Azanian People's Organisation
The Azanian People's Organisation (AZAPO) is a South African political party and a former liberation movement. The organisation's two student wings are the Azanian Students' Movement (AZASM) for high school learners and the other being for university level students called the Azanian Students' 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, Abram Onkgopotse Tiro and Vuyelwa Mashalaba, as well as Marxist Scientific Socialism.
|First Secretary||Mbulelo Ketye|
|Secretary-General||Zithulele Nyangana Cindi|
|Honourary President||Mosibudi Mangena|
|Founder||Stephen Biko, Abram Onkgopotse Tiro, Mthuli ka Shezi, Mapetla Mohapi, Mongezi Sifika wa Nkomo and others.|
|Founded||28 April 1978|
|Merger of||BCMA in exile and AZAPO inside South Africa|
|Preceded by||Black People's Convention (BPC)|
|Headquarters||Office Number 3, 5th Floor, Corner House, 77 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg|
|Student wing||Azanian Students' Convention (AZASCO)|
|Youth wing||Azanian Youth Organisation (AZAYO)|
|Women's wing||Imbeleko Women's Organisation|
|Armed wing||Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA)|
|Student Wing for High School Students||Azanian Students' Movement (AZASM)|
|Political position||Left-wing to far-left|
|Colours||Black, Red, and Orange|
|Slogan||The People's Movement"|
|National Assembly seats|
0 / 400
Azapo was formed out of the prominent black consciousness organisations namely, Black People's Convention (BPC), the South African Students' Organisation (SASO) and the Black Community Programmes (BCP). These were three of the 17 black consciousness organisations that were banned on Wednesday, 19 October 1977 for their role in the 16 June 1976 Soweto uprisings. A year after the formation of AZAPO, in September 1979, at its conference in Roodepoort, the national executive was formed with Curtis Nkondo as its president.:436 During 1987, AZAPO was banned by the South African government and forced underground and into exile.:436 It would be unbanned in 1990.:436 In October 1994, AZAPO merged with its sister organisation in exile, the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCMA).:436
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.
The armed wing of AZAPO was the Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA) which received support and military training in China, Libya, Botswana, Palestine, Syria, Zimbabwe and Eritrea. There was an agreement with Iraq to train AZANLA combatants but that was thwarted by the First Gulf War in 1990. During the 1980s, it was engaged in a bloody internecine feud with the ANC.
AZAPO, along with its youth wing AZAYO were unbanned in 1990, which permitted it to continue its political programs legally. It was invited, but refused to participate in, the negotiations to end apartheid, a decision which led to the resignation of two senior members, Monwabisi Vuza and Imraan Moosa. The party then boycotted the 1994 elections, but has participated in each of the elections since then. On 21 March 1998 a faction broke away to form the Socialist Party of Azania (SOPA). AZAPO won one seat in each of the 1999, 2004 and 2009 elections, but failed to win a seat in the 2014 general election.
The current leader (National President) of the party is Strike Thokoane.
In 2017, Strike Thokoane was elected as the new president of AZAPO, during the party's 39th national congress in Soweto.
Negotiations with SOPAEdit
|Election||Total votes||Share of vote||Seats||+/–||Government|
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|Election||Eastern Cape||Free State||Gauteng||Kwazulu-Natal||Limpopo||Mpumalanga||North-West||Northern Cape||Western Cape|
- Maaba, Brown Bavusile (2001). "The Archives of the Pan Africanist Congress and the Black Consciousness-Orientated Movements". History in Africa. 28: 417–438. doi:10.2307/3172227. JSTOR 3172227.
- "Azanian People's Organization (AZAPO)". South African History online. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Strike Thokoane elected new Azapo leader". African Times Online News Website South | West | East | North | Africa. 2017-05-07. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
- "Azapo, Sopa merge ahead of polls". Independent Online. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Impasse thwarts Azapo, Sopa merger". Independent Online. 5 December 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Results Dashboard". www.elections.org.za. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
- "Results Summary - All Ballots" (PDF). elections.org.za. Retrieved 11 August 2016.