2. The 1943 African Claims in South Africa Document

Members of the Atlantic Committee

The ANC’s Atlantic Charter Committee Members comprised:

  1. R.G. Baloyi, Treasurer-General, African National Congress.
  2. Dr R.T. Bokwe M.B., Ch.B., Medical Practitioner, Executive Member A.N.C., Additional District Surgeon, Middledrift.
  3. Rev. James Calata, Priest, Secretary-General, A.N.C.
  4. R.H. Godlo, Member of Native Representative Council, President Location Advisory Board, Executive Member A.N.C.
  5. M.L. Kabane, B.A., Teacher, president O.F.S. African Teachers’ Association.
  6. Moses Kotane, Secretary S.A. Communist Party, Member of the A.N.C.
  7. S. Mac Lepolisa, Trader, Organiser O.F.S. African National Congress, Deputy Speaker, A.N.C.
  8. Rev. Z.S. Mahabane, Minister, Chaplain, A.N.C.
  9. G. Makabani, Trade Unionist, President Council of non-European Trade Unions, Johannesburg.
  10. T. M. Mapikela, Honorary Life Speaker, A.N.C., Executive member of A.N.C.
  11. Z.K. Matthews, M.A., LL.B., Lecturer, Fort Hare College, a member of the Representative Council, Executive member A.N.C.
  12. C. Mbata, B.A., Teacher, Chairman African Study Circle, Johannesburg.
  13. G. A. Mbeki, B.A., B.com., Trade Secretary, Federation of Organised Bodies, Transkei
  14. M.T. Moerane, B.A., Secretary, Natal Bantu Teachers’ Association.
  15. E.T. Mofutsanyane, member National Executive A.N.C.
  16. Dr. S.M. Molema, M.B., Ch.B., Medical Practitioner, Executive member of the A.N.C.
  17. Dr. J.S. Moroka, M.B., Ch.B., Member of the Native Representative Council, Treasurer All African Convention.
  18. Rev. Mpitso, Mendi memorial Fund, Secretary-Organiser African Ministers Association, Executive Member A.N.C.
  19. Rev. Abner Mtimkulu, M.A., Minister, Acting-President, Natal A.N.C.
  20. Don Mtimkulu, M.A., President, African Teachers’ Federation.
  21. Leo Mtimkulu, Attorney.
  22. J.M. Nhlapo, B.A., Wilberforce Institution, Executive member, A.N.C.
  23. Selby Ngcobo, B.A., B.Econ., Principal Loram Secondary School.
  24. Dr. I.P. Ka Seme, B.A, LL.D., Attorney at law, Congress National Executive.
  25. Dr. R. Setlogelo, M.B., Ch.,B, Medical Practitioner.
  26. R.V. Selope-Thema, Editor, Bantu World, Member Native Representative Council, Speaker A.N.C.
  27. B.B. Xiniwe, Member native Representative Council.
  28. Dr. A.B. Xuma, M.D., B.Sc. (U.S.A.), L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S. (Edin), L.R.F.P. & S. (Glas), DP.H. (Lond.), Medical Practitioner, Medical Officer of Health Alexandra Health Committee, Physician-in-Charge Cragman Community, Clinic, Evaton.


Dr. A.B. Xuma’s full speech at the adoption of African Claims:

We deliberately set up a committee composed exclusively of Africans in South Africa to deal with this matter so that they can declare without assistance or influences from others, their hopes and despairs. The document that follows is their deliberate and considered conclusion as well as their conviction. Others who believe in justice … for all human beings will support these rightful claims from Africans themselves. The list of names of the members of the committee who produced this document tells a story for those who would understand. These fruits of their labours are a a legacy, nay a heritage, which they will leave behind for future generations to enjoy. For it, and to them, we are all forever indebted.

As African leaders we are not so foolish as to believe that because we have made these declarations that our government will grant us our claims for the mere asking. We realise that for the African this is only the beginning of a long struggle entailing great sacrifices of them, means and even life itself. To the African people the declaration is a challenge to organise and unite themselves under the mass liberation movement, the African National Congress. The struggle is on right now and it must be persistent and insistent. In a mass liberation movement there is no room for divisions or for personal ambitions. The goal is one, namely, freedom for all. It should be the central and only aim for the objective of all true African nationals. Divisions and gratification of personal ambitions under the circumstances will be a betrayal of this great cause.

On behalf of my Committee and the African National Congress I call upon chiefs, ministers of religion, teachers, professional men, men and women of all ranks and classes to organise our people, to close ranks and take their place in this mass liberation movement and struggle, expressed in this Bill of Citizenship Rights until freedom, right and justice are won for all races and colours to the honour and glory of the Union of South Africa whose ideals – freedom, democracy, Christianity and human decency cannot be attained until all races in South Africa participate in them.

I am confident that all men and women of goodwill of all races and nations will see the justice of our cause and stand with us and support us in our struggle.

Dr. A.B. Xuma

Then ANC President, 1943


Audio Visual

President Mandela gives his State of the Nation address in Parliament. Mandela ends his address with the words, “Let us all get down to work”.

“We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political and the human rights of all our citizens.”– President Mandela, extract from State of the Nation Address, 24 May 1994

President Nelson Mandela announces his cabinet. It includes members of the African National Congress, National Party and Inkatha Freedom Party.

“There was pride in serving in the first democratic government in South Africa, and then the additional pride of serving under the iconic leadership of Nelson Mandela … [He] represented the hopes of not just our country, but of oppressed, marginalised and the poor in the world.”– Jay Naidoo, then Minister of RDP housing
“We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.”– President Nelson Mandela, 10 May 1994