TO: All Media
ATT: News Editors, Human Rights Reporters
For immediate release
Wednesday, 15 June 2022
2022 is 46 years since the black youth of Soweto and other areas took a brave and moral stand against the inhumane and degrading Apartheid regime. Although they were answered with extreme violence, they lit the fire of liberation throughout our country. Today, South Africa is a land with the Constitutional promise of a free and equal society – but this potential would never have been possible without the sacrifices of our young people. The terrible events of 16 June 1976 must never be forgotten.
Although all are protected by the word of the Constitution, many people living in South Africa still face serious human rights challenges – including the youth. The lack of access to even basic rights such as sanitation, water and food, education, are just some of the challenges young people face in our country. The struggle for democracy may have been successful, but the struggle for meaningful equality and dignity so long after the first democratic elections in 1994 contradicts the ultimate sacrifices of the youth from the 70s generation.
The FHR believes that the billions of Rands stolen from our grandparents, parents and our children must be accounted for, and that the Zondo Commission findings must be acted upon to prosecute those implicated in this theft. The pain and sacrifices that the young people in Sharpeville, Soweto and all across our land endured to bring our freedom are wasted when the criminals who killed us and violated our most basic rights during apartheid are not prosecuted although they did not apply for amnesty, and the thieves post-1994 continue to steal our resources and our futures.
This Youth Day, let us remember all youth, and especially the rural child who continues to bear the brunt of systemic inequality, poverty and hopelessness and recommit ourselves to fight for dignity, accountability and equality.
Lindiwe Sithole – 082 634 7154