Fonds A3408 - Albert Lutuli letter

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Reference code

ZA HPRA A3408

Title

Albert Lutuli letter

Date(s)

  • 15 June 1953 (Creation)

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Fonds

Extent and medium

1 letter, handwritten

Context area

Name of creator

(1898 - 21 July 1967)

Biographical history

Chief Albert Lutuli, a teacher and activist, became the President-General of the African National Congress (ANC) from December 1952, which he remained until his death in 1967. He was the first African to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The letter was received from Professor Thomas Karis in 2016.

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Scope and content

The letter, written by Albert Lutuli, is addressed to Prof ZK Matthews, dated 15 June 1953

Albert Lutuli makes reference to a letter he received from ZK Matthews on 11 June 1953, and assures him that the letter has not been tempered with. He goes on explaining that he learned from the 'White Press' that Matthews had arrived from the U.S.A. He agrees with Matthews that the bans (Lutuli was a banned person at the time) 'have much nuisance value'. Lutuli then attends to suggestions made by Matthews for the commemoration of 'June 26' 1953, saying that he will be issuing a PRESIDENTIAL MESSAGE AND CALL (written in capital letters) for the whole Union. He also promised that the Working Committee has approved the statement, and that it will be distributed to branches, as well as published in the newspapers 'Bantu World', 'Ilanga' and 'Imvo'. He finally passes greetings to all friends at Fort Hare and signs "Yours in the National Service Albert Lutuli President-General, A.N.C".

The 26 June was traditionally observed by the African National Congress and other organisations, because it was on the 26 June 1950 that the Suppression of Communism Act was passed by the South African government, sparking national protest actions. Following this letter, Albert Lutuli issued his public statement for the commemoration of the 26 June 1953. Furthermore, ZK Matthews proposed a national convention in 1953, calling for a Freedom Charter for a democratic South Africa.

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Copyright permission has to be obtained for publication.

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"f" collection

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