Written by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, The Root

Nelson Mandela gives the black power salute to 120,000 ANC supporters. (Weitz/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The kickoff will be in the town of Bloemfontein, where the ANC was founded, and is expected to be attended by more than 120,000 people, including foreign heads of state and other dignitaries.

The celebration will be taking place as the ANC, which is also South Africa's ruling party, is beset with infighting and intrigues, including debates over the leadership at the top of the "broad church"(the description attached to the ANC's Tripartite Alliance with the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions) - a coalition whose membership, though predominantly black, is racially diverse, economically varied and both rural and urban in makeup.

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