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The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) is the youth wing of the African National Congress. Its foundation in 1944 by Anton Muziwakhe Lembede (1914-1947), Ashley Peter Mda, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo marked the rise of a new generation of leadership of South Africa's black African population. It developed a manifesto in 1944 and published a program in 1948.

By the end of the 1940s, the Youth League had gained control of the African National Congress. It called for civil disobedience and strikes in protest at the hundreds of laws associated with the new apartheid system. These protests were often met with force by the South African Government. In 1950, 18 blacks were killed during a walkout while protesters including Mandela were jailed and beaten for their opposition to the Government.

Thabo Mbeki became active in the Youth League in 1956 and was expelled from high school in 1959 as a result of participation in a strike. In 1959 many ANCYL members broke away to form the rival Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). In 1960, the PAC, ANC and its associated organisations had been banned. Mbeki organised a stay-at-home in protest at the South African Government's decision to leave the Commonwealth of Nations before leaving South Africa at the suggestion of the ANC.

The Youth League continued its activities underground during the remainder of the apartheid years. In 1990, F. W. de Klerk legalised the ANC and its associated organisations including the Youth League, and Peter Mokaba led the newly unbanned Youth League.

Fikile Mbalula, an activist since the 1980s and President of the league since 2005, stepped down in 2008. The election of a successor descended into chaos and the appointment of Julius Malema is still in dispute.[1]

NotesEdit

  1. http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=744316 [ANC to decide on league’s congress]

ReferencesEdit

  • African National Congress Youth League
  • "Nelson Mandela." Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 14. Gale Research, 1997. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2005. retrieved 5 December 2005
  • "Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki." Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 14. Gale Research, 1997. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2005.
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