Nelson Mandela's ANC marks 100th anniversary

After several decades in prison, the ANC's Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994.

Story highlights

  • Africa's oldest liberation movement will hold three-day festivities
  • Nelson Mandela is not expected to attend
  • The African National Congress was formed in 1912 in Bloemfontein
The African National Congress marks its 100th anniversary this weekend, a milestone for the liberation movement that helped end apartheid in South Africa.
Africa's oldest liberation movement will hold three-day festivities to commemorate the event, with 46 heads of state expected for the closing bash Sunday, according to the ANC.
Past and present party officials will also attend the event, but the movement's symbol of success, Nelson Mandela, will not be among them.
The ailing former president has not been seen in public since the 2010 closing ceremonies of the World Cup in South Africa.
Mandela, 93, is living near his boyhood home of Qunu.
South African President Jacob Zuma said the nation is filled with an "overwhelming sense of pride" as it celebrates the movement that transformed the country.
ANC marks 100th anniversary
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South Africa's ANC celebrates 100 years
South Africa's ANC celebrates 100 years

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African National Congress turns 100
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The African National Congress was formed on January 8th 1912 in Bloemfontein, where the events will be held.
The movement, which later transitioned to a political party, is credited with sparking years of protests that took the liberation struggle to new heights and invigorated workers, students and other civilians to demand an end to racism.
It took arms against the apartheid government, sparking a backlash against racism and the regime.
The movement was banned in 1960, and its top leaders including Mandela hurled into prison a few years later. Three decades later, the embattled regime allowed it to operate and released Mandela from prison, where he went on to lead the movement in 1991.
Mandela was elected president of the more inclusive "rainbow nation" in 1994, the first all-race polls in the nation's history.
The party has won all elections since then.
Despite its popularity, it has come under fire for political infighting and allegations of corruption among its high-profile members -- a far cry from the Mandela years.
Prosecutors dropped corruption charges against Zuma in 2009, weeks before he won the presidential race. The charges linked to a multibillion dollar arms deal in the country were dropped after eight years of investigations.
Officials said the 100-year milestone is an opportunity for the party to resolve to restore its image.
"It's a moment for celebration ... but it's also an opportunity for the ANC to use this moment not just for the big party but to reflect," said Tokyo Sexwale, a member of the party.
"These tensions are there at the ANC, we cannot deny them. This is the year that the ANC has got to say, let's get a handle on this."
Though the party must focus on fighting corruption, Sexwale said, it has not lost its focus to fight for democracy.