African National Congress

The African National Congress (English African National Congress, ANC short ) is a South African organization founded in 1912. From 1960 to 1990 its activities in South Africa were classified by law as " illegal " and therefore illegal, the ANC had, however, as the leading movement against apartheid great influence on the events in South Africa. Since 1994 he is the government. His most famous politician was Nelson Mandela.

  • 2.1 Current Chair


Founding and establishment as a protest movement

On 8 January 1912, two years after the establishment of the Union of South Africa, the ANC as South African Native National Congress ( SANNC ) was founded in Bloemfontein. The founding members included the Pixley ka Isaka Seme lawyer, the clergyman John Langalibalele Dube and Walter Benson Rubusana well as the author Sol Plaatje. This group from the educated black middle class was based heavily on the ideals of British whites. She expected therefore other blacks, to be guided by these values ​​(for example, Christianity ), and acted accordingly as a lobby group for a small black minority. A voice for all blacks in South Africa was not one of the objectives of the SANNC and later ANC in the first 40 years.

Reason for the founding of the Natives Land Act was SANNC (about: " Native Land Act " ) of 1913, the draft of which was discussed shortly after the Union was founded. The right to vote in the four colonies was regulated differently in front of the EU's founding. While the two Boer republics of Orange Free State and Transvaal Blacks also had no right to vote, they were bound in the British Cape Colony republics and, theoretically, in Natal on land owned by census suffrage. The upcoming Land Act now saw before but that blacks could acquire land only in specific areas ( nearly 7 % of the area of South Africa ). But that would also be the " color-blind " Kapwahlrecht the "civilized " blacks have been endangered which required in addition to the land even a typing test. It was also tarnished that the Kapwahlrecht would extend to the other colonies with the Union establishing the hope of blacks. Instead, the voting rights of the individual provinces remain and the consistently Boer governments operated no effort in giving blacks rights. The reactions of SANNC were adapted to the usual forms of action in the British Empire. The SANNC sent notes of protest, complaint letters and delegations. Even in 1919, a delegation to the UK and to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919; but was there not listened since Prime Minister Jan Christiaan Smuts knew this to be prevented. Thus, most of the protests SANNC or ANC were unsuccessful and peaceful.

In May 1923, or 1925, the SANNC renamed in the African National Congress. In the 1920s the ANC has always been more of a radical left-wing groups such as the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU, "Industrial and Commercial Union " ) outperformed as black protest group, as they understood it as opposed to elitist ANC, the masses and the to mobilize the rural population. With the election of Josiah Tshangana Gumede for ANC president in 1927 although there was a shift to the left in the ANC, this split the ANC now but in a left wing, who worked with the Communist Party of South Africa ( CPSA ) and the ANC into a mass movement transform wanted, and a conservative wing that 1930 sat down with the choice Pixley ka Isaka semester for ANC president. This meant the disappearance of the ANC into insignificance in the 1930s.

In the wake of the global economic crisis, combined the National Party General James Barry Hertzog Munnick and the South African Party Smuts ' under Hertzog's leadership in 1934 to form the United Party. So Hertzog could now cut more black rights with a two-thirds majority in both chambers. 1936 the voting rights of blacks was abolished in the Cape Province. To compensate for the blacks of all provinces were given the right to vote, although the Natives ' Representative Council (such as " native Abgeordnetenrat "); but this was purely advisory role and was therefore ineffective. In contrast, now formed a protest under the leadership of Davidson Don Tengo Jabavu in the All African Convention (AAC ), which the ANC from 1935 to the rank expired as a political protest group, but at the same time many ANC members in the AAC took over leadership positions. In 1936, James Arthur calata new Secretary General of the ANC. He traveled at his own expense several local groups of the ANC in South Africa and found that interest was to revive the ANC. So it came to the decision in 1937 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee. Nevertheless, the ANC remained until the late 1930s, an edge organization.

This changed with the election of Alfred Bitini Xumas to ANC President 1940. He led a better communication structures between the local offshoots of the ANC and the central peak, abolished the bicameral system of the ANC from where significant to date in the so-called upper house Chiefs and in the House of delegates had been sitting, led mandatory membership dues, which should improve financially difficult situation of the ANC, and created a committee that lived by the ANC president within 50 miles, so that the ANC tip every week and not just could come to the annual meetings. The most important change, however, the introduction of the ANC Youth League in 1944, from the people like Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela emerged. The changes did not lead immediately to the desired effects, but the new structures could be taken up later. The Africans ' Claims in South Africa from 1943 were formulated under the guidance Xumas and attacked on aspects of the Atlantic Charter. In them, the ANC called for the first time, the abolition of all discriminatory laws against blacks. From this point, every black member of the ANC could be, whereas blacks previously only formed was possible. Although Xuma tried as well to reach the black majority, but it was especially the black elite, who felt addressed.

For mass organization of the ANC but was only with the 1952 to 1953 organized the Defiance Campaign ( German as: "Disobedience Campaign " ) against the discriminatory laws of the apartheid regime. This was borne by the members of the Youth League, which advocated much more radical forms of protest than the hitherto usual petitions and delegations. Only now emerged stronger cooperation with representatives of colored (about South African Coloured People's Organisation) and Indian organizations (for example, South African Indian Congress ), probably because they were more suppressed by the legislation of whites until the apartheid state. 1955, the ANC was involved in the adoption of the Freedom Charter, which was to achieve a peaceful, equal cooperation of the various population groups. 1956, numerous high-ranking ANC politicians and other opponents of apartheid who had been involved in the signing of the Freedom Charter, arrested. The subsequent Treason Trial lasted until 1961 and ended with the acquittal of all 156 accused. Against the so-called pass laws by which the blacks had to wear outside the Homelands any time a personal identification with you in order to identify themselves as registered workers at the assigned place, can the ANC protested by demonstrations and by burning the controversial " passports ". The then ANC president Albert Luthuli was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize, but several times after the Suppression of Communism Act occupied by the apartheid government with the restrictions of the ban.

Cleavage of the Pan Africanist Congress in 1959 and banishment in 1960

Some members were the most peaceful actions of the ANC does not go far enough. They formed in 1959 another resistance organization, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). In contrast to the ANC, the PAC rejected the open attitude towards all races. He positioned himself as a pure black organization and refused any cooperation with the whites.

An organized by the PAC demonstration in the township of Sharpeville ended in a massacre done by the police, the Sharpeville massacre. 69 Africans were killed. This event sparked national unrest, which fought against the South African government with hardness. Around 20,000 demonstrators were arrested.

Retroactive to April 6, 1960, both the PAC and the ANC were, on the basis of the Unlawful Organizations Act (Act No. 34/1960 ) by Proclamation 119 of the South African government, signed by the then Governor-General Charles Robberts Swart on April 8, to declared unlawful organizations and thus prevented any legal operation of these organizations.

Exile work and underground activities 1961-1990

After the banishment of the ANC began under the leadership of Oliver Tambo, the structure of political structures abroad and military training programs. The first military training was carried out by China. In Morocco, the ANC held 1962 training camp. Oliver Tambo, built in 1964, a first training center in Dar es Salaam. In the same year the ANC built an office in Lusaka, which was made possible by the independence of Zambia, and from 1965 the organization created its headquarters in the Tanzanian city of Morogoro which served in 1966 as the site of the complete guide.

In 1961, leading members of the ANC decided jointly with representatives of the SACP during a clandestine meeting in Durban establishing the armed wing. Nelson Mandela led this organization called Umkhonto we Sizwe ( Spear of the Nation ), who had their first training camp at Kongwa in what was then Tanganyika. The ANC was operating from now on the territory of South Africa from the underground. Umkhonto we Sizwe was going on in the following years, especially through acts of sabotage against infrastructure (such as power and telecommunications), military installations and police stations out. The training of his soldiers took place in other African states, primarily by Cuban and Soviet military. Selected commanders and officials received training in Moscow. The political training in the military framework took over Cuba, Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet Union.

From 1967, the official journal of the ANC, " Sechaba " appeared. This was funded by the GDR and printed to the change in the GDR.

Leading ANC activists such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki in 1964 condemned the so-called Rivonia Trial to life imprisonment. The court accused them mainly engaging in acts of sabotage. The highest-ranking ANC members came after the guilty verdict on the prison island Robben Iceland in custody. Many other activists were arrested or had to relocate their activities abroad. The government tried also working with civilian means human rights activists and supporters of the ANC to obstruct massively by asked many of them under the spell. Banned were confined to a well-defined territory and were doing socially and professionally isolated. Meeting of ANC members were to stop, if the employees of the intelligence services, received in 1972 the State Security Council, aware of them. The South African government attempted on the basis of the Parliamentary Internal Security Commission Act fullest possible control over dissident activities in the country and neighboring states to obtain. The active leadership of the ANC, Oliver Tambo lived under now in exile in London and maintained a home office, whose care was in the hands of Yusuf Dadoo Aziz Pahad, as well as with Wally Serote since 1976.

Many ANC leaders had been trained at the University of Fort Hare. With the increase in state repression measures on the basis of the Internal Security Act of 1976, the ANC created in Tanzania an educational institution that was outside the control of the South African apartheid system. This Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College allowed an independent training for ANC members and more active people and their children with the help of an internationally composed faculty. The college existed from 1978 until 1992.

With the uprising in Soweto in 1976 and the advent of the Black Consciousness Movement in the following year worsened the situation in South Africa. The ANC worked in the underground and was responsible for numerous acts of violence, but also non-violent boycott and strike action, so that eventually the state of emergency was declared. The role of the extra-parliamentary opposition took over the United Democratic Front (UDF ), which was close to the ANC, but become more understood as an alliance of South African apartheid opponent.

After the end of apartheid

In the second half of the 1980s, secret talks between government and ANC representatives abroad took place. Nelson Mandela was offered to leave the prison if the ANC would henceforth renounce violence. Mandela refused such as a pardon without changing the system. The newly elected President Frederik Willem de Klerk went on to the ANC and was on 2 February 1990, the ban on the ANC and other anti-apartheid organizations cancel. Nine days later, Mandela was released without conditions. The ANC leadership, including Oliver Tambo returned from exile. From then on it was under the Convention for a Democratic South Africa ( "Coming together for a democratic South Africa " ) negotiations between the government, the ANC and other groups on one end of apartheid and the adoption of a provisional new constitution. On 10 April 1993 the senior ANC official Chris Hani was killed by an assassination plot right white politicians. But Mandela succeeded in spite of high tensions to continue the negotiating process. De Klerk and Mandela were awarded the 1993 for her role in the negotiation process with the Nobel Peace Prize. The first free elections in South Africa in 1994 the ANC won with about 63 percent of the vote. Nelson Mandela was subsequently elected the first black president of South Africa. The military wing of the ANC was integrated after the won elections to the newly established South African National Defence Force ( SANDF ) and transferred the leadership of the new South African Defense at two Umkhonto -we- Sizwe veterans: Joe Modise was the first black South African Minister of Defence and Ronnie Kasrils his deputy. With the SACP and the trade union federation Congress of South African Trade Unions, the ANC formed henceforth a " tripartite alliance" ( Tripartite Alliance).

Mandela practiced the President office until 1999. Top candidate in the 1999 election was his former deputy, Thabo Mbeki. The ANC won 66 percent of the vote, he even goal for in the 2004 election to a two - thirds majority. However, Mbeki was forced to resign and was replaced by Kgalema Motlanthe.

During the year 2008, the criticism of the leadership of the ANC increased, so that the party Congress of the People ( COPE ) seceded. Corruption allegations and the circumstances of Mbeki's disempowerment were cited as reasons for the removal. The management of the COPE took over the former Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota. It was the third strongest in the parliamentary elections in 2009 and won 30 seats force. However, the ANC under the new leader Jacob Zuma won with almost 66 percent of another election victory. Thus, it leads to a Zulu the ANC and the government, after the ANC long time had been dominated by Xhosa. 2011 was the chairman of the radical ANC Youth League, Julius Malema, ruled for five years from the party; but he managed to continue the Youth League in 2012 and founded in 2013 the " protest movement " Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF ) to stand in the next general elections against the ANC.

The ANC is now a member of the Socialist International, the worldwide association of socialist and social democratic parties.

Analysis of selected topics

The ANC maintained during his exile period in countries of the southern and central Africa, but outside of South Africa, several prison camp for people who had been convicted by the organization 's internal security apparatus as deserving of punishment or as a security risk. In August 1991, Nelson Mandela said that all inmates of these camps had been dismissed. In November 1991, the International Society for Human Rights raised the question of possibly missing inmates and suspected in this context, 500 missing persons. After the organization believes the ANC has the critics want to move especially those with authentic knowledge of the formerly secret warehouse and its organizational structure, with fear tactics to silence. With their criticisms, the company was based on eyewitness and testimony.

As of internment for prisoners of the ANC several camps were known:

  • In northern Angola, Camp Quadro (Morris Seabelo Rehabilitation Centre ) in Kibaxe, Camp Panga (also: Pango ) at Dande and the Viana camp
  • In the central Angola, Calandula Camp and Camp Malanje
  • At the border between Angola and Zambia, Caripande Camp
  • In Tanzania, Mazimbu Camp, Camp Dakawa, both south of Morogoro, the Freedom College in Morogoro
  • In Zambia, the ANC - house RC (former Revolutionary Command Council) in Lusaka
  • In Uganda, Bukoloto Camp
  • In Mozambique, Nampula Camp

Amnesty International and some South African commissions of inquiry after 1994 dealt with the elucidation of processes in and in connection with these camps.

Organizational structure

The ANC is led by a president (President). There are also at the national level a Deputy President, a Secretary -General ( Secretary-General ) and his deputy as well as a General Treasurer (Treasurer) and a National Chairman. The most important organ is the National Executive Committee ( NEC short; National Executive Committee ), consisting of 99 persons, of which according to the statute, more than half must be female. When another body is the 31 -member National Working Committee (Working Committee), which is to implement the decisions of the NEC and also consists of more than half of women. As a nationwide sub-groupings, there is the ANC Youth League, the ANC Women's League ( Women's League ), founded in 1948, and the ANC Veterans League ( veterans league). The Party Center is the Luthuli House in the Johannesburg district of Marshalltown. Party conferences are held as National Conference.

In the nine South African provinces, there are organizations that are also headed by a Chairperson. In the provinces, there are countries with several regional associations, themselves branches (branches ) are divided.

Current chair

President and Chairman of the ANC

Other well-known members of the ANC

  • Madie Beatrice Hall Xuma (1894-1982), founding president of the African National Congress Women's League ( ANCWL )
  • Keorapetse Kgositsile ( born 1938 ), poet and politician
  • Moses Mabhida (1923-1986), former commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe and a member of the NEC
  • Winnie Madikizela - Mandela ( born 1934 or 1936), chairman of the ANCWL since 1993
  • Mapikela Thomas (1869-1945), Speaker of the ANC from 1912 to 1937
  • Baleka Mbete ( born 1949 ), 1991-1993 Secretary General of the ANCWL, former Vice-President of South Africa, Member of the NEC
  • Phumzile Mlambo - Ngcuka ( born 1955 ), South African Deputy President from 2005 to 2008
  • Nomaindia Mfeketo ( born 1952 ), Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Mayor of Cape Town in 2000 and 2002 to 2006
  • Lilian Ngoyi (1911-1980), former chairman of the ANCWL
  • Wiseman Nkuhlu (* 1944), educational policy makers and economic advisers of Thabo Mbeki
  • Jeff Radebe ( born 1953 ), several ministerial posts, Minister of Justice since 2009

Media of the ANC

  • Sechaba. official organ of the African National Congress of South Africa. The magazine was published 1967-1990, it was issued in Lusaka, Dar es Salaam and other places from the ANC. ISSN 0037-0509 A former chief editor was Alfred Kgokong, other editorial staff: Joe Matthews and MP Naicker
  • Radio Freedom, former radio program of the ANC various radio stations in Africa


  • Members of the ANC, including Nelson Mandela, were classified as members of a terrorist organization by the U.S. government until July 2008. The ANC itself had been in 1988 removed from the list of terrorist organizations.
  • 2008 were in the National Executive Committee, 80 members, seven offenders who had received their punishment after the end of apartheid; was being investigated against seven other members.