On June 3, 2010 when I became the General Secretary of Abahlali BaseMjondolo Movement S.A. I vowed to die where Abahlali members die. I vowed to protect my country. I vowed to be loyal to the poorest of the poor.
In 2 days, the continent's leaders at the African Union will debate a motion being driven by the political leaders of Sudan and Kenya for African leaders to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
This is a devastating propsect in a context of growing divides between the leaders of African countries and the people of African countries who suffer the consequences of states that tend to rule over their people, rather than ruling in the service of their people.
Federation says the trade unionist was driven to suicide while in detention.
Tomorrow, Sunday 6th October, would a have been the 60th birthday of Dr Neil Aggett, who was born on 6 October 1953. He was a doctor by profession, a career that would have earned him almost all the luxuries that doctors had, but he chose the unpaid job of a relentless trade unionist and freedom fighter.
The Carte Blanche programme of 29 September 2013 told the stories of Grahamstown's 'water woes' that leave residents in both Grahamstown East (the townships) and Grahamstown West where the university is located, without water for prolonged periods.
The news of police and municipal violations of protection orders secured by the people of Cato Crest to protect their shack homes signifies appalling disrespect for the lives and livelihoods of people who have little to fall back on apart from their solidarity.
It is also a shocking display of disrespect for the rule of law by organs of the state.
-------- Khulumani endorses the statement issued by church leaders on the crisis in Cato Crest.
Full statement by KwaZulu Natal Church Leaders' Group endorsed by: Church Land Programme and Diakonia Council of Churches:
On Saturday, Judy Seidman, Khulumani's Art for Healing and Heritage co-facilitator will join environmental activists at Constitution Hill in protesting the detention and charging of the Arctic 30 who were protesting oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. One of the 30 activists detained is Judy's cousin, Peter Willcox.
Khulumani Support Group honours the memory and legacy of Dr Neil Aggett as Doctors Without Borders (MSF) launches its Dr Neil Aggett Unit with a commemorative seminar at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Medical School on Friday, October 4 from 08:30 – 15:30. The seminar will focus on the potential roles of health professionals as agents of change in Africa. (Programme is attached.)
Dr Neil Aggett worked as a trade union organizer and helped to set up what has become the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU). He supported his unpaid work as a union organizer by working as a casualty doctor at Baragwanath Hospital at night, up until his detention and death in apartheid police custody in 1982 after a prolonged period of solitary confinement and torture. FAWU has expressed its appreciation of the life and example of Neil whom it calls one of the finest citizens of our country – a selfless medical doctor and a committed trade unionist – ever to emerge from our struggles.
In this year in which Neil Aggett would have turned sixty, and after more than ten years delay, the South African Parliament passed the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act. In July 2013, the President assented to the Act. This means that the country is now compliant with its obligation to the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT), an international treaty that was ratified by the South African government in December 1998, the year in which the Human Rights Hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) were concluded.
On Friday, 4 October 2013 survivors and families of the victims of the 17 June 1992 Boipatong Massacre will be hosted for an all-day event at Freedom Park with the support of the Sedibeng Municipality Heritage Department. The programme for the event is attached.
Khulumani deeply values its relationship with Sedibeng Municipality and the support it has provided to victims and survivors of the human rights struggles, many of which were birthed in the Vaal region.
The municipality has asserted its identity as the 'cradle of human rights' - a tribute to the recognition of the Sharpeville Massacre as a turning point globally in pronouncing apartheid a crime against humanity.