South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

African National Congress

Summary

Founded in 1912 as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), the ANC initially worked within the law to oppose racial oppression. The ANC was banned in 1960 but continued to function underground inside South Africa and in exile. In 1961, the previously non-violent ANC adopted a policy of armed resistance, establishing Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) or MK as its armed wing. President F. W. de Klerk removed the ban on the ANC in 1990 and ANC leaders engaged in negotiations with white leaders which led to the 1994 democratic elections. The ANC is the dominant political party in South Africa, having won more than two-thirds of the vote in the 2004 national elections.

Related Multimedia Resources:

Web Documents

Historical Document: "Programme of Action: Statement of Policy Adopted at the ANC Annual Conference"

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Personal Letter: "Exchange of Correspondence between the African National Congress, the South African Indian Congress, and the Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa between 21 January and 20 February 1952"
By D.U. Mistry, Y.A. Cachalla, Y.M. Dadoo, M. Aucamp, W.M. Sisulu, J.S. Moroka
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Interview: Walter Sisulu interview by George Houser

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Historical Document: 'The struggle is my life': Press Statement Issued on 26 June 1961
By Nelson Mandela [more info]
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Resource: "Conscripts to Their Age: African National Congress Operational Strategy, 1976-1986"
By Howard Barrell
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Recommended Websites

African National Congress - Political and Liberation Organisations
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Suggested Reading

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
By Nelson Mandela [more info]

Black Politics in South Africa since 1945
By Tom Lodge [more info]


AODL African Studies Center MSU Matrix NEH