16 October 1952
The African National Congress (ANC) was founded as the SANCC in 1912. John Dube was its first president, and the well known writer and poet, Sol Plaatje, was one of its founding members. Formed in protest of the treatment of black South Africans, it became known as the ANC in 1923, and it main aim was to seek the political, social and economic upliftment for the black community. The popularity of this organization grew immensely and by the 1940s, a Women's League and a Youth League had been formed. Following the Nationalist Party victory and the imple- mentation of Apartheid in 1948, the ANC launched the Programme of Action strikes and boycotts against the oppressive regime. Among the leadership of of ANC during this time included Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela, with Albert Luthuli elected the president-general on 16 October 1952. Following his election, Luthuli's movements were restricted by the apartheid government in the form of banning orders. In 1956, he was arrested and charged with treason, but subsequent to these charge being dropped, he was faced with another 5 year ban. In 1961, Luthuli was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He continued in his political work, but was thought to have distanced himself from the ANC after the founding of the military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), due to his passive approach to political activism. Luthuli's enormous contribution to the liberation struggle in South Africa is without dispute. He has been lauded as one of the greatest men in South African history and this is reflected in the 'Order of Luthuli', the highest award for contributions to democracy, human rights, justice and peace.
About African History Chief Albert Luthuli [online] Available at: africanhistory.about.com [Accessed 6 October 2009]| African national Congress History of the ANC [online] Available at: anc.org.za [Accessed 6 October 2009]| South Africa Info The Legacy of Albert Luthuli Available at: southafrica.info [Accessed 6 October 2009]