One of the key themes of South Africa’s long history of struggle, resistance and protest is women’s struggle for gender equality, female dignity, respect and basic human rights. This struggle has been fought by South Africa’s black and coloured women for more than a century and, sadly, the battle is not yet won. The appalling statistics of the prevalence of gender-based domestic violence against women and girls in South Africa is of national concern.
Andrew Mokete Mlangeni (95), the last surviving co-defendant convicted with Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Denis Goldberg and four others at the Rivonia Trial of 1963-1964, has died on 21 July 2020. His death came shortly after the death of Goldberg, who passed away on 29 April 2020. Mlangeni’s death signals the end of an era for South Africa’s liberation struggle since he was so closely associated with Mandela’s generation.
Image: Deputy President David Mabuza delivering the eulogy at the special provincial official funeral of Mr Masana Sam Nzima, Lillydale, Mpumalanga Province
No other South African photographer is more closely associated with the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 than Masana Sam Nzima. Sam, who passed away in 2018, became world- famous for the powerful and moving image he took of the dead body of Hector Pieterson being carried by another learner. The house in the small village of Lillydale in Bushbuck Ridge, Limpopo Province, where Sam grew up and had lived at the time of his death, was recently turned into a museum.
On Sunday, 14 June 2020, a group of South Africans gathered at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg to add their voices to the global #BlackLivesMatter movement. The gathering, which took the form of a vigil, was not only meant to show solidarity with black people in the USA and their anger at the violent deaths of black people at the hands of police officers, but also to raise awareness of issues that matter to South Africans.
Most South Africans with a reasonable knowledge of their motherland’s recent history will have heard of Bram Fischer. A substantial percentage of them will certainly be able to mention that he is a struggle hero comparable to the likes of Joe Slovo and Walter Sisulu. Mention the name Molly Fischer, however, and chances are that most people will never have heard of her. She was none other than Bram Fischer’s wife and during her relatively short life (1908-1964) she was as committed to the liberation struggle as her famous husband was.