African National Congress
It was originally founded the organisation as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) on 8 January 1912 at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein to strive for increased rights of the black South African population under the new Union of South Africa (1910). Its first president was John Dube, and the poet and author Sol T. Plaatje was one of the founding members. The organisation became the African National Congress (ANC) in 1923 and in 1961 formed a military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe ("Spear of the Nation"), which would go on to engage in the armed struggle.
The new South Africa
After being a senior partner in the negotiation processes with the Nationalist Party led government of F.W. de Klerk, it became the new democratic Republic of South Africa's first governing political party in April 1994, led by Nelson Mandela and supported by its Tripartite Alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).
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