South African’s National Liberation Movement

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Congress of the People

1955 - 1980

The Congress Alliance came together to organise the Congress of the people – a conference of all the people of South Africa – which presented people`s demands for the kind of South Africa they wanted.
I was there
On the 25th anniversary of the Congress of the People, a delegate to that historic occasion describes the work involved in its preparation and the atmosphere and spirit of Kliptown June 25-26, 1955. This article was published in Sechaba – June 1980
Freedom in our Lifetime

This article was written by Nelson Mandela and appeared in Liberation, the newspaper of the Congress Movement, in June 1956

What Women Demand

This list of demands was drawn up by the Transvaal FSAW for submission to the convenors of the Congress of the People for incorporation in the Freedom Charter. It was first presented on 29 May 1955 and went through various revisions.

The document provoked a lot of discussion as it contained several controversial matters. One was that it appeared to accept the notion of separate reserves for African people; the other was that it called for birth control clinics – an advanced demand for that time.


Call to the Congress of the People

Call to the Congress of the People was a leaflet issued by the National Action Council of the Congress of the People in 1955