–>South Africa’s governing party and Africa’s oldest liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC) will celebrate its centenary in 2012. The main event will be held on January 8, 2012 in Mangaung, Bloemfontein – the place where the party was founded. Initially named the South African Native National Congress when it was first created in 1912, the organisation was renamed the African National Congress in 1923. Following the seismic happenings around the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, the party was banned by the National Party (NP) government. From 1961 organised acts of sabotage began, marking the emergence of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC. The ANC was to be an underground and exiled organisation for the next 30-years. In February 1990, the NP government unbanned the ANC and released Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. The ANC was again able to openly recruit members and establish regional structures. When South Africa held its first democratic elections on April 27, 1994 the ANC won 62% of the vote. Nelson Mandela was subsequently inaugurated on May 10, 1994 as South Africa’s first democratic president. The ANC has won every election in post-apartheid South Africa. Centenary celebrations –> The weekend long activities will be spread from January 6-8, 2012. There will be a golf day event on January 6 that will be hosted at two golf courses. It will culminate in a prize-giving ceremony by some ANC leaders. In the evening, the ANC will then host an interfaith night vigil to invoke the spirits of all founding fathers and mothers of the movement. The event will be attended by Kings, Chiefs, Traditional Leaders and healers.
On January 7, there will be intercultural celebrations over a six-hour period at the Mangaung Rocklands outdoor Sports complex. The evening will be dedicated to a presidential centennial gala dinner at the Free State’s Vista University. The gala dinner will be hosted by ANC President Jacob Zuma. In attendance will be the leadership of the ANC, alliance partners, leagues, traditional healers and stalwarts and veterans of the struggle movement. A limited number of international guests will also attend the dinner.
The main celebration of the 100 years of the ANC will be held on January 8 at the Mangaung Rugby Stadium. Overflow venues will be fitted with screens at the Cricket Oval stadium, Lochlogan grounds (Macufe venue) and Athletic Stadium. The ANC is expecting over 120 000 people to fill up all the venues for the main 100 years celebration activities from the afternoon to the evening of the 8th. The ANC has invited some 6 000 guests, party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said. Former President Thabo Mbeki confirmed his attendance. It is the first time Mbeki will be present at an ANC event of this magnitude since his ousting from the presidency in 2008. On Sunday, January 8 party leader President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to deliver the annual January 8 speech. The cost for the year-long celebrations is expected to be approximately R100 million.
Securing the celebrations –> The army and police will help secure the ANC’s centenary celebrations in –>Bloemfontein this week. Mthembu has since said that due to the size of the event and with foreign dignitaries present, the party’s own security staff will not be able to handle it on their own. The airspace around Bloemfontein will be restricted between January 5 and 10. Key ANC moments SABC News Producer Ingrid Martens and her team compile a comprehensive ANC Timeline highlighting key moments of the ANC ten decades of existence.
1912 The South African Native National Congress is formed in Bloemfontein. 1923
The South African Native National Congress changes its name to the African National Congress (ANC).
1944 The ANC Youth League is created. 1948 The ANC Women’s League is formed. 1952 Start of the Defiance Campaign. 1955 The Freedom Charter is signed at Kliptown, Soweto. 1961 Umkonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC is created. 1963 Ten prominent leaders of the ANC are arrested at Lilliesleaf Farm, Rivonia on charges of overthrowing the apartheid government and sabotage. The trial would be known as the famous Rivonia Trial. The ten leaders facing 221 acts of sabotage were Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Rusty Bernstein, Dennis Goldberg, James Kantor, Andrew Mlangeni, Elias Motsoaledi and Raymond Mhlaba.The trial against the ten accused began on 26 November 1963 and ended on 12 June 1964. 1990 The ANC along with other political organisations like the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) are unbanned. 11 February 1990 Nelson Mandela walks out of jail a free man after 27-years of incarceration. 30 October, 1991
Delegates from 20 groups agree, after preparatory talks in Johannesburg, on a date for the start of negotiations on South Africa’s future constitution. The talks are called Codesa or the Convention for a Democratic South Africa and its first meeting takes place on 20 – 21 December 1991. Apart from the PAC and Azapo boycotting the meeting, the Conservative Party (CP), the Herstigte National Party (HNP) and right wing Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) refuse to attend because they do not want to negotiate with the ANC.
20 – 21 December 1991 Codesa officially begins. The talks culminate in the signing of a Declaration of Intent signed by 16 parties. 15 May 1992 Codeas 2 begins 1993 ANC President Nelson Mandela and South African State President FW De Klerk travel to Oslo, Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their joint efforts in bringing an end to the Apartheid regime and facilitating a peaceful transition to democracy. 27 April 1994 South Africans go to the polls in a first all-race election. The ANC wins convincingly, capturing 62% of the vote and paving the way for an ANC-led administration. 10 May 1994 ANC president, Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as democratic South Africa’s first President. The inauguration at the Union Buildings in Pretoria sees a number of international leaders, royalty and heads of state witness this historic moment. 1997 Thabo Mbeki wins the ANC presidency in Mafikeng, North West. 1997 After his expulsion from the ANC, Bantu Holomisa together with former National Party minister Roelf Meyer officially form the United Democratic Movement (UDM). 1999 ANC wins the June 1999 general elections with a two-thirds majority (66.4%). 2004 The ANC wins its biggest-ever electoral victory in the 2004 general elections, 69.7%. Thabo Mbeki serves a second term as President of the country. 2007
At the party’s national conference, Mbeki runs for a third term as ANC President, only to be beaten by his deputy Jacob Zuma.
Thabo Mbeki is removed as South African President in September. Kgalema Motlanthe is named acting president.
2008 Congress of the People (COPE) is officially launched in Bloemfontein in December, a year after the Polokwane fall-out that saw Mbeki denied a third term as ANC President. 2009 The ANC suffers its first electoral decline since 1994. The party increases its vote-share in KwaZulu-Natal but loses the Western Cape to the DA. 2011 The ANC wins the 2011 local elections convincingly but reportedly loses key support in minority communities. The party’s vote share also declines in this election.
Succession debate –> The centenary festivities are reportedly seen as a preview of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung in December, where loyalty for President Zuma will be tested. According to news reports, the ANC Youth League reportedly wants Zuma replaced by Kgalema Motlanthe, and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe replaced by ANC national executive member Fikile Mbalula. Late last year, the –>Cape Times quoted ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola, speaking at the OR Tambo Memorial Lecture at Phatsimang College in Galeshewe, as saying: “Next year we will replace Zuma with Motlanthe as president and we will replace the secretary general with Fikile Mbalula.” Reading Zuma’s “political obituary” to ANCYL branch members in the Frances Baard District, Lamola said it was disingenuous of ANC leadership to tell the ANCYL not to open the succession debate while others in the party were allowed to talk about the issue. “Members of the ANCYL in KwaZulu-Natal speak of Zuma for a second term and that is fine. Is that not a succession debate?” he said. “Why are they not being disciplined? Why is it acceptable to speak of the succession to support [Zuma], but when you change the name in the debate it is no longer acceptable?” “Why is it that people are allowed to talk of the succession at beer halls, yet you members of the youth league are not allowed to take part in the succession debate in your structures?” he asked. The ANC has had 12 presidents and 14 secretary-generals in its 100-year history.
John Langalibalele Dube : 1912-1917
Sefako Makgatho : 1917- 1924
ZR Mahabane : 1924 – 1927
Josiah Gumede : 1927 – 1930
Pixely ka Isaka Seme : 1930 – 1937
ZR Mahabane : 1937 – 1940
AB Xuma : 1940 – 1949
James Moroka : 1949 – 1952
Albert Luthuli : 1952 – 1967
Oliver Reginald Tambo : 1967 – 1991
Nelson Mandela : 1991 – 1997
Thabo Mbeki : 1997 – 2007
Jacob Zuma : 2007 – Present
Quick facts Did you know that the first ANC president, John Dube was ousted in 1917 because of his reported acceptance of segregation. Did you know that OR Tambo is the longest-serving president of the ANC – 24 years. He served in this position from 1967-1991, albeit most of it in exile. Did you know that ZR Mahabane and Thabo Mbeki were the only ANC presidents to have served two terms (OR Tambo excluded). Did you know that under ANC president Sefako Makgatho, Africans won the right to use first and second class train coaches instead of being confined to goods trains. Makgatho served as ANC president from 1917 – 1924. Did you know that ANC president AB Xuma was ousted following the National Party’s win in 1948. Did you know that during the presidency of James Moroka, the ANC reportedly became a more militant organisation. Did you know that Chief Albert Luthuli was the first African to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960 for his role in the non-violent struggle against apartheid.
– By Compiled by SABC News Research