On Tuesday, 21 August 2013, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal dismissed the South Africa Apartheid Lawsuit. The basis of the dismissal was the argument that “the Alien Tort Statute does not reach the extraterritorial conduct in this case”, a judgment of the US Supreme Court of Appeals in the Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. case, handed down in April 2013. After the Kiobel judgment, US-based companies may no longer be held accountable for human rights violations that did not take place within the United States.
This Wednesday, 21 August 2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech of Martin Luther King. Central to King’s vision was a world that lived out the meaning of a substantive equality between and amongst all peoples.
King’s words were “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
Today, 20 August 2013 we honour the 30th anniversary of the launch of the UDF, a coalition of several hundred anti-apatheid organsiations in South Africa that united in the efforts to bring to an end the illegitimate apartheid regime.
One year later the focus falls today on the anniversary of the Marikana Massacre - something that seemed inconceivable in a post-apartheid South Africa. Despite an ongoing judicial inquiry into the massacre, it seems little progress has been made in the words of journalist Terry Bell, in "exposing uncomfortable truths" and in answering simple questions, such as "who ordered the police to use live ammunition?"
Mr Fernando spent some three months in South Africa meeting with organisations involved in dealing with the aftermath of political conflict in South Africa to explore strategies and tactics that have been embraced here.
Khulumani further welcomes the official visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navi Pillay to Sri Lanka between 25 and 31 August 2013.
The Attorney-General of Natal, Mr Tim McNally, who passed away during this past week, is remembered as the man who refused to see “evidence of apartheid hit-squads, even when it was staring him in the face (The Witness, 29 July 2013).
The deaths of 34 strikers at the hands of heavily armed South African police, on the 16th of August 2012, rocked viewers across the world. These scenes of police firing on protesters were far too reminiscent of events twenty and thirty years ago – events which South Africans, our elected government, and people across the world had demanded, must never, ever happen again. Then, at Marikana, it did happen again.
We present here eight narratives, told through visual art and in words, of women who are family members of men killed in the Marikana Massacre. These stories came from a workshop with the women held by Khulumani Support Group in May 2013, while the women sat in silence at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.
These women’s lives linked to the men killed in the Marikana massacre, sharing their needs and struggles, children, decisions, and dreams of the future. Yet despite all the attention that given to events at Marikana and its aftermath, these women have been left silent – until now.
These stories need to be told. And we need to hear them.