Aspects of the Struggle: Youth; Women; Trade Unions; Community Organizations; The Church


  • - The Editors



Race, Philosophy, Inequality, Labor


In late August 1985 the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) was outlawed by Minister of Law and Order Louis Le Grange. The banning of the UDF-affiliated black high school students' organization constituted an admission by the apartheid state of the central role played by African youth in the struggle. Since the student-inspired Soweto uprising of 1976, the demands of African youth have started off with school-related grievances but have invariably grown to include community-wide and class-related issues. COSAS in fact must rank first on Le Grange's hit list. Prior to the declaration of the state of emergency, the majority of the 215 people detained under the Internal Security Act were members of COSAS, and between the imposition of the state of emergency (July 21) and the outlawing of the organization (August 28), more than 500 of its cadres were detained." This meant that COSAS militants alone represented nearly 20 percent of all South African political detainees; furthermore, 50 percent of these detainees were sixteen years old or less. (Discussion by Pierre Bigras, Stephanie Urdang, Jon Lewis, Avril Joffe, and Gail Hovey.)