Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of D.Phil. in Politics in the Faculty of Social Studies, University of Oxford. Abstract: The ANC's stress on armed struggle often, paradoxically, seemed to undermine its efforts to wage armed struggle. Its armed struggle remained at a low level on intensity and posed little military threat to the South African state. A determination to correct this weakness motivated most ANC attempts to reshape operational structures and political mobilisation. By the mid 1980s, however, the ANC's armed struggle was, patently, a military failure. Moreover, mobilisation by political means posed a molre serious challenge to the State. Yet the ANC persisted with armed struggle, and its operational strategy still accorded armed force the crucial role in attempting to secure fundamental change.