Freed Leaders of Banned ANC to Address a Rally

Associated Press

Leaders of the African National Congress plan to address a rally in South Africa for the first time since the organization was banned in 1960, activists said Saturday. The government has granted permission.

"It's time for the ANC leaders to address the nation," said Cyril Ramaphosa, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers.

Seven ANC leaders freed from prison last Sunday will speak at the rally Oct. 29 in the black township of Soweto outside Johannesburg, the activists said.

"Apart from being a welcoming party, the rally is going to be an occasion at which our leaders will be making a major address to the nation on a whole range of issues," said Ramaphosa.

He said the government had been informed of plans for the rally but no permission was sought. However, the Department of Justice said in a statement late Friday that the chief magistrate of Johannesburg had approved the rally.

No African National Congress rally has been allowed in South Africa since the organization was banned in 1960.

Ramaphosa spoke at a news conference near the home of senior ANC leader Walter Sisulu, who along with other freed prisoners met Saturday with Anglican Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu at an impromptu birthday celebration for Sisulu's activist wife, Albertina, 72.

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