TO: All Media
ATT: News Editors, Human Rights Reporters
For immediate release
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
On this day in 1976, thousands of students protested in defiance of the Bantu Education system which had institutionalised Afrikaans as a medium language of instruction in 1974. Bantu Education was an integral part of the oppressive apartheid system that tried to strip the dignity and potential from South Africans and was designed to force black people to become manual labourers and servants by severely limiting quality education from a young age. Although long since removed, this racist and discriminatory system continues to have a significant impact on people in South Africa, more than a quarter century after the end of formal apartheid. Students took on the might of an armed apartheid system which was willing to kill to maintain apartheid in search of a new society which will endeavour to achieve equality and respect people’s human rights.
During this month, we also commemorate World Refugee Day on the 20th June, which celebrates the strength and courage of people around the world who are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution, and search for a better life for themselves and their children. The FHR also recalls the support provided to South Africans by our African brothers and sisters in other African states who supported us during our fight with the apartheid regime. The xenophobia that some South Africans continue to show betrays our shared African heritage.
Lindiwe Sibiya – 082 634 7154