Ricochet News

DSRAC and Buffalo City Metro mark Human Rights Day in King Williams Town

Mar 20, 2018
DSRAC and Buffalo City Metro mark Human Rights Day in King Williams Town

The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture together with Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and other government departments collaborated to commemorate Human Rights Day celebrations at kwaRhayi Village near King Williams Town on Sunday.

The member of the Executive Council for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture(DSRAC), Pemmy Majodina outlined the purpose of the day “DSRAC called you today to celebrate this event with the family of the late Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge who were human rights lawyers and political activists during the struggle against apartheid regime,” said Majodina.

The day kickstarted with the laying of wreaths at the Mxenge gravesite by the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati together with the Mxenge family and other senior officials in the provincial government.

The procession went on to gather in the nearby church where the Mxenge Family worshiped the Lord in those days and proceeded to the nearby field where the main event would take place. Speaking at the event Pakati welcomed all who gathered at the event, and made the call to follow in the stalwart’s footsteps of deepening democracy, economic freedom and selfless service.

“We have gathered here today in honor of freedom fighters Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge who selflessly sacrificed their lives for the fruits of freedom we are reaping today”, said Pakati.

The fighting spirit of these activists is shown in the manner in which they were killed by the brutal apartheid regime of the time,” Pakati concluded.

A family friend, Bulelani Ngcuka and human rights lawyer himself spoke of the Mxenge family. He was groomed and nurtured by the Mxenge family during those trying times where he became very close to the family, he also learned how to be humble, generous and to execute political work whilst under their wing.

“Tata Mlungisi taught us to fight fire with fire, in those days the law was used to oppress people, and Tata used the law as well to oppose injustice against humanity in those trying and difficult times,” said Ngcuka.

MEC for Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Mlibo Qoboshiyane also addressed the gathering, “These activists were prepared to lay down their lives for the freedom of our time, their blood watered and nourished the liberation we enjoy today,” said Qoboshiyane.

The day culminated with the address by the minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs Dr Zweli Mkhize in honor of Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge who were assassinated in 1981 and 1985 respectively by the powers that be during those difficult dark periods in that era. “Constitution of the Republic of South Africa is their legacy, they were not there to write it, we wrote it on their behalf, it belongs to them,” said Mkhize.

“We salute both Griffiths and his wife Victoria for dedicated, selfless and passionate service, in those days in Durban, we would go to their office to report about political activists that are in detention and they had no one to represent them in the court of law, the Mxenge family would warmly welcome us and fight for those in detention free of charge,” Mkhize remarked.

Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge’s son Mbasa Mxenge thanked all government departments who made the event possible and expressed gratitude to the department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture for the job well done in making the event a success.

“The family is humbled by this gesture and I’m pleased to tell you that we are healed now, and that we do know that you haven’t forgotten us as the family,” said Mxenge.  

The event was a success as more than 1000 people descended at kwa Rhayi Village to witness the celebrations.