26th June – South African Freedom Day (Aftermath)


Enuga Sreenivasulu Reddy
Secretary of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid 1963–1965
Director of the United Nations Centre against Apartheid, 1976–1983

June 26th:

Aftermath and Summary

In December 1952, the United Nations General Assembly set up a United Nations Commission on the Racial Situation in the Union of South Africa (UNCORS). Later, this became the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid; later still the United Nations Centre against Apartheid was established, with Mr Enuga S Reddy as its Director.

The text of the Freedom Charter was reproduced in the third report of UNCORS to the General Assembly in 1955. It was published as a document of the Security Council, at the request of the delegation of Benin in October 1977 as document S/12425.

The United Nations publicised the Freedom Charter all over the world.

On June 26, 1969, as recorded by E S Reddy, the following statement was made to the Committee by one of its members, H. E. Mr. Abdulrahim Abby Farah (Somalia):

“Today, 26 June, is traditionally observed by the African National Congress of South Africa and its associate organisations, as well as by many other bodies, including anti-apartheid movements and various international organisations, as ‘South Africa Freedom Day.’ 26 June was so designated because it was on 26 June 1950 that the first national stay-at-home strike was organised as a mark of protest against the Suppression of Communism Act and other undemocratic and unjust legislation.

“It was, again, on 26 June 1952, that the historic Campaign of Defiance of Unjust Laws was launched. But above all, 26 June was chosen as ‘South Africa Freedom Day’ as it commemorates the historic adoption, on 26 June 1955, of the Freedom Charter by the Congress of the People of South Africa, a multi-racial conference of the opponents of apartheid and racial discrimination.”


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