By the time this act was passed the african national

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By the time this Act was passed, the African National Congress (ANC) had come into being on January 8 1912, in Bloemfontein, in an act of unity joining an educated elite, the rural classes and tribal structures. The commit- tee included Sol Plaatje as secretary; the first president of the ANC was the Rev John L Dube. Both formed part of a second unsuccessful delegation to London, this time to protest the land grab. Resistance started to assume a more outspoken and militant form, especially when several hundred black women marched in Bloemfontein to protest against being forced to buy passes every month. Similar protests were held in other places, and participants arrested. The women were harshly treated in jail. Mohandas Gandhi The Indian community were also suffering under viciously racist treatment in 1891 they had been expelled from the Orange Free State altogether. Mohandas Gandhi, then a young lawyer who had arrived in South Africa in 1892, had become a leading figure in Indian resistance. The struggle against the £3 Indian poll tax in Natal involved a mass strike in which a number of Indians were killed, but achieved success when the tax was removed in 1914 the year Gandhi, then known as Mahatma, left the country. Afrikaner Polarisation In the white camp, Botha and Smuts were in favour of reconciliation with English South Africans. But they did not represent the whole of the embittered Afrikaner nation, and JBM Hertzog formed the more conservative Nationalist Party. Afrikaner polarisation assumed dramatic form when South Africa entered the First World War in support of Britain and anti-British Afrikaners unsuc- cessfully rebelled. Still hoping for support from the British government there had been further delegations the ANC supported involvement in the war and unknown numbers of black soldiers died. (South Af- rica gained control over the previously German-held South West Africa now Namibia as a result of the war; the territory became a Union mandate.) Black Workers, White Workers With the inspiration of the October Revolution in Russia, the post-war period was marked by strike action. In 1918, a million black mine workers went on strike for higher wages, and 71 000 did the same in 1920 the latter strike successfully extracting a wage increase. Between those strikes, 1919 saw the formation of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of South Africa and the convening of the South African Indian Congress. In the same year, Botha died and Smuts became Prime Minister. If official (white) South Africa was taking its place in the wider world as a result of the First World War, the ANC was beginning to see itself as part of the wider African efforts against colo- nialism in Africa. In its 1918 constitution it referred to itself as a Pan African Association and the organisation attended the second congress of the international Pan African Movement in 1921 (not to be confused with the later South African Pan-Africanist Congress).

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