As part of Human Rights Month activities, the Department of Arts and Culture have been conducting a series of lectures at Universities across the country under the theme, Racism: Not in my name. The lecture will be presented by Mr. Sandile Zungu at the Durban University of Technology in KwaZulu Natal on 15 March 2016. This will be the third lecture amongst the planned series of lectures, the first and second lectures were conducted by Prof Sphamandla Zondi at Vaal University and Prof Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Missionvale Campus in Port Elizabeth, respectively.
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 celebration 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 historical 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.
Members of the media are invited as follows:
Date : 15 March 2016
Time : 12:00 – 14:00
Venue : Durban University of Technology, Steve Biko Campus.
Media RSPVs: Rethabile Selepe, email@example.com 072 722 3149
Media enquires: Teresa Magidela, TeresaM@dac.gov.za , 060 601 7724
Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture