In 2008, the ANC was removed from the US terror list.
From BBC:

US President George W Bush has signed a bill removing Nelson Mandela and South African leaders from the US terror watch list, officials say.

QUESTION: Since when had it been listed?

As I want to add the information to Wikipedia, a reference is necessary.

  • Is the list public? I cant find it. I've been on aclunc.org/cases/landmark_cases/asset_upload_file371_3549.pdf but much of it has been blacked out.
    – Russell
    Jul 12, 2012 at 8:00
  • @Russell: The following files are thought to be the reference for the current list, but does not say anything about the past, as far as I know: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – nic
    Jul 12, 2012 at 8:13
  • @Russell - Yes. I just added a link to it. Finding old versions may be tricky though.
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 12, 2012 at 14:25
  • If you do get an answer, I hope you credit History.SE in your Wikipedia edit for finding it
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 12, 2012 at 14:41
  • @T.E.D. OK I will mention History.SE :-)
    – nic
    Jul 12, 2012 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


I'm going to say going from here that it is 1961, as it seems to be when they start engaging in terror practices although I doubt the list goes back that far. Yet from the graph of incidences I see the first one recorded here is on 1976-11-30.

I'd need to coordinate these with when the list really started though.

So I did some more checking and really the ANC was first on the Terrorism Watch List, which looks to he the predecessor of the FTO list prior to the Patriot Act. It looks like at first, according to USA Today (I know, but bear with me) that the ANC was considered a Terror Organization by the former Apartheid government of South Africa. Which fits in with the timeline I noted above, where the government the ANC was seeking relief from considered the ANC a terror organization. Considering the time that would probably be true. Now trying to tie down the time period I get two different era's so I am not sure what makes more sense here.

Either it was during the Reagan administration:

In the United States, the Reagan Administration insisted on listing the ANC among terrorist organizations. Conservatives often exhibit a tragically limited time horizon. One consequence of this was that long after his release from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela still found himself flagged on the U.S. terrorism watch list in 2008, which required him to obtain special permission to enter the USA.

or if you go by Senator John Kerry, who helped support the amendment to remove the ANC from the FTO then it's back to the 1970's.

In the 1970s, the U.S. government placed the members and representatives of the ANC, including its leaders like Mandela, Walter Sisulu, and Govan Mbeki - the father of South African President Thabo Mbeki - on the U.S. Terrorist Watch List.

  • I found that page, and several others that mention 1961 as the start of ANC terrorisim. That isn't the same thing as being put on the list (did the USA even have such a list in 1961?) It seems like this is something that an answer ought to be obtainable for...
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 12, 2012 at 23:21
  • You're right, the best would be to obtain what was the first publicly available official list. It might be relatively recent, I don't know. Right now the list apparently comes in the form of a press release from the "Bureau of Counterterrorism", but that could have changed over time. Some countries' list come in the form of a decree, in which case it is sure to be archived somewhere.
    – nic
    Jul 13, 2012 at 2:08
  • Agreed, the timelines suggest when the ANC could be put on the list, but as to when that list was actually compiled THAT would be a better focus for a date.
    – MichaelF
    Jul 13, 2012 at 9:11

Here is a link to a "WaybackMachine" archive of the JohnKerry.com page that now seems to be missing... http://web.archive.org/web/20081009190140/http://www.johnkerry.com/news/entry/congress_lifts_terrorist_ban_on_mandela_anc/

  • 5
    Welcome to History Stack Exchange! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Luke_0
    Dec 6, 2013 at 16:57

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