7 March 2018

South Africa: Arts and Culture Commemorates Human Rights Month Through Dialogues

press release

The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) in partnership with other government departments, private and civil organisations will commemorate Human Rights Month through dialogues and other activities under the 2018 theme, "The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: promoting and deepening a human rights culture across society." The dialogues will be led by DAC Social Cohesion Advocates and Living Legends in various venues around the country.

Speaking during the Human Rights Month launch on 01 March 2018 in Cape Town, the Minister said that, this year, we shall celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of two of the greatest leaders this country, continent and the world has ever known, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Ma Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu. "We also marked the 40th anniversary of the untimely passing of that eminent African scholar, political activist and a leader of our people, Professor Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe", added Minister Mthethwa.

Human Rights Day commemorations will be held on March, 21 at George Thabe Cricket Pitch, Sharpeville in Vereeniging. The democratic government declared 21 March as Human Rights Day to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for liberation and to celebrate the achievement of democracy in South Africa. The basis of Human Rights Day is attributed to the Sharpeville Massacre that took place on 21 March 1960 where the apartheid police shot and killed 69 people in a peaceful protest march against pass laws.

"We urge all residents citizens of this country to participate in these activities in order to promote the culture of working together and to build the South Africa we want to live in", stated Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

The activities are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, 06 March 2018, arts at Sharpeville Hall at 10:00 The Department held dialogue on human rights from the perspective of the arts. Speakers included the Living legends and social cohesion advocates such as Don Mattera and Caiphus Semenya among others.

Thursday, 08 March 2018 at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) at 12:00: Arts and culture in partnership with South African Human Rights council (SAHRC) will host Human Rights dialogue on decolonisation and human rights. Speakers - Prof Somadoda Fikeni; Prof Siphamandla Zondi and Adv. Mohamed Shafie Ameermia of SAHRC.

Thursday, 15 March 2018, Stellenbosch University at 12:00: Dialogue on Human rights and the language question - Are Afrikaans-only medium institutions antithetical to the founding values of the Constitution? Speakers - Professor Willem Esterhuyse, Dr Max Price and Patrick Solomons

Wednesday, 20 March 2018, Sharpeville at 18:00 - Dialogue on Human rights and the language question - Are Afrikaans-only medium institutions antithetical to the founding values of the Constitution? Speakers: Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Dennis George, Advocate George Bizoz, Commissioner Angie Makwetla, Commissioner Prof David Mosoma, Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, Commissioner Mbuyiselo Botha.

Wednesday, 27 March 2018 at Pretoria Girls High School: School debate on rights and responsibilities School RCL, Young Patriots and Youth Advocates Pretoria Girls High School.

Issued by: Department of Arts and Culture

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