The Freedom Charter of South Africa
by United Nations Centre against Apartheid
New York, New York, United Nations
United Nations Centre Against Apartheid
Contents: We, the people of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know • The people shall govern! • All national groups shall have equal rights! • The people shall share in the country's wealth! • The land shall be shared among those who work it! • All shall be equal before the law! • All shall enjoy equal human rights! • There shall be work and security! • The doors of learning and of culture shall be opened! • There shall be houses, security and comfort! • There shall be peace and friendship! • 'These freedoms we will fight for, side by side, throughout our lives, until we have won our liberty'. • The pamphlet says the "Freedom Charter'' was unanimously adopted at a "Congress of the People", held in Kliptown, near Johannesburg, on 25 and 26 June, 1955. The pamphlet says the Congress was convened by the African National Congress (ANC), together with the South African Indian Congress, the South African Coloured Peoples' Organization and the Congress of Democrats (an organization of whites supporting the liberation movement); it was attended by 2,888 delegates from throughout South Africa, and was perhaps the most representative gathering ever held in the country. The pamphlet says the Charter was adopted by the four sponsoring organizations as their policy and became a manifesto of their struggle for freedom. The pamphlet says a year later, 156 leaders of these organizations were arrested and charged with "treason''; they were acquitted after a trial lasting more than four years, but the ANC and the Congress of Democrats were soon banned, while the other two organizations were effectively prevented from legal operation by the banning of their leaders.
Collection: Private collection of Premilla Nadasen