Freedom Charter on auction
Johannesburg - A copy of the original Freedom Charter will be auctioned in London later this month, Bonhams said on Wednesday.
The document, of immense importance to South Africans, was expected to fetch between R221 561 and R332 156 on March 24, the auctioneer said in a statement.
Bonham's spokesperson Julian Roup said the document was a copy of the original Freedom Charter "to which the original signatories attached their signature".
It is signed by Albert Luthuli, president of the ANC, Leon Levy, president of the SA Congress of Trades Unions, Monty Naiker, president of the National Indian Congress, Jimmy Laguma, president of the SA Coloured Peoples Congress and Pieter Beyleveld, president of the SA Congress of Democrats.
Roup said the seller wished to remain anonymous.
To remain in the country
Due to the document's historical importance, it will be sold without a South African export licence - to ensure it remained in the country.
"The document is notable for its demand for and commitment to a non-racial South Africa, and this has remained the platform of the ANC."
"The new 'Constitution of South Africa' included in its text many of the demands called for in the Freedom Charter. In this way the Freedom Charter can be seen as a foundation for the current South African Constitution."
It would be sold alongside 230 works of South African artists, including Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser, Jacob Pierneef, Gerard Sekoto, William Kentridge, Maud Sumner and Cecil Skotnes.
The document was adopted at the Congress of the People in Kliptown, Soweto, on June 26 1955.
It was sponsored by the South African Congress Alliance, which consisted of the ANC, the SA Indian Congress, the SA Coloured People's Organisation and the Congress of Democrats.
The document can be viewed on the auction house website.