Umkhonto we Sizwe: what was it, what happened there and who was there ? Jabulani Radebe an ex Mk militant speaks of his experience of being part of this Organization.
MK was formed on the 16th of December in 1961 by the ANC (African National Congress), after it's banning in 1960 Umkhonto we Sizwe (spear of the nation) came into being and after all the peaceful means to end the apartheid regime were exhausted. Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) was thus essentially the military wing of the ANC but more especially MK was considered a political army. Units of Umkhonto we Sizwe constantly carried out planned attacks against Government installations.
Particularly those connected with the policy of apartheid and race discrimination as they were totally against apartheid and anything that was connected to this system. Umkhonto we Sizwe primarily aimed to carry on the struggle for freedom and democracy by new methods, which were necessary to complement the actions of the established national liberation movement, and members of Umkhonto we Sizwe jointly and individually, placed themselves under the overall political guidance of that movement.
After the establishment of this armed wing, MK suffered a serious setback with the arrests of its leadership at the Liliesleaf farm in Rivonia, where the headquarters of MK's operations had been set up. Amongst the people arrested in Rivonia were Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu just to mention a few. This political army which often operated from outside the country to carry out its sabotage operations operated from neighboring countries like Zimbabwe (formerly known as Rhodesia), Mozambique, Zambia and Angola. These same countries were the counties where the cadres of the MK where trained basics of how to use weapons and the basics of being militants.
The eighties was one of the most prosperous periods for Umkhonto we Sizwe and this same period was the time that the MK experienced the second major wave of recruits to join the movement, fuelled by the Vaal uprisings in September 1984. This signaled what was to come, when the country was engulfed by mass protests. MK experienced phenomenal growth. Of these new members, a few went to further their studies, whilst others worked for the various structures of the African National Congress. The majority of current MK members joined during this period. This same period was also one of the most successful periods in that the operations were quite successful and the operation that stands out by far is the Sasol refinery bomb in 1980 as well as the bomb outside Church Street in Pretoria.
In the documentary Umkhonto we Sizwe: what happened and who was there , Jabulani Radebe an ex Mk militant speaks of his experience of being part of this Organization and he also goes on to speak about what happened within the Mk and how thing were done. AS there are certain people who claim to have being part of the Mk and with influence, Mr. Radebe also goes on to set the record straight of who was there within the MK and how influential these people were.