Glance At History Of African National Congress

By Salon Staff

Published January 5, 2012 4:00PM (EST)

A glance at the history of South Africa's African National Congress:


—1912: Founding of South African Native National Congress, precursor to the ANC.

—1923: Name changed to African National Congress.

—1955: The Congress Alliance — of the ANC and Indian, mixed-race and white organizations — holds the Congress of the People in Soweto. Congress adopts the Freedom Charter calling for a nonracial democracy and a socialist-based economy.

—1956: Nelson Mandela and 155 other South Africans of all races who had supported the Freedom Charter charged with treason. All acquitted after a four-year trial.

—1959: Robert Sobukwe leads breakaway faction from the ANC, forming Pan Africanist Congress, now a minor political player in South Africa.

—1960: ANC banned.

—1961: Founding of ANC's guerrilla wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation.

—1964: Mandela found guilty of sabotage at Rivonia Trial and sentenced to life imprisonment.

—1990: ANC and other groups unbanned; Mandela released.

—1991: Mandela elected president of ANC. The government, ANC and 17 other political groups begin formal negotiations on a new constitution.

—1993: Draft constitution adopted.

—1994: ANC wins first all-race elections; Mandela becomes president; ANC's armed wing absorbed into national defense forces.

—1999: Thabo Mbeki succeeds Mandela as the country's president.

—2007: ANC elects Jacob Zuma as party president over Mbeki, putting Zuma in line to run for the presidency.

—2009: ANC sweeps parliamentary elections and Zuma becomes president.

—2011: ANC fires Youth League leader Julius Malema and suspends him from the party for five years.

—2012: ANC marks its 100th anniversary.

Salon Staff

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