On January 8 2012, the African National Congress will be a hundred years old. This is a historic achievement for our movement, our people, our continent and the world.
The centenary is at first and foremost a milestone achievement of the ANC, as a liberation movement. It should therefore seek to celebrate our proud traditions, values and principles that earned our movement an indelible place in the hearts, psyche and soul of our people. It should reflect the ANC in all its facets and dimensions, for example, mass mobilisation, the underground; armed struggle and international solidarity. Since it is an ANC celebration, it should ensure that all structures of the organisation - national, provincial, regional and local - and the Alliance partners, participate fully in the programme and activities of the centenary. It should, in the ultimate, be located within our organisational renewal framework, as resolved by the 52nd National Conference in Polokwane.
The formation of the ANC in 1912 was a culmination of our people`s struggles against colonialism, and a bringing together of tribal resistance into a common, national struggle against international imperialism and national oppression. At the core of this struggle being our people`s right to choose their own destiny as a united, non-racial, non-sexist nation. The centenary should therefore celebrate all our people and their various formations, for example, men, women, youth, students, religious, traditional, workers, etc. The mission of the ANC has always been to unite all South Africans - black and white - towards the attainment of freedom and a better life for all. Therein lay, at the core, the liberation of Africans, in particular, and blacks in general.
The African National Congress emerged out of Africa`s battles for liberation and self-determination. The liberation movements in our continent acted as an inspiration to the ANC and the people of our country, both in their resistance and their attainment of freedom for their people, respectively. Liberated Africa served as a home to exiled South Africans, not limited to those who were ANC members. Our vision of a free, united and prosperous people refers to us as it does to the continent as a whole. The ANC is Africa`s oldest, living, national liberation movement, with much to share with and to learn from the continent. This should be linked to our proclamation that this is the African Century.
The centenary is a world celebration. It is a recollection of the contribution of the world to the eradication of the draconian system of apartheid. It is a celebration of humanity and friendship across boundaries of race, creed and geographical location. It is a celebration of unity among people of the world, from all walks of life against evil; because never has the world united in one resolute manner as it did during the struggle for freedom in South Africa.