E:   The criticism of Stalinism in South Africa                                                          (95)

Chapter 4:    The Land and National Questions in South Africa                 (96)

   A:   Preliminary remark                                                                                           (96)
   B:   Historical background                                                                                       (97)

          1. The land question                                                                                           (97)
          2. The national question                                                                                    (107)
          3. Main theses                                                                                                   (110)
   C:   The position of the  Socialist groupings                                                             (111)

          1. General                                                                                                         (111)
          2. The Sparacist theses                                                                                      (113)
          3. The political theories of the Trotskyites                                                         (116)
   D:   Trotsky´s „Letter to South Africa“                                                                    (121)

Chapter 5:    National liberation movements before and after Sharpeville                                                                         (128)

   A:   The African National Congress (ANC)                                                            (128)
   B:   The Panafricanist Congress (PAC)                                                                  (135)
   C:   The Unity Movement of South Africa (UMSA)                                               (141)

          1.  The struggle for national liberation (1935-1945)                                        (142)
          2.  The transition to a conscious class struggle (1945-1965)                            (143)
          3.  Incipient guerrilla warfare (1965 to date)                                                    (145)

   D:   The Liberation Struggle in Namibia                                                                (149)

          1.  The history of German colonialism                                                            (149)
          2.  Annexation by South Africa                                                                       (150)
          3.  The emancipation movement                                                                     (151)


Chapter 6:  Who will change South Africa?                                                     (155)

   A:   On the problem of the qualitative and quantitative strength of the
          liberation movements in South Africa                                                              (155)
   B:   On the problem of the social basis of the revolution                                         (158)

Chapter 7:  The Armed Struggle                                                                          (170)

   A:   Concerning the problem of violence                                                                   (170)
   B:   The present situation                                                                                          (171)
   C:   On the revolutionary strategy of the guerrilla in South Africa                             (175)
   D:   The formulation of a Revolutionary Theory for South Africa                            (182)

          1.  Structural economic changes since the ‘Sixties'                                             (182)
          2.  „Consultation“ and „Dialogue“                                                                    (185)
          3.  The Necessity of a Theory of Underdevelopment for South Africa                (191)
          4.  On the Theory of Underdevelopment                                                            (197)


Appendices                                                                                                                  (202)
Abbreviations                                                                                                              (202)

Bibliography                                                                                                                (203)

       A.  Primary sources                                                                                               (203)
       B.  Secondary literature                                                                                         (208)
       C.  Miscellaneous                                                                                                  (213)
       D.  Brochures                                                                                                        (217)
       E.  Periodicals, journals and newspapers                                                               (217)
       F.  Author’s publications, 1963-1975                                                                     (219)


       I.   Trotsky’s „Letter on the National and Agrarian Struggles in
             South Africa“ (1933)                                                                                          (222)
       II.  Democratic Ten Point Programme of the AAC, NEUM, SOYA,
             CPSU, APDUSA, etc. (1943)                                                                               (228)
       III. The Freedom Charter (1955)                                                                              (230)
       IV. Pamphlet No. III, published by the N.L.F. (1961)                                              (234)