Many of the ANC’s founders and leaders in the decades after 1912 were, in broad ideological terms, liberals. Lawyers, teachers, newspaper editors, doctors and nurses from across the country galvanised chiefs and other traditional leaders to support them to form the organisation in 1912.

These were people who believed in property rights and the robust defence thereof by the state. They believed in some form of a free market, the rule of law and civil liberties for all, as defined by Thomas Hobbes and Adam Smith. They were not Marxists...

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