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Political Parties, African National Congress

SACP, Thabo Mbeki, COSATU, South African Communist Party, liberation movement

The ANC, founded in 1912, spearheaded the liberation struggle against apartheid. Nelson Mandela led the ANC from the early 1950s until the late 1990s. The ANC was based within the country until it was banned in 1960 and forced to operate from outside South Africa. As a broad coalition of interests and a liberation movement, its membership overlapped substantially with the South African Communist Party (SACP, founded in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa). The ANC entered the 1994 elections in alliance with the SACP and the main trade union federation, COSATU. In the 1994 election the ANC won the support of most black constituents, except in KwaZulu-Natal, and about one-third of Asian and Coloured votes, but few white votes. Its policies are nonracial and seek to redress the injustices of the apartheid years. Mandela placed great emphasis on reconciliation after the elections and sought to make the government as widely representative as possible. Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela as ANC leader in 1997, led the party to victory in the 1999 elections. The party won 266 seats in the National Assembly, up from 252 seats in 1994.

Article key phrases:

SACP, Thabo Mbeki, COSATU, South African Communist Party, liberation movement, liberation struggle, Nelson Mandela, National Assembly, injustices, elections, reconciliation, great emphasis, victory, seats, alliance, KwaZulu-Natal, government, country, membership, policies, support


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