News & events


SEMINAR ON THE: Freedom Charter

21 April 2015
12:30 - 14:30

Mandla Seleoane, LCM Labour Relations Consultancy
Ben Mokoena, 1st post-apartheid mayor of Middelburg, Councillor in the Steve Tshwete Municipality, (Mpumalanga)

Prof. Steven Friedman Politics and International Relations: Rhodes University, Grahamstown

Date:  Tuesday, 21 April       Time: 12:30  – 14:30

Venue:    VCRs, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban

2015 marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter. Soon after its adoption the liberation movement was split because agreement could not be reached on ‘some of the clauses in the Charter, particularly the clause with the phrase ‘South Africa belongs to all who live in it’. Yet, it continued to be the guiding political document of the leading liberation movement, the African National Congress, for decades.

In the 1980s the liberation movement was divided once again around the same differences that emerged in the late 1950s. The divisions were also found in the trade union movement, which was sharply divided between major federations on the basis of support for, or rejection of the Freedom Charter.

During a period of heightened internal resistance, as well as an upsurge in armed activity carried out by the military wings of the liberation movements led from exile, the Freedom Charter both united millions of people inside the country into the United Democratic Front, while causing divisions and the subsequent formation of the National Forum. Twenty-one years after the demise of apartheid, the document continues to unite and to divide South Africans.

A new dimension has been added to the divide lately. Previously the division was between those who supported and those who opposed the Charter. Lately, the division is also between those who, whilst supporting the Charter, accuse its erstwhile motive force, the ANC, of abandoning it.
For all its cohesive and divisive force down the years, the Freedom Charter has never really been subjected to serious scrutiny. Mandla Seleoane and Ben Mokoena have recently done just that in a book titled Reflections on the Freedom Charter and will focus on the Freedom Charter at the seminar.

The seminar may be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban

RSVP by 20 April
Cape Town: Jean Witten (021) 466  8004,   12th Floor, Plein Park Building, Plein Street, Cape Town
Durban: Ridhwaan Khan (031) 242 5400,   1st Floor, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor
Pretoria: Arlene Grossberg (012) 302 2811,  1st  Floor, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria