1860 – 1912

Origins of the ANC

The name South African Races Congress is selected to indicate the view of the promoters that they wish to live in absolute peace and harmony with every race in this country be it black or be it white, green or yellow.
– J Tengo Jabavu, President, South African Races Congress

Founding Fathers of the African National Congress

The robbery of African land and the pass laws were the main factors that led to the formation of the ANC on 8 January 1912. Its national anti-tribal character reflected the need for every stratum and sector of African society. In 1914 an ANC delegation consisting of (left to right) Dr W. Rubusana, T. Mapikela, Rev. J. L. Dube, Sol Plaatjie and S. Msane, visisted Britain to put their protest before the British government and public.

Act of Union

In 1910, by the Act of Union, white domination was consolidated in South Africa.

O Africa!
Like some great century plant that shall bloom
In ages hence, we watch thee; in our dream
See in thy swamps the Prospero of our stream;
Thy doors unlocked, where knowledge in her tomb
Hath lain innumerable years in gloom.
Then shalt thou, walking with that morning gleam,
Shine as thy sister lands with equal beam.
– Pixley Seme

Mahatma Gandhi

The Indian community was also subject to discriminatory laws and practices. Resistance, on a large scale, was organised by Mahatma Ghandi who worked as an attorney in Johannesburg.