Congress Alliance

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The Congress Alliance was an anti-apartheid coalition formed in South Africa in the 1950s. Led by the ANC, the Congress was a multi-racial alliance committed to a democratic South Africa.

Congress Alliance, multi-racial struggle, and the Freedom Charter[edit]

Congress Alliance was instrumental in the development of the Freedom Charter, the statement of core principles of the Alliance. Characterized by its opening demand, "The People Shall Govern!", the Charter was ratified at a mass rally, the Congress of the People, held at Kliptown, Soweto in June 1955.[1][2]

The Congress Alliance was part of the ANC's efforts to promote a multi-racial anti-apartheid movement.[3]

Allied and Associated Organizations[edit]

Organizations allied and associated organizations with the Congress Alliance included:

The ANC led this multiracial alliance.


In December 1956 many key members of the Alliance were arrested and charged with treason, including the entire executive committee of the ANC. 105 Africans, 21 Indians, 23 whites and 7 colored members of the Congress Alliance were arrested. Many leaders, including Nelson Mandela, were detained in communal cells in Johannesburg Prison, resulting in "the largest and longest unbanned meeting of the Congress Alliance in years.".[4] These arrests led to the Treason Trial.


  1. ^ "ANC History Congress". 
  2. ^ "South African History Online". Congress Alliance. 
  3. ^ Gerhart, Gail M. Black power in South Africa: The evolution of an ideology. University of California Press. 
  4. ^ Mandela, Nelson (1994). Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela.