Unity in Diversity is the slogan. This weekend all eyes are on the Waaihoek Wesleyn church ,in Mangaung in Bloemfontein as the African National Congress celebrates 100 years.
Waaihoek Wesleyn Church
The ANC, which was formed in 1912 to channel the opposition of blacks to white minority rule, specifically Colonialism. The celebrations will include a ceremony at the renovated Waaihoek Wesleyan Church, the place where the ANC was founded as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC). It was renamed the African National Congress in 1923.
John Langalibalele Dube, its first president, Pixley ka Isaka Seme and poet and author Sol Plaatje were among its founding members. We also know that this remarkable man (John Dube), in 1901 was able to achieve his ambition on 200 acres of land in the Inanda district where he established the Zulu Christian Industrial School at Ohlange .
The founding of the SANNC was in direct response to perceived injustice against black South Africans at the hands of the current government in power. It can be said that the SANNC had its origins in a pronouncement by Pixley ka Isaka Seme who said in 1911 Forget all the past differences among Africans and unite in one national organisation.
Struggle for Freedom
There is no doubt that the narrative of the ANC is also the narrative of the struggle for freedom of the people of South Africa. For me there are many landmarks, especially since 1994 when the ANC became South Africa’s ruling party.
According to their website: “For the ANC this event is important for numerous reasons, but key amongst those is the fact that in the 100 years of its existence we remain relevant to the situation in South Africa, the continent and the world. Secondly, the ANC continues to embody the ideals of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country. The prestige and importance of this event is evident given the international interest it has generated for historic and concurrent roles South Africa plays in the affairs of the region, the continent and the world.”