The Freedom Charter

The Freedom Charter was the statement of core principles of the South African Congress Alliance, which consisted of the African National Congress and its allies the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People`s Congress. It is characterized by its opening demand; The People Shall Govern!

The Charter was officially adopted on June 26, 1955 at a Congress of the People in Kliptown. The meeting was attended by roughly three thousand delegates but was broken up by police on the second day, although by then the charter had been read in full. The crowd had shouted its approval of each section with cries of `Afrika!` and `Mayibuye!`

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The Freedom Charter declares that:

  • 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 culture shall be opened
  • There shall be houses, security and comfort
  • There shall be peace and friendship

See the full text of the Freedom Charter