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Author

Derek du Bruyn

Browsing

An official photograph of the group known as the ‘Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela’. Peter Swartz is standing in the back row, third from the left (Photo source: National Museum).

He was one of Nelson Mandela’s so-called ‘12 disciples’; he was born and bred in Heidedal; and an informal township (‘Peter Swart’) in Mangaung was named after him. Say the name ‘Peter Swartz’ today and some people might have heard of him but, sadly, few really know who this mostly ‘unknown’ figure and ‘lost disciple’ of South Africa’s liberation history really is. The reason for this unfortunate situation is that much of Peter’s life history is obscure; it remains hidden in the grey areas of South Africa’s struggle history. Fortunately, Peter’s sacrifices are neither hidden nor lost. His important contribution to South Africa’s liberation history has cemented his name as one of the country’s great struggle veterans who fought for basic human rights for all South Africans.

The island of Gorée off the coast of Senegal housed the largest slave-trading post on the African west coast. Today the buildings serve as a reminder of human exploitation and as a sanctuary for reconciliation and forgiveness. The statue depicts the symbolic breaking of the chains of slavery. (Photo source: Wikipedia & Unesco)

On 1 December 1834 slavery was officially abolished in the British Empire. Because the Cape Colony (today the Western Cape Province) formed part of the British Empire this decision also applied to all Cape slaves and their mostly white slave owners.

O mong wa mokotaba wa nalane ya Afrika Borwa ya boitseko,kganyetso le boipelaetso boitsekong ba basadi bakeng sa tekatekano ya bong, seriti sa basadi, tlhompho le ditokelo tsa botho tsa motheo. Ntwa ena e lwannwe ke basadi ba batho ba batsho le ba mmala ho feta mongwahakgolo le, ka bomadimabe, ntwa ha e so hlolwe.

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.