ANC Youth League (ANCYL)

By Bridget Healy

A Brief Summary

The ANC Youth League was formed on April 2, 1944 by many influential leader, including Anton Lembede, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo. The league's goal was to acquire support from the masses in the armed struggle and to encourage the youth to take a stand. The ANC Youth League's plan was to boycott, strike and defy the NP government in office at the time. However the Youth League's life was short lived, around the time of the treason trial many of their leaders were among the accused leaving them with little direction until the innocent verdict was given. But this was not the only factor in the ANC's downfall, After the adoption of the freedom charter, many members of the ANC broke off and formed the PAC (Pan African Congress). After these events the Youth league was rather dormant and was slowly replaced with other groups fighting for the same cause in similar ways.

ANC Youth League Significance

The ANC Youth league played an important role in the anti-Apartheid movement. One of the more memorable things they did to support the campaign was creating many of the ideas that made up the defiance campaign. The ANCYL provided the pressure needed to create progress within the ANC to launch the campaign when the NP (National Party) was elected in 1948. The militant approach which the Youth League had adopted inspired many Africans to take a stand and participate in the protests and boycotts. This inspiration and participation from africans as well as from those in other groups was essential to the continuation of the movement, as the ANC was losing volunteers and credibility among the people. The progressive ideas of the ANCYL interested people and gave them hope, and gave the movement the boost it needed.

ANC Youth League Constitution

This document provides insight into the workings and ideas behind the creation and establishment of the ANCYL

ANC Youth League Manifesto- 1944

This document states the beliefs and ideals of the Youth League