Nelson Mandela once said: “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on the 21st of March to remind South Africans of the sacrifice that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. On the 21st of March 1960, the communities of Sharpeville and Langa townships, embarked on a protest march against pass laws. People lost their lives and the tragedy became known as the Sharpeville Massacre.
Human rights include equality, human dignity, freedom of movement and residence as well as language and culture. In Mkhondo, Human Rights Day was celebrated with a spectacular event and the community were invited to attend this prestigious celebration, hosted at the Piet Retief Rugby Club. People from all over Mpumalanga attended the event, dressed in traditional attire and proudly waving our country’s colourful flag.
The Local Mkhondo Municipality, together with the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation organised an event that will not be forgotten. The day commenced with a joyful street parade, starting in Kempville and ending at the Piet Retief Rugby Club, where different cultures where clearly celebrated.
The Executive Mayor of Mkhondo, Honourable Cllr. V.M. Motha, opened the event by welcoming the public and thanking everyone for attending the celebrations. The Gert Sibande District Municipality Executive Mayor, Honourable Cllr. M. Chirwa, MEC for Culture, Sports and Recreation, Honourable N. Mahlangu and MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Honourable E. Kholwane also attended the day to deliver insightful speeches, as well as to hand over a Title Deed to a community member and to award a learner with a certificate of appreciation.
Honourable Cllr. V.M. Motha mentioned, “The event will not be successful without giving back to the community.” Community members received numerous donations such as wheelchairs for elderly people, sportswear to learners, sanitary towels to young teenage girls, school uniforms and fresh vegetables to promote healthy lifestyles.
Learners from a variety of schools such as Kempville Combined School, Piet Retief High School and Buhlebuzile Secondary School, had the opportunity to address the audience and deliver meaningful speeches about Human Rights Day. The community of Mkhondo came in great numbers to attent this event and everyone enjoyed the celebrations.
It was remarkable, when walking amongst the hordes of people, that all are proud to be South African as they sang, danced and smiled throughout the event. Thank you to everyone who attended as well as participated in the organisation of this huge, historic event for Mkhondo.
Mkhondo residents are proud South Africans and are looking forward to more prestigious events like the celebration of Human Rights Day! Whether we are at the work place, within communities, at school or with our parents and children, we all need to demonstrate the kind of responsibility that we would like to see in our country’s future. South Africa belongs to all who live in it. We are born free and equal in dignity and rights!