Inspirational Quotes from Oliver Tambo

Our target is not negotiations, it is the end of the apartheid system. There can be no compromise about that.

Oliver Tambo

The land on which the cattle grazed was communal property. It was owned by no one. It was nobody’s private farm. It was the common property of the people, shared by the people. So the practice of sharing was central to the concept of ownership of property.

Oliver Tambo

We all belong to South Africa, and South Africa belongs to us all.

Oliver Tambo

We had to forge an alliance of strength based not on colour but on commitment to the total abolition of apartheid and oppression; we would seek allies, of whatever colour, as long as they were totally agreed on our liberation aims.

Oliver Tambo

The fight for freedom must go on until it is won; until our country is free and happy and peaceful as part of the community of man, we cannot rest.

Oliver Tambo

The true facts are not always obvious. They often have to be looked for.

Oliver Tambo

We have got to move away from the concept of race and color because that is what apartheid is. We cannot end apartheid if we retain these concepts.

Oliver Tambo

The sanctions will not kill us. It’s apartheid that’s killing us.

Oliver Tambo

Mandela drafted the M Plan, a simple, commonsense plan for organization on a street basis so that Congress volunteers would be in daily touch with the people, alert to their needs and able to mobilize them.

Oliver Tambo

You were not wanted. You were, at best, tolerated. You had to be constantly on your guard, like an animal in a jungle full of beasts of prey. You experienced it all within the short distance of five miles from the gates of St. Peter’s to Park Station in the city.

Oliver Tambo

We have a vision of South Africa in which black and white shall live and work together as equals in conditions of peace and prosperity.

Oliver Tambo

It was always my desire to strike new ground and help to lend weight where it was most required.

Oliver Tambo

It was becoming clear that, from being at the top at Holy Cross, we were at the bottom at St. Peter’s. Objectively, this was very good, for it offered us a challenge and an opportunity to grow if we were ready to take it; and we surely were.

Oliver Tambo

This uprising of 1976-77 was, of course, the historic watershed… Within a short period of time, it propelled into the forefront of our struggle millions of young people.

Oliver Tambo

Apartheid either is or is not. And it must not be.

Oliver Tambo

I can see quite clearly that if there was a single event that launched me on the road to ultimate involvement at the heart of South African politics, it was an assault on an African woman by her white employer in a kitchen in Fort Hare.

Oliver Tambo

In Holy Cross, I came to like school, to like studying in a way I had never done before.

Oliver Tambo

How do you deal with a criminal that will not listen to what you have to say and who continues his policy of violence? Some say you continue to talk and let him tire himself out. But nearly 40 years after the institution of apartheid, is there anyone who still believes that verbal persuasion will work?

Oliver Tambo

The A.N.C. was established in 1912 and the S.A. Communist Party in 1921, and so there has been an overlapping of membership all along the line.

Oliver Tambo

Those who want to perpetuate apartheid also seek to divert your attention to the false issue of communism, to send the entire American public on a witch hunt.

Oliver Tambo

Apartheid is inherently a practice of violence.

Oliver Tambo

For decades, we resisted violence – until Sharpeville.

Oliver Tambo

Who is a terrorist? Is it not the person who has been persecuting human beings simply because they are black?

Oliver Tambo

Whites, like ourselves, belong to our country. They are compatriots, fellow citizens… we see them as Africans.

Oliver Tambo

The people of South Africa are ready to stand up to the oppressions of the Pretoria regime, and they are ready to fight back.

Oliver Tambo

Responsibility for the proper conduct of children was not confined to their parents only. When they misbehaved, they misbehaved against the community. And a senior member of the community was expected to do something about it.

Oliver Tambo

To go back means defeat.

Oliver Tambo

Responsibility for the proper conduct of children was not confined to their parents only. When they misbehaved, they misbehaved against the community. And a senior member of the community was expected to do something about it.

Oliver Tambo

My sister had some ailment and convulsions that she suffered from, and she had been sent to some place to go and get healed there. She was brought back and prayed for by those people. She recovered; in fact, she grew to be an evangelist in her own right, healing people and traveling around.

Oliver Tambo

The popularity of leaders like Mandela was an invitation to counter-attack by the government. Mandela was banned from speaking, from attending gatherings, from leaving Johannesburg, from belonging to any organization.

Oliver Tambo

How can it be said we should use only constitutional means in our struggle, when all resistance is illegal and we have no way to change the brutal realities of the racism regime?

Oliver Tambo

Using the power you derive from the discovery of the truth about racism in South Africa, you will help us to remake our part of the world into a corner of the globe on which all – of which all of humanity can be proud.

Oliver Tambo

We seek to create a united Democratic and non-racial society.

Oliver Tambo

It may be that apartheid brings such stupendous economic advantages to countries that they would sooner have apartheid than permit its destruction.

Oliver Tambo

We believe that the world, too, can destroy apartheid, firstly by striking at the economy of South Africa.

Oliver Tambo

We were very lucky. My mother and stepmothers were on very, very good terms, and so we, the children, grew up as brothers and sisters.

Oliver Tambo

The results showed that Joe Mokoena and I had made history. For the first time in the history of education in South Africa, two African students had passed the JC with a First Class degree, regarded as a rare achievement for any student.

Oliver Tambo

It was of limited usefulness to head great rallies. The government did not listen, and, soon enough, the tear gas and the muzzles of the guns were turned against the people. The justice of our cries went unrecognized.

Oliver Tambo

In May 1961, South Africa was to be declared a Nationalist Republic. There was a white referendum, but no African was consulted.

Oliver Tambo

I am convinced that the world-wide protests during the Rivonia trial saved Mandela and his fellow-accused from a death sentence. But in South Africa, a life sentence means imprisonment until death – or until the defeat of the government which holds these men prisoner.

Oliver Tambo

My problem in calling for pressures on South Africa is to convince the youth to convince their governments and people that it is not the South African goods that are cheap, but the forced labor of the Africans.

Oliver Tambo

The U.S. is the last country that should see itself as an ally of the apartheid system.

Oliver Tambo

The A.N.C. is a national movement. We all – Communists and non-Communists alike – want a nonracial, democratic, united South Africa.

Oliver Tambo

I would not hesitate to vote for a white person as president if I thought he was the best person for the job.

Oliver Tambo

The struggle to conquer oppression in our country is the weaker for the traditionalist, conservative, and primitive restraints imposed on women by man-dominated structures within our movement, as also because of equally traditionalist attitudes of surrender and submission on the part of women.

Oliver Tambo

There is no way a spirit of resistance that has sunk so deep in the population can be repressed.

Oliver Tambo

The violence associated with the A.N.C. is minimal, infinitesimal next to the violence of the apartheid regime.

Oliver Tambo

In South Africa, I feel I am a stranger, at best an animal.

Oliver Tambo

If apartheid is removed, then the violence that is necessary to maintain it will be removed along with the pressures from apartheid which create a violent response.

Oliver Tambo

The apartheid system renounces no violence.

Oliver Tambo

I didn’t really want to be a teacher, but there was nothing else I could be. Most of those who went to the university became teachers. It was just the racial restriction on Africans.

Oliver Tambo

I was just an ordinary student. I’d always gotten along with authorities quite well.

Oliver Tambo

The more pressure you bring from without, the less internal pressure is necessary.

Oliver Tambo

We believe it is comprehensive international sanctions against the white regime that will save us from the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of South Africans, black and white.

Oliver Tambo

There is nothing in ANC policy which calls for attacks on civilians in supermarkets, schools, and cinemas unless these are regarded as military installations.

Oliver Tambo

It is often suggested that the A.N.C. is controlled by the Communist Party, by Communists. Well, I have been long enough in the A.N.C. to know that that has never been true.

Oliver Tambo

Whoever says that sanctions will only deteriorate the situations of blacks in South Africa does not know the criminal, murderous character of genocide that represents the system of apartheid.

Oliver Tambo

The Soviet Union was a very useful ally in the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Oliver Tambo