The official report of the National Action Council that coordinated the entire campaign stated that there were 2 844 delegates representing all the most important urban centres, with approximately 300 delegates from Natal, 250 from the Eastern and Western Cape, 50 from the OFS and the rest came from the Transvaal, mainly from Johannesburg.
The CoP opened under the chairmanship of Dr W Conco with a prayer by Reverend Gawe and a speech delivered on behalf of Chief Albert Luthuli, who could not attend because of his banning order. This was followed by the presentation of the Isitwalandwe – an honour of a bird feather conferred on distinguished sons of the Xhosa people – to Chief Albert Luthuli, Dr Yusuf Dadoo and Father Trevor Huddleston “in recognition of their work to build a better life in our country, founded upon democracy and equality”. After this each clause of the Freedom Charter was motivated by various speakers as listed below; limited discussion and comments were elicited from the delegates, and the clause was adopted by a show of hands:
Preamble of the Freedom Charter – Alfred Hutchinson
The People Shall Govern – NT Naicker
All National Groups Shall Have Equal Rights – Dr Letele
The People Shall Share in the Country’s Wealth – Ben Turok
The Land Shall Be Shared Amongst Those Who Work It – TE Tshunungwa
All Shall Be Equal before the Law – Dr A Sader
All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights – Sonya Bunting
There Shall Be Work and Security – Leslie Masina
The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall Be Opened – Es’kia Mphahlele
About the Author
Dr Ismail Vadi is a Member of the Executive Council for Roads and Transport in Gauteng. He currently serves on the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC and the Board of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.
He was born in Kliptown in 1960, where the historic Congress of the People was held. He is a former school teacher and lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of the Witwatersrand. He has had a varied political career. He was an activist in the Transvaal Indian Congress and the United Democratic Front. He was a founder member of the Progressive Teachers’ League and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union.
|Parameters of Book:
|Colour:||Black and White|
|Publication Date:||July 2015|