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OR Tambo’s lead­er­ship and ne­go­ti­a­tion skills as­sisted dur­ing the stale­mate in South Africa and Namibia’s ne­go­ti­a­tions, wherein apartheid SA wanted Walvis Bay as part of South Africa. OR Tambo’s witty lead­er­ship helped former Pres­i­dent Nu­joma to win the ne­go­ti­a­tions on Walvis Bay.

The Free­dom Fighter – Wankie Cam­paign

At the same time, MK and Zim­babwe Peo­ple’s Revo­lu­tion­ary Army (ZIPRA) be­gan to work to­gether with the aim of in­fil­trat­ing Rhode­sia (now Zim­babwe). In 1968 OR Tambo ac­com­pa­nied the MK group on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions when they went on re­con­nais­sance ex­pe­di­tions along the Zam­bezi River, sleep­ing in the open with the group. OR Tambo named the group the Luthuli De­tach­ment, in honour of Chief Luthuli who was killed in a tragic rail­way ac­ci­dent in July 1967 in Groutville, Natal (now KwaZu­luNatal). The Wankie Cam­paign was the first sig­nif­i­cant mil­i­tary cam­paign for the lib­er­a­tion move­ment.

Op­er­a­tion Vula

In 1987 Tambo ap­pointed a high­pow­ered com­mis­sion of le­gal peo­ple to draw up a Con­sti­tu­tion to re­flect the kind of coun­try the or­gan­i­sa­tion wanted for the fu­ture. OR Tambo had con­sis­tently ad­vo­cated sup­port for a mul­ti­party democ­racy and an en­trenched Bill of Rights. Also in 1987 OR Tambo, to­gether with oth­ers, con­ceived and headed a top-se­cret covert mis­sion by MK known as Op­er­a­tion Vula. OR Tambo chose the op­er­a­tives to in­fil­trate into the coun­try to work un­der­ground, es­tab­lish­ing net­works and arms caches.

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