Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)

By: Alexander Stodolski


The Pan African Congress (PAC) is a political party whose presence in the South African political landscape. Starting on 6 April 1959 the PAC was formed at Orlando Community Hall in Soweto, and lasting to the present. The PAC’s was created because of the lack of consensus on the African debate within the African National Congress (ANC). When the Freedom Charter was passed at Kilptown in 1955, those who championed the Africanist ideological stance felt that this was a betrayal of the struggle of freedom.


In march 1960 the PAC launched a peaceful anti pass campaign across the country. The members were called upon to leave their passes at home, gather at police stations and other public places to present themselves for arrest. People responded in large numbers particularly in Sharpeville, Langa and other places. In Sharpeville, the police opened fire killing 69 people and injuring 180 others. This lead the PAC getting banned and thousands of its members being arrested while others skipped the country and went to exile. Then, In 1961 the PAC launched its armed protests, later renamed the "Azanian Peoples Liberation Army" (APLA) to launch the armed struggle against the apartheid government.

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The History of Pan African Movement