20 years after the release of Nelson Mandela, Islington Council in partnership with the Nubian Jak Community Trust installed an anniversary Green Plaque on the former headquarters of the ANC at 28 Penton Street, Islington, London N7. The ANC was founded in South Africa on 8 January 1912 by John Langalibalele Dube in Bloemfontein as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), its primary mission was to bring all Africans together as one people, to defend their rights and freedoms. This included giving full voting rights to Black South Africans and mixed-race South Africans and, to end the apartheid system introduced by the National Party government after their election victory in 1948. The African National came to power when Nelson Mandela was elected president at the first free and fair elections in 1994.
28 Penton Street is a four floor townhouse owned by the African National Congress (ANC). Between 1978 and 1994 the building was the London headquarters of the ANC, t. During this time the office was the central base for co-ordinating anti apartheid activity in the UK, and for bringing to the attention of the international community, some of the atrocities that were occurring in the country. After South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, when Nelson Mandela was elected president, the charity Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) resided at the address up until 2006. Since its inception ACTSA has campaigned with the people of southern Africa and with them continues to build a future of justice, human rights, development and democracy for the region.
The commemorative plaque was unveiled on Monday 22nd February by His Excellency Dr Zola Skweyiya, High Commissioner for South Africa, Islington Council leader Terry Stacy, Councillor The Hon Anna Berent Mayor of Islington, and Jak Beula, Chair of the Nubian Jak Community Trust. The unveiling is part of a 20th anniversary to honour the Anti Apartheid Movement in the borough of Islington, and the role some of it’s members played in helping to bring freedom and democracy to South Africa.The ANC plaque is the first of several green plaques the council will be unveiling to commemorate significant people and sites in the borough of Islington.
‘The ANC Plaque, coming on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, and just a few months before the world cup in South Africa, is a timely reminder of those whose commitment to freedom, justice and democracy, has contributed to a new South Africa of hope and fulfilled potential.”Jak Beula, Chair of the Nubian Jak Community Trust.