As part of Human Rights Month build-up activities, the Department of Arts and Culture is hosting a series of lectures at universities across the county under the theme, “Racism: Not in my name.” Prof Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga will be conducting a lecture at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Missionvale Campus on Monday,14 March 2016. This is the second lecture amongst the planned series of lectures; the first lecture was conducted by Prof Sphamandla Zondi at Vaal University on 10 March 2016.
The Month of March marks Human Rights Month Celebrations in South Africa to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for liberation and to celebrate the achievement of democracy in South Africa. This year’s celebrations takes place under the theme, “South Africa United Against Racism.” In the recent months, the country experienced upsurge in racist incidents that manifested themselves especially on social media.
The basis of Human Rights Day is attributed to the Sharpeville Massacre that took place on 21 March 1960 where citizens across the country, embarked on a protest march to protest against pass laws. The apartheid police shot and killed 69 of the protesters at Sharpeville and many other people were killed in other parts of the country.
This year’s celebration coincides with the 20th anniversary of the signing of the final draft of the Constitution into law and the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s march to the Union Building. The signing of the Constitution took place in Sharpeville on 10 December 1996. The Constitution laid the foundation for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people.
The Human Rights month therefore is an opportunity for all South Africans to improve their understanding on what constitutes racism and to have a constructive dialogue on how to address it. South Africans need to be united on all fronts to address the scourge of racism. Human Rights day Celebrations will take place on 21 March 2016 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu Natal.
Other lectures are scheduled as follows: 15 March 2016 at 12:00 – 14:00, North West University, Guest Speaker: Prof Willem Esterhyse; 15 March 2016 at 12:00 – 14:00, Durban University of Technology, Guest Speaker: Mr Sandile Zungu and 18 March 2016 at 18:00 – 20:00,Sol Plaatjie University, Guest Speaker: Ms Simphiwe Dana.
Members of the media are invited as follows:
Date : 14 March 2016
Time : 18:00 – 20:00
Venue: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Missionvale Campus
Media RSPVs: Obed Makgoale, ObedM@dac.gov.za, 012 441 3713 / 079 311 8546
Media enquires: Teresa Magidela, TeresaM@dac.gov.za , 060 601 7724
Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture