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Human Rights Month Celebrations 2015

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa in partnership with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services will lead and coordinate the main celebration of the Human Rights Month programme that will largely take place in the Eastern Cape on 21 March 2015.

Firstly, the main event will take place at the Rosedale Field in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape on the 21 March 2015 from 10h00.

The choice of location is to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Uitenhage Massacre that took place in Uitenhage on 21 March 1985 and, at the same, popularize the national significance of the day to all citizens of the country.

The National Day celebration is an annual event to remind South African citizens about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for democracy and freedom that has been enjoyed for the last 20 years.

The theme for this year is “Celebrating The Freedom Charter, Enjoying Equal Human Rights For All”.

Significantly, this year marks 60 years of a historic moment in history when South Africans from all walks of life adopted the Freedom Charter in 1955, in Kliptown, Soweto.

Secondly, Human Rights Month celebrations will witness the convening of the National Social Cohesion Report Back Summit that will take place in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape on the 30th March 2014.

The gathering is a follow up event to the Summit that was held at the Walter Sisulu Memorial Square of Remembrance in Kliptown, Soweto that also took place at the historic site of the Freedom Charter.

Importantly, this year’s Summit will be attended by delegates from civil society, religious leaders and government representatives.

The purpose of the Summit will be to review progress and identify stumbling blocks to the nation building and social cohesion programme as outlined by the resolution of the 2012 Summit. Importantly, it will chart the way forward to speed up the nation building project.

Thirdly, as part of the build up to the Report Back Summit and to promote a culture of human right, Minister Mthethwa will host a special community conversation on social cohesion at the Youth Centre, Chartsworth in Durban on Friday, 13 March 2015. This will to bring together people from diverse communities.

An important resolutions of the 2012 National Social Cohesion Summit was to task the Department of Arts & Culture to convene community conversations throughout the country to encourage dialogue and citizen participation in national dialogue.

As a result, Minister Mthethwa will host this special event to highlight and celebrate unity in diversity in Chartsworth, for example, that has grown to be an exemplary community that has experienced harmonious co-existence among different people.

Last but not least, the Human Rights Month will see the reburials of struggle stalwarts, Moses Kotane and JB Marks that will take place in Pella and Ventersdorp in the North West on 14 March 2015 and 22 March 2015, respectively.

Both Kotane and Marks are largely regarded as the architects of the liberation movement. They died in Russia where they were buried in the Novodevichy cemetery in the City of Moscow.

President Jacob Zuma has granted them the status of the Special Official Funerals that has seen the flag being flown at half-mast at most state institution in honor of their role and contribution to fighting for freedom.

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