The Minister for Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa will on 10 December 2019 deliver a lecture in Sharpeville to mark the 23 years of the signing of the Constitution (which was assented into law by President Mandela in Sharpeville 23 years ago) under the theme: “Living the Values and Promises of a Constitutional Order.”
The Constitution, a delicately balanced document intended to lay the foundations for a new South Africa as the country rebuilt itself after 40 crippling years of apartheid. It was the result of two years of fractious negotiation, which came into effect in 1994, not only set the stage for South Africa’s first democratic elections, but was as the document itself explained “a historic bridge between the past of a deeply divided society characterised by strife, conflict, untold suffering and injustice, and a future founded on the recognition of human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence and development opportunities for all South Africans, irrespective of colour, race, class, belief or sex”.
After South Africa successfully held its first democratic elections on 27 April 1994, work began on the final Constitution. After much negotiation, and ratification by the Constitutional Court now the highest court in the country, Nelson Mandela signed the Constitution into law in Sharpeville, in Vereeniging, on 10 December 1996, International Human Rights Day.
The Constitution came into effect on 4 February 1997. The week of 17 to 21 March 1997 was named national Constitution Week, during which more than 7-million copies of the document were distributed in all 11 of South Africa’s official languages.
Minister Mthethwa will deliberate more at Sharpville on the threats to peace, unbanning of freedom and the progressive reform when delivering the lecture, He will thereafter leave for the Constitution Hill to launch the colloquium of the General Hashim Mbita publication.
The late Brigadier General Hashim Mbita was a freedom fighter in Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and made an immense contribution to the liberation of Africa said Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.
South Africa conferred Mbita with The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in Gold for: His exceptional and gallant support of African liberation movements and tireless efforts in ensuring that the struggle for freedom in the African Continent bears the fruits of freedom.
Zimbabwe conferred Mbita with the Royal Order of Munhumutapa in recognition of his contribution to the liberation of Africa.
Members of the media are invited to cover these activities which are scheduled to take place as follows:
Memorial Lecture on the signing of the Constitution of the Republic
Date: 10 December 2019
Venue: Vereeniging City Theatre
Launch Colloquium of the General Hashim Mbita Publication
Date: 10 December 2019
Venue: Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, Gauteng
Members of the media should RSVP to Madimetja Moleba at 066 301 4675 / email@example.com and Mthuthuzeli Nqumba at firstname.lastname@example.org / 066 302 5397
Media Enquiries: Ms Petunia Lessing at email@example.com / 066 301 4645
For more information kindly contact Head of Communications, Zimasa Velaphi at firstname.lastname@example.org / 072 172 8925 and Spokesperson to the Minister Asanda Magaqa at email@example.com / 072 327 6807
Issued by the National Department of Arts and Culture