This Day in Black History: Dec. 18, 2007

Jacob Zuma was sworn in as president of the African National Congress.

Posted: 12/18/2013 12:00 AM EST

Jacob Zuma was sworn in as president of the African National Congress (ANC) on Dec. 18, 2007. Following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Zuma went on to become the third Black, post-apartheid president of South Africa.

The ANC came into existence in 1923 as a direct response to the oppression of Black people in South Africa. In resistance to apartheid, the ANC established their armed wing known as MK.

Alongside Mandela, during the armed struggle for freedom, Zuma was also imprisoned on Robben Island for 10 years, charged and convicted of conspiring to overthrow the white run government of the day.

Born in what is now KwaZulu Natal, Zuma received no formal schooling. His long political career began in 1959 when he first joined the ANC, but his reputation since then has been dogged by allegations of rape, racketeering and corruption. 

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(Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)