Full Text

South Africa, African nationalism and the ANC

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni


South Africans fought the longest national liberation struggle that stretched from 1912 to 1994. This protracted national liberation struggle has been marked by several critical turning points characterized by imbibing and deployment of various ideological resources. Nelson Mandela , who emerged as the iconic figure of this struggle having spent 27 years in prison, correctly summed it up as “the long walk to freedom.” In this “long walk” African nationalism provided a broad and overarching framework within which the struggle was conducted and a post-apartheid nation was imagined and contested. African nationalism became loosely understood to mean all political actions and ideological elements that were deployed in the struggle to realize African rights and eventually the rule of the black majority as opposed to minority white settlers. Historical interpretations diverged on the meaning and connotation of South African nationalism. Donovan Williams understood African nationalism to be a form of evolution of African consciousness of belonging to a common race, with a common heritage including long years of defensive measures against white domination. Lord Hailey preferred the term “Africanism” as clearly encapsulating African struggles for “attainment … of a government dominated by Africans and expressing in its institutions the characteristic spirit of Africa and interpreted by ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top