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Freedom Charter

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Definition:

A document ratified at the Congress of the People, held at Kliptown, Soweto, in June 1955, by the various member bodies of the Congress Alliance. The policies set out in the Charter included a demand for a multi-racial, democratically elected government, equal opportunities, the nationalisation of banks, mines and heavy industries, and a redistribution of land. Africanist members of the ANC rejected the Freedom Charter and broke away to form the Pan Africanist Congress.

In 1956, following extensive searches of various homes and confiscation of documents, 156 people involved in the creation and ratification of the Freedom Charter were arrested for treason (see Treason Trial).

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