ANC Centennial Celebrations 1912-2012
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ANC 100 Years of History
Introduction Origins of the ANC, and the freedom struggle in South Africa - 1860-1912 Era charactersied by peaceful petitioning for change - 1912-1949
Period of direct action, non violent resistance and protest - 1949-1961 From protest to challenge (era of armed resistance, exile and mass mobilisation - 1961-1990 From negotiations to governance - 1990-21012

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The Centennial Celebrations

The Centennial Celebrations

The centennial is a milestone achievement of the ANC as a liberation movement. It is a celebration of our proud history and heritage, reflecting its traditions, values and principles that earned it an indelible place in the hearts, soul and psyche of our people. It is a theatre of all facets and dimensions, e.g., mass mobilisation, the underground, the armed struggle and international solidarity, of the ANC. All levels and components of the ANC, all its Leagues, its Alliance partners, mass democratic movement, etc., are integral to the celebrations. It is also a moment of renewal for Africa`s oldest liberation movement, as it sets sight on the future.

The centennial will therefore,

  • Celebrate the achievements of our movement
  • Leave an imprint on the South African consciousness about the role of the ANC as the liberator of the South African people
  • Leave older generations and participants in the liberation struggle with memorabilia that can be passed on from generation-to-generation
  • Keep the memory alive by offering the younger generation access to the story of liberation

The centennial is the accumulation of the experience of struggle throughout South Africa`s history, as lived internal and external to the country, beyond the specific policy option of apartheid. Thus, we observe this hallmark achievement in a holistic manner that recognises it

  • As a South African event. A product of the South African struggle about the people`s resistance to colonial and racial oppression, committed to the liberation of Africans, in particular, and Blacks, in general, with the mission to unite all the people of South Africa, black and white, towards the transformation of our country.
  • As an African event.A product of the continent`s struggles for liberation and quest for unity, peace and security. Not only is it the continent`s oldest liberation movement, but also a foundation and inspiration for most of today`s African liberation movements turned ruling or governing parties in their countries. The continent offered shelter and security to many an exile and also suffered human and material losses for the freedom we now enjoy.
  • As an International-World event. So many streams have flown into the making of the gigantic movement that is today the African National Congress. A myriad and varied influences, even opposite ideological persuasions and thoughts, were brought to bear on its leadership, theory and practice. It is above all the symbol and representative of, almost, the ultimate culmination of global human solidarity against an evil towards humankind, and the creation of friendships formed in struggle and knitted in human bonds.

Conclusion

The founding of the ANC, therefore, represents a milestone in continental history, Black South African history and World history. Consequently, although it is a party political event, its dimensions stretch far beyond the interests of the ANC as a political formation. How we observe the centenary must, therefore, capture all these elements of its historical importance.

It should be commemorated, in large measure, by and through others, such as institutions that would advance the ANCís historic importance to South Africa, Africa and the struggles of the African people the world over against racism.