Collection 393 - Umkhonto we Sizwe

Identity area

Reference code

ZA UWCRIMA MR-MM-393

Title

Umkhonto we Sizwe

Date(s)

  • 1990 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

4 items

Context area

Name of creator

Administrative history

Umkhonto weSizwe, meaning ‘spear of the nation’, was founded in 1961 and is commonly known by the abbreviation MK. Nelson Mandela was its first commander-in-chief. It became the military wing of the ANC. On the eve of the 1994 elections MK was disbanded and its soldiers incorporated into the newly formed South African National Defence Force (SANDF) with soldiers from the apartheid South African Defence Force, Bantustan defence forces, IFP’s self-protection units and Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA), the military wing of the PAC.

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Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection of photographs of Nelson Mandela meeting Umkhonto we Sizwe cadres in African National Congress (ANC) camps, after his release from prison. Nelson and Winnie Mandela are featured in the photographs, and are wearing military uniforms.

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Accession area