Pan Africanist Congress of Azania

Pan Africanist Congress of Azania
President Alton Mphethi
Chairperson Bishop Waters Toboti
Secretary-General Narius Moloto
Founder Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
Slogan Izwe Lethu!!
Our Land!!
Founded 6 April 1959 (1959-04-06)
Split from African National Congress
Headquarters 10th Floor, Marble Towers, cnr Eloff & Marshall Streets, Johannesburg, Gauteng[1]
Student wing Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania
Youth wing Pan Africanist Youth Congress of Azania
Women's wing Pan Africanist Women's Organisation
Paramilitary wing Azanian People's Liberation Army (formerly)
Ideology Pan-Africanism,
Black nationalism,
African socialism
Political position Left-wing
National Assembly seats
1 / 400
Party flag
Politics of South Africa
Political parties

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (once known as the Pan Africanist Congress, abbreviated as the PAC) is a South African Black Nationalist movement, and is now a political party. It was founded by an Africanist group, led by Robert Sobukwe, that broke away from the African National Congress (ANC).[2]


  • History 1
  • Ideology 2
  • Leadership struggles 3
  • Election results 4
    • National elections 4.1
    • Provincial elections 4.2
    • Municipal elections 4.3
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The PAC was formally launched on 6 April 1959 at Orlando Communal Hall in Soweto. A number of African National Congress (ANC) members broke away because they objected to the substitution of the 1949 Programme of Action with the Freedom Charter adopted in 1955. Further they objected to the inclusion of other national groups such as the Communist Party of South Africa. Robert Sobukwe was elected as the first president, and Potlako Leballo as the Secretary General.

On 21 March 1960, the PAC organised a campaign against pass laws. People gathered in the townships of Sharpeville and Langa where Sobukwe and other top leaders were arrested and later convicted for incitement. Sobukwe was sentenced to three years and Potlako Leballo to two years in prison. Sobukwe died in Kimberley, Cape Province, 1978 of lung cancer. Immediately after the Sharpeville massacre the National Party Government banned both the ANC and PAC on 8 April 1960. The PAC responded by founding its armed wing, the Azanian People's Liberation Army.


The PAC followed the idea that the South African Government should be constituted by the African people owing their allegiance only to Africa, as stated by Sobukwe in the inaugural speech of the PAC:

"We aim, politically, at government of the Africans by the Africans, for the Africans, with everybody who owes his only loyalty to Africa and who is prepared to accept the democratic rule of an African majority being regarded as an African."[3]

It is Pan Africanism with three principles of African Marcus Garvey, Martin Delany, Kwame Nkrumah, and W. E. B. Du Bois.

Leadership struggles

In recent times, the PAC has been beset by infighting and has had numerous changes of leadership. In August 2013, the PAC elected Alton Mphethi as president, after previous leader Letlapa Mphahlele was expelled in May amidst allegations of attempting to cause division in the party, financial impropriety and poor quality leadership.[4][5]

A faction of the PAC continued to regard Mphahlele as leader. The matter was resolved in the courts, with Mpheti eventually being confirmed as party leader for the 2014 election.[6][7]

Mpheti has since been charged with murder for the death of a Swazi national, Mthunzi Mavundla.[8]

Luthando Mbinda was elected president at the 2014 congress in Botshabelo, while Letlapa Mphahlele was elected in July 2015 in Manguang. Mbinda claimed that Mphahlele's election was not valid, as he was not a valid member, while Mphahlele is challenging his expulsion in court.

while, who was expelled alongside others two years ago, was unlawfully elected president last weekend in Mangaung. That gathering “was not a PAC congress, expelled members cannot hold a congress”, said Mbinda, adding that while Mphahlele was challenging his expulsion in court, this matter had yet to be finalised.

In the meantime, the Independent Electoral Commission has suspended the party's statutory fund’s allocations until there is clarity about who leads the party. [9]

Election results

National elections

Election Votes % Seats
2014 37,784 0.21 1
2009 48,530 0.27 1
2004 113,512 0.73 3
1999 113,125 0.78 3
1994 243,478 1.25 5

Provincial elections

Election Eastern Cape Free State Gauteng KwaZulu-Natal Limpopo Mpumalanga North-West Northern Cape Western Cape
% Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats % Seats
2014 0.44% 0/63 0.21% 0/30 0.26% 0/73 0.08% 0/80 0.29% 0/49 0.23% 0/30 0.14% 0/33 0.11% 0/30 0.17% 0/42
2009 0.54% 0/63 0.33% 0/30 0.31% 0/73 0.07% 0/80 0.53% 0/49 0.32% 0/30 0.26% 0/33 0.22% 0/30 0.23% 0/42
2004 1.00% 1/63 1.18% 0/30 0.85% 1/73 0.19% 0/80 0.94% 0/49 0.69% 0/30 0.84% 0/33 0.43% 0/30 0.42% 0/42
1999 1.14% 1/63 1.15% 0/30 0.73% 0/73 0.26% 0/80 1.41% 1/49 0.66% 0/30 0.74% 0/33 0.66% 0/30 0.49% 0/42
1994 2.04% 1/56 1.81% 0/30 1.47% 1/86 0.73% 1/81 1.27% 1/40 1.63% 0/30 1.73% 0/30 0.93% 0/30 1.06% 0/42

Municipal elections

Election Votes %
2011 118,822 0.4%
2006 306,747 1.2%
2000 1.2%
1995-96 104,455 1.2%

See also


  1. ^ Pan Africanist Congress of Azania. "Contacts". Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) (South African organization)". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  3. ^ "Robert Sobukwe Inaugural Speech, April 1959". South African History Online - Towards a People's History. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  4. ^ Ntokozo Sindane (2013-08-11). "PAC Announces New Party President". The Public News Hub. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  5. ^ "PAC to plot a new path". The Citizen. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  6. ^ "PAC hits campaign trail after leadership fight ends". Herald Live. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC)". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "I lied about murder to protect my wife’s dignity – Alton Mphethi". City Press. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Marianne Merten (10 July 2015). "PAC court bid to get its IEC funding". Independent Online. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 

External links

  • Official Website of the Pan Africanist Congress
  • Pan Africanist Congress Publications Collection 1958-1995
  • Archival Information can be found at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York: Congress of South Africa
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