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University Press of Kentucky
The Founders: The Origins of the ANC and the Struggle for Democracy in South Africa

The Founders: The Origins of the ANC and the Struggle for Democracy in South Africa

by André OdendaalAndré Odendaal


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Founded in1912, the African National Congress worked tirelessly to promote democracy and protect the rights of South Africa's black population. Using a combination of armed struggle and conciliation, the ANC formed broad political alliances that ensured its victory in the 1994 general election and established Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. When he cast his own vote in this historic election, Mandela is said to have paid his respects at the memorial to John Dube (the first president of the ANC), proclaiming, "Mission accomplished, Mr. President." Eighty years after the ANC's founding, its dreams had finally been realized.

In The Founders: The Origins of the ANC and the Struggle for Democracy in South Africa, author André Odendaal examines the creators of South Africa's early civil rights movement. This unique book chronicles the astonishing achievements of the pioneering intellectuals and activists who, from the 1860s onwards, led the struggle for black political rights in southern Africa's new colonial societies. Using a variety of sources, Odendaal demonstrates how the founders combined African humanism—or Ubuntu—with Western democratic constitutionalism and Christian beliefs to shape a new political vision that countered colonial and apartheid ideas. The Founders brings to life the remarkable generation of Africans who first developed the framework, form, and content of the freedom struggle in South Africa and is essential reading for those who wish to understand the context that produced Nelson Mandela and his famous African National Congress.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813143149
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 11/19/2013
Pages: 616
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

André Odendaal is an honorary professor in history and heritage studies at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. The founding director of the Mayibuye Centre and the Robben Island Museum, he is the author of a number of books, including Vukani Bantu! and The Story of an African Game.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part 1 Roots

1 The crucible of colonialism 3

2 Africans in a colonial order 14

3 Tiyo Soga and voices from the 1860s 23

4 The first generation of activists, 1870s 33

5 'Deeper than his civilisation' 45

6 Isigidimi and the Native Educational Association 56

7 Imbumba Yama Nyama, 1882 67

8 New organisations in Thembuland 75

9 Mobilising along the Kei 87

10 Using the ballot box 95

11 Launch of the 'national newspaper', 1884 102

12 The Union of Native Vigilance Associations, 1887 112

13 Vigilance Associations challenge Tung' umlomo 121

14 'A Native Bill for Africa' 129

Part 2 The Creation of Wider Networks

15 The South African Native Congress, 1890-1891 139

16 'The Congress' versus 'The Union' 145

17 The 'Believers' and the British in Natal 158

18 Bloemfontein, 'Black Mountain' and Basutoland 166

19 Diamonds and the expansion of political networks 176

20 Gold and a new nationalism 187

21 The emergence of a national movement 200

22 Women in the struggle 213

23 Black economic empowerment 225

24 Playing the white man at his own game 231

25 Part of a global dialogue 240

Part 3 War and Change

26 The South African War, 1899-1902 259

27 New politics in the Transvaal 268

28 New politics in the Orange River Colony 278

29 The Natal Native Congress 285

30 Gandhi and the Natal Indian Congress 293

31 Cape Town and post-war politics 302

32 Growth of the South African Native Congress 311

33 Transkei organisations and Bhunga politics 319

34 Higher education and the future 326

Part 4 Unification

35 'Closer Union' and the Queenstown Conference, 1907 335

36 Preparations for the National Convention 346

37 The National Convention, 1908 355

38 Petitioning the National Convention 364

39 The Protectorates and Union 369

40 Responses to the National Convention, 1909 374

41 Plans for a counter-convention 379

42 The South African Native Convention, March 1909 390

43 Jabavu and the APO join the chorus, April 1909 398

44 Appeal to the British parliament 406

45 Preparations for the delegation to England 415

46 The Coloured and Native Delegation in London, July 1909 424

47 Birth of the new South Africa, May 1910 435

48 Dr Rubusana makes history 447

49 Attempts to cement unity, 1910-1911 455

50 The South African Native National Congress, 1912 466

Conclusion 474

Notes 485

Acknowledgements 542

Index 551

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