We must stand together in condemning racism – Human Rights day commemoration

[21-03-2016] The Gauteng Provincial Government commemorated 2016 Human rights day under the theme “South Africa United Against Racism”. 

The Honourable David Makhura joined by Free State Premier Mr. Ace Magashule, North West Premier Mr. Supra Mahumapelo, Gauteng MECs, Sedibeng District Executive Mayors, Cllr. Busisiwe Modisakeng, Cllr. Mahole Mofokeng, Cllr. Lerato Maloka and Cllr. Bongani Baloyi launched the theme through a march to condemn racism and discrimination in the province and country as a whole.

This was in honour of the 69 valiant heroes and heroines who lost their lives in the Sharpeville Massacre 56 years ago.

Human Rights Day commemoration in Sharpeville started with a wreath-laying ceremony which was held at the Phelindaba cemetery, followed up by wreath-laying ceremony at the Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct. The main event took place at the Sharpeville Cricket Pitch, next to the George Thabe Stadium.

Premier Makhura used his keynote address in Sharpeville in the Vaal to call for unity and reiterated the need for government to revitalize township economies in the province. "We must be united in our battle against racism," he said.
The former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe added his voice in saying: "We come here annually to remind ourselves that we carry the mandate of those who are no longer with us and that mandate is very important.”

69 Members of the Anti-Racism Network South Africa, who are all from the Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and Adelaide and Olive Tambo Foundations, also joined in the proceedings to add their voice to calls to denounce racism in the country.

Premier Makhura also used the commemorative occasion to announce the names of the Eminent Persons Group that will work with government and civil society to promote social cohesion and they include Reverend Frank Chikane, Advocate Gcina Malindi, Roger Jardine, Mbali Hlophe and representatives from the Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and Adelaide and Oliver Tambo Foundations.

“Gauteng United Against Racism” which the Gauteng government adopted to reaffirm its commitment to non-racialism, unity in diversity and call on people to embrace of a common national identity, concluded Makhura.

In his closing remarks the Executive Mayor Mofokeng called on all residents to condemn racism in all its forms. “We come from a brutal regime which divided us to the latter. The demon of racism was buried 22 years ago; however, there are some amongst us who want to see this demon resurrected. We cannot allow this to happen.”

Mayor Mofokeng challenged all young people to learn about their history and ensure that no one misleads them. “South Africa cannot go backward. We are here to move this country forward. We can only do that through unity. Our country is needs us to stand together, even in the face of adversity,” he said.

Makhura, Gauteng COGTA MEC Paul Mashatile and Free State Premier Ace Magashule during the wreath-laying ceremony at the Human Rights Precinct on Human Rights Day.
Makhura, Gauteng COGTA MEC Paul Mashatile and Free State Premier Ace Magashule during the wreath-laying ceremony at the Human Rights Precinct on Human Rights Day.

Emfuleni Local Municipality Mayor Mahole Mofokeng joins other government leaders in a march against racism on Human Rights Day.
Emfuleni Local Municipality Mayor Mahole Mofokeng joins other government leaders in a march against racism on Human Rights Day.

Executive Mofokeng at the Etv studios on Human Rights commemoration, with Mr. Abram Mofokeng and Penny Lebyane anchor for sunrise morning breakfast show.
Executive Mofokeng at the Etv studios on Human Rights commemoration, with Mr. Abram Mofokeng and Penny Lebyane anchor for sunrise morning breakfast show.

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