- A change to armed struggle and the state’s intensified repression 1960s
- A chronology of meetings between South Africans and the ANC in exile 1983-2000 by Michael Savage
- A History of Abantu-Batho Newspaper 1912-1931
- An Autobiographical Note by Nelson Mandela, 1964
- ANC and the early development of apartheid 1948-1950s
- ANC Conference Documents
- ANC January 8th Statements
- ANC Origins and Background
- Armed Struggle, the anti-apartheid struggle accelerates 1984-1990
- Armed Struggle, the revival of armed activity 1970s-1980s
- Barbara Masekela’s speech (ANC Women’s Section), 1982
- Continued resistance and internal criticism 1920s and 1930s
- Defiance Campaign 1952
- Delegates in attendance at the SANNC Founding Conference in 1912
- Delegations and dialogue between ANC and internal non government groups
- Early Resistance, the 1913 Land Act and deputations to London
- Isitwalandwe/Seaparankwe Award
- National Executive Committee as elected by ANC, 20 December 2007, 52nd National Conference, Polokwane
- Poqo political trials and the execution of its operatives in the 1960s
- References: ANC feature
- Rejuvenation of the ANC and intensification of the struggle 1940s
- Second letter from Nelson Mandela to Hendrik Verwoerd 26 June 1961
- South African Students Congress (SASCO)
- The Founding of the SANNC
- The Rivonia Trial Fifty Years later
- The ‘four nation’ thesis
ANC Origins and Background
The African National Congress (ANC) was formed in 1912 as a result of many grievances. This included black dissatisfaction with the South Africa Act of 1910 that established the Union of South Africa, their treatment after the South African War and numerous laws that controlled and restricted black movement and labour.
The end of the South African War (1899-1902) paved the way for the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910. The eight years between the end of the war in 1902 and the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 was marked by intense negotiations between the four, previously unconnected provinces. Populations of the Cape Province and Natal were considered to owe allegiance to Britain, while Transvaal and the Orange Free State had become independent Boer/Afrikaner republics in 1852 and 1854 respectively. The war was fought over the question of independence of the latter two provinces from British control.
During the eight years of negotiations, it became apparent that delegates of the four provinces were determined to forge a settlement that excluded Africans from meaningful political participation in the envisaged unified South Africa. This galvanised different African political formations, hitherto fragmented and each with a ‘provincial’ appeal, to forge a unified political movement that would challenge the exclusion of Black people. The African People’s Organisation, largely a Cape political formation, the Orange River Colony Vigilance Association and the Transvaal Vigilance Association were all formed during this period.
In 1909, a group of Black delegates from the four provinces met in Waaihoek, Bloemfontein to propose a means to object to the draft South Africa Act, and Union Constitution. This was the South African Native Convention (SANC). A nine man delegation was sent to England. The Convention is considered a precursor to the South African Native National Congress (SANNC). Apart from sympathetic coverage from the British media to the plight of Blacks, little else was achieved by the delegation.
The SANC continued to be active in 1910 and in 1911, objecting to further discriminatory legislation. The need for a permanent body to represent Blacks on a national level was the reason for the transformation of the body into a more representative and dynamic organisation. Pixley ka Isaka Seme, a well educated attorney, and author Solomon Plaatje, pioneered the formation of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC).