Source: "Southwest Africa Follows Chairman Mao," The Black Panther, 16 March 1969, 12-13.

Transcriber's comment: Here, the Black Panthers publish a statement attributed to South West Africa National Union (SWANU) comrades. Pictures of African soldiers and a huge picture of Mao accompany the text of the article in The Black Panther.

The primary intent in making this document available here is not to investigate revolutionary practice in Namibia; for one, MIM is not a world party and does not claim to be vanguard in Namibia. Rather, what this article illustrates is that the early BPP upheld Mao by reprinting Maoist documents verbatim and without comment. This is in addition to their statements explicitly upholding Mao.


March 16, 1969. Pages 12-13.


"The oppressed peoples and nations must not pin their hopes for liberation on the "sensibleness" of imperialism and its lackeys. They will only triumph by strenght[th]ening their unity and persevering in their struggle."[1]

This quotation from Chairman Mao shows us, the South West African people, the correct path for our liberation. It is erroneous to pin our hopes for liberation on the "sensibleness" of the United Nations which is controlled by the U.S. imperialists and their accomplices the Kruschchov revisionists of the Soviet Union.


Under the pretext of protecting the "interests" of a German "Merchant" one Luderitz, and with the connivance of British imperialism, which had vast colonial possessions in the Territory, German imperialism finally effected the colonialization of South West Africa in 1884. Increasing numbers of German colonial troops were brought into the Territory. Our people rose in a war of Resistance to German savagery, which reached explosive proportions in the period between 1903-1907.

South West Africa remained a German colonial possession until after the beginning of the First World War. On July, 1915, the South African colonial troops undertook the conquest of South West Africa.

The First World War was over. The "Mandate System", in regard to former German colonies and the League of Nations became some of the products of the "Peace Settlements". Woodrow Wilson of the United states was instrumental in the creation of the "Mandate system". The League of Nations "mandate" was signed in Geneva on December 17, 1920. The British Government, on whom the "mandate" was originally conferred upon, agreed without hesitation that the "mandate" be exercised on her behalf by the South African colonial authorities. The people of South West Africa were neither asked nor consulted. It was merely a division of the booty between old and new oppressors.

The heinous crime was committed in the name of "the material and moral well-being and the social progress" of the people of South West Africa and under the guise of "international supervision".

Then came the Second World War. Our people were drafted into the armies of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition. They were made to believe that they were fighting for "democracy" and "freedom" throughout the world. The declarations at San Francisco strengthened these false impressions. After the War our people found themselves back into the old position: slaves of oppressive white South Africa and Victims of imperialist treachery. It became very clear as time went on that the imperialist world and the United Nations were more concerned with the question of the balance of world forces which, as a consequence of the outcome of the Second World War, became unfavourable to international imperialism than with the emancipation of colonial peoples.

A "dispute" them[n] arose between the United Nations and South Africa on whether the "Mandate" was still in existence, and that the United Nations had succeeded to the "supervisory" functions formally exercised by the counter-revolutionary League of Nations in respect of South West Africa. This was essentially due to the demands of some Afro-Asian and other friendly nations.

For reasons better known to those who regarded themselves as champions of the cause of the people of South West Africa than the people of South West Africa themselves, this show which was given the label of a "dispute" was taken to the proimperialist International Court of Justice, which, as expected, ruled that South Africa's tyrannical rule over South West Africa should continue. Again our people were neither asked nor consulted.

The events before and after the "ruling" of the Court clearly showed that the high-sounding legal platitudes were merely a cover to provide an appropriate opportunity for different interest-groupings which hold identical positions to hatch schemes against the interests of the South West African People and their movement for political liberation and social emancipation.

In another futile attempt to mislead the awakening people of South West Africa, Africa and the whole world into the belief that the international counter-revolutionaries can liberate the people of South West Africa, U.S. imperialism ordered the United Nations to pass a fraudulent resolution "terminating" South Africa's rule over South West Africa. It was further alleged that the United Nations was assuming a direct "responsibility" over South West Africa. This nonsense was uttered on the 29th of Octov[b]er 1966 and May 1967 respectively. As a result of political squabbles in the United Nations, a so-called Council for South West Africa was manufactured to make this propaganda more believable. But one may ask: What is the purpose of declaring that the people of South West Africa were now free from South African rule in 1966 when, in fact, they remain ruled by South Africa in September 1968? This only helps to further reveal the hypocrisy of those who style themselves as our saviou[r]s.

The so-called Council for South West Africa is merely engaged in endless demo[a]gogy, tourist-excursions and flagrant and irresponsible interference in South West Africa's internal affairs. Our people are carefully watching the activities of this group and its creators.

What has neither failed to escape our attention are the activities of the Khrushchovites without Khrushchov on the question of South West Africa. They deliberately cover up the fact that the imperialists are already in South West Africa. In fact, they themselves are labouring, body and soul, together with U.S. imperialism to "enhance the role of the United Nations".


"They (die-hards) always have many schemes in hand, schemes for profiting at others' expense, for double-dealing, and so on. But they always get the opposite of what they want. They invariably start by doing others harm but end by ruining themselves."[2]

The German philosopher Feuerbach said that those who try to comfort the slaves instead of arousing them to revolt against slavery are helping the slaveowners.


Innumerable historical events (Congo(K), Korea, Palestine, for example) clearly shows that, the United Nations has degenerated into a tool of imperialist aggression whenever the interests of imperialism are at stake, and into a toothless bulldog when the cause of justice and freedom is menaced by the imperialist hawks.

It must be clearly understood that the actions of U.S. imperialism on the question of South West Africa are not only motivated by [continued on p. 13 —Transcriber] political considerations alone, but by economic reasons as well. American capital investment in South West Africa and other related economic interests must not be looked at in isolation from the entire political and economic position of the imperialist world in the whole of southern Africa. It is common knowledge that the social roots of apartheid are invariable[y] found in the imperialist economic system. Consequently, appeals for "an international force" from international capitalism will do us no good.

But as the struggle for mineral wealth between various imperialist countries would continue, the U.S. imperialists are bent on finding ways of putting South West Africa under their direct domination. This would merely be a dog-eat-dog fight and should in no way be seen as a battle to liberate the people of South West Africa. After all how can those who oppress the Vietnamese people, the people of the Dominican Republic, the people of the whole world all of a sudden become so magnanimous in our case?


We in Swanu shall go our own way, we shall handle our affairs in our own fashion. While we do claim that everything is good with us, and it is possible that we have many shortcomings, we remain firm in our conviction that it is only the people of South West Africa alone who must liberate themselves; it is only the strategy and tactics of People's War formulated by Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and creatively applied to the concrete practice of the South West African Revolution that would lead our people along the road of genuine national liberation.

We sincerely believe that this is the only correct road for our people to take. Consequently, we hold the view that a distinction must be made between a genuine guerrilla warfare anchored in the masses and the actions of a group of people forced by the thier leaders to "go back home and fight" in order to create a bait for collecting dollars and roubles abroad.


"The revolutionary war is a war of the masses; it can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them."[3]

Whatever our own difficulties, we honestly believe that without mobilizing the broad masses of the people, primarily the people in the country-side, establishing revolutionary base areas and following the strategy of encircling the cities from the country-side, neither big parades of "trainees" abroad, vagabond mentality nor the actions of a few people can push the cause of our people forward. Recent developments in South West Africa and some other Latin American and African countries clearly speak for themselves.

We in the South West Africa National Union believe that our difficulties are temporary and that a bright future is lying ahead of us, however long that may take.

Chairman Mao has taught us:

"The reactionary forces and we both have difficulties. But the difficulties of the reactionary forces are insurmountable because they are forces on the verge of death and have no future. Our difficulties can be overcome because we are new and rising force and have a bright future."[4]


All Power to the People


1. "Dare to Struggle and Dare to Win," in Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1967). <>.

2. "New-Democratic Constitutional Government," in Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1967). <>.

3. "People's War," in Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1967). <>.

4. "Self-reliance and Arduous Struggle," in Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1967). <>.

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