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Video: Raymond Suttner Discusses the 50th Anniversary of Albert Luthuli’s Nobel Prize

December 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of two momentous occasions in the history of South Africa and, more specifically, the ANC. In 1961, Chief Albert Luthuli became the first African to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and, shortly thereafter, the ANC formed Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) to launch the armed struggle against apartheid.

Albert LuthuliThe ANC Underground in South AfricaIn the Shadow of Chief Albert LuthuliThe Honour to Serve

These two events might seem contradictory, but Raymond Suttner, author of The ANC Underground in South Africa, told Polity’s Dimakatso Motau that, although Luthuli wanted to continue a non-violent resistance, the apartheid government retaliated with excessive force. Incidences such as the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 eventually convinced the ANC to resort to more extreme measures:

To mark the 50th anniversary of Luthuli receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, a commemorative stamp has been released:

A new commemorative stamp to mark the 50th anniversary of Chief Albert Luthuli receiving the Nobel Peace Prize will be issued on Friday.

It will be launched on Saturday at a high-profile event at the Luthuli Museum in Groutville, the site of the original 1927 home of the chief.

Siphamandla Zondi takes a look at Luthuli’s acceptance speech in a column in the Witness and the meaning of his message for South Africa today.

Great nations overcome challenges of their day by drawing inspiration from their past heroes and heroines. Last Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the first Nobel Peace Prize for an African and South African, Inkosi Albert Luthuli, before it would be shared by Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk over 30 years later.

The president-general of the African National Congress had spent years confined to his Groutville home when he was not attending court trials for leading the fight for freedom, justice and democracy.

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