Today was an amazing event of social/civic unity where we met in celebration of human rights day in Nelson Mandela Bay. Human Rights ????? pic.twitter.com/aCt82tyASM
— Athol Trollip (@AtholT) March 21, 2017
Doves were released as a symbol of peace as residents from every corner of the Metro commemorated Human Rights Day at the Donkin Reserve and Vuyisile Mini Square yesterday.
March 21, marks an important day in the national calendar as the Sharpeville massacre is commemorated annually to honour the day and human rights. On March 21 1960, a total of 69 civilians were killed by police while protesting against pass laws at the old Sharpeville Police Station.
In Nelson Mandela Bay this day also marked the fateful day of the KwaLanga massacre. This tragic event makes Human Rights Day all the more significant for our Metro.
Speaking at the event, Executive Mayor Athol Trollip said that South Africans needed to refocus on our unity of purpose, our commitment to redress, reconciliation and growing the country’s economy to create jobs and develop communities.
“There’s still one thing missing, that intangible magic that brings us together as a people. We are still segregated, especially under pressure, which is why this administation is determined to turn townships into suburbs to redress spatial apartheid in our City. Today, I’d like us to mark this important day which represents all the sacrifices made by so many people to give birth to the new South Africa,” Mayor Trollip said.
The day was characterised by the hoisting of the South African flag by members of the SANDF, the singing of the national anthem as well as a walk from the Donkin Reserve down Nelson Mandela’s Route 67 to City Hall.
The crowd was treated to a lecture on the “Struggle significance of Human Rights” by Professor Janet Cherry, from the Nelson Mandela Bay University. PE Opera House Manager, Monde Ngonyama, also spoke on the significance of arts and culture in facilitating redress.
Professor Cherry reminded all present that “Human rights day belongs to all of us, not to any political party. Human rights are universal and can only be valid if they are universal. It is not a project of decolonisation or something that belongs to a certain political party.”
Human rights constantly have to be defended to ensure that the people are protected and their rights recognised as enshrined in the constitution, which also needs to be protected.
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