The resistance fighters of the second world war as my heroes. And though taking up arms is a last resort, sometimes it is required of one to enable a people to be free.

More and more violence was being used by the apartheid state to keep itself in power. I believed we needed to add the armed struggle to our political campaigning to put an end to the systematic apartheid oppressive system.

The massacre at Sharpeville in March 1960 and a smaller incident in Cape Town on the same day saw police brutality reach new heights.

I am a first generation South African. My parents were working class people freom Britain. Yet I could go to school and university a privilege denied to the children of my parents’ friends and comrades. If I sat apathetically by without protesting the injustice of the system then I would be complicit in that injustice. After many years of peaceful political activity and protest, when the decision was taken to commence an armed struggle against the apartheid state I felt I had to be involved.

Our Freedom Charter of 1955 ends with the words “These freedoms we shall fight for side by side all our lives until we have won our liberty.” I would betray this undertaking if I stood aside.