"Prepare for congress of the people"

On June 25 and 26, only five weeks from now, there will assemble in Kliptown, near Johannesburg, people from all corners of South Africa to attend the great Congress of the People – an event we have long awaited.

This assembly will take place at a time when the political situation in South Africa has never been so critical as it is today. The future of the country appears dark and great uncertainty has set in everywhere in the land.

No one is sure of his home any more; in various parts of the country the people are being haunted by the Group Areas Act; they are being removed in the Western Areas of Johannesburg; they are threatened with removal in the Western Cape, in Natal, in the Transkei and in other parts of the country.

The educational policy of the Nationalists, particularly as expressed in the Bantu Education Act, deprives the children of the overwhelming majority of the population of real education.

The courts and the Constitution are being threatened.

The country is faced with an impending fascist republic built on apartheid, which has been condemned the world over.

This great day of the Congress of the People, therefore, will be a ray of light and will inspire new hopes for the future. It will be of great significance not only in South Africa but also throughout the world.


I wish to remind you that the 26th of June, since 1951, has been regarded and celebrated as a People’s Day in South Africa. This year we shall re-dedicate ourselves to the struggle for freedom in that great assembly of the people, where we shall write a charter for freedom.

The almighty God has spared me to serve my people and to make this clarion call, among other things to all the people of South Africa.

In the name of justice and goodness, I now appeal to all democrats and freedom-loving people of South Africa irrespective of race, colour or creed, to unite and work together for the Congress of the People.

I call upon everyone in the next five weeks to subordinate everything to the preparations for the Congress of the People.