- Today marks the day the ANC was founded 108 years ago
- The organisation was established by four academics
- It has become the longest serving political organisation in democratic South Africa
On this day 108 years ago, Josiah Gumede, John Dube, Pixley ka Isaka Seme and Sol Plaatje founded what would become the African National Congress.
John Langalibalele Dube was an essayist, philosopher, educator, politician, publisher, editor, novelist and poet from the Colony of Natal. He studied at the Oberlin College in Ohio. He returned to South Africa where he and his first wife, Nokutela Dube, founded a newspaper and what is now Ohlange High School.
Josiah Tshangana Gumede was a teacher. He was born on 9 October, 1867 in Healdtown Village, Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape. He is a descendant of chief Khondlo, an Ngwane chief who was forced to flee Zululand.
Pixley ka Isaka Seme was South Africa's first black lawyer. He studied at the Northfield Mount Hermon School (Massachusetts), Columbia University (New York) and at Oxford University (Oxford, England). He was born in Daggakraal in the Colony of Natal.
Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje was a South African intellectual, journalist, linguist, politician, translator and writer. When Plaatje turned 21, the Cape Colony extended the right to vote to all men 21 or over, if they were able to read and write English or Dutch and earned over 50 pounds a year. He was therefore able to vote, a right he would lose when British rule ended.
The ANC has since become the longest serving political party in the Republic of South Africa after winning the 1994 democratic elections. The party will be hosting their annual birthday celebrations over the weekend in the Northern Cape.
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