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  • 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising

    By ACTSA | June 14, 2016

    Wednesday 16 June 1976 changed South Africa.

    Thousands of youth, mainly secondary school children left their schools to protest against apartheid, which was white supremacy, institutionalised discrimination against black South Africans, denying them their rights. The protest had Read the rest of this entry »

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    #ApartheidMustFall to #RhodesMustFall?: The Soweto Uprising of 16 June 1976

    By ACTSA | June 3, 2016

    On 16th June 1976, a peaceful student protest at Afrikaans language education in the Soweto township outside Johannesburg was brutally dispersed by the South African riot police. This event and its aftermath Read the rest of this entry »

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    Freedom Day: South Africa commemorates first post-apartheid elections

    By ACTSA | April 27, 2016

    On April 27, 1994, South Africa held its first free election where all residents, regardless of race, could vote freely.

    President Jacob Zuma will lead Freedom Day celebrations while hundreds of protesters across the country will Read the rest of this entry »

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    South Africa celebrates 26th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison

    By ACTSA | February 11, 2016

    On 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after serving 27 years.

    Mandela and his then wife, Winnie (pictured below) were greeted outside Victor Verster prison by huge crowds of euphoric South Africans celebrating Read the rest of this entry »

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    The three surviving “lifers” from the Rivonia Trial to be honoured in London

    By ACTSA | January 25, 2016

    The “Rivonia” trial of 1963/64 in South Africa was the trial in which Nelson Mandela and his comrades were put on trial for conspiring to overthrow the apartheid state through sabotage. Nelson Mandela made his famous speech from the dock during the trial where they were charged with acts of sabotage, in essence high treason and found guilty and sentenced to Read the rest of this entry »

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    International Nelson Mandela Day

    By ACTSA | July 22, 2015

    In 2009, the United Nations declared that 18th July, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, would be named Nelson Mandela International Day, in recognition of his contribution to peace, reconciliation and justice.   The UN called upon people to donate 67 minutes, one for every year that Nelson Mandela gave to public service, to support voluntary and community activity.

    Unsurprisingly, South Africans took to this with huge enthusiasm, and there are now so many events that the celebration has been extended over the whole of July.   There will be celebrations across the whole country.  People have been sewing blankets to keep people warm on the cold winter nights, and nights in the mountains of South Africa are cold.   People have been collecting books for libraries in remote rural areas, and in the impoverished townships.   People have been raising money for community projects.   And all this is done in a spirit of celebration of the life and legacy of an incredible man.

    And people the whole world over have thrown themselves into the celebration.    This year, for instance, there will be a poetry slam and live art demonstration in Denver, USA.   In Napier, New Zealand, they will be raising funds for a community project.   In Hanoi, Vietnam, they will be donating blood.   In New York, there will be a commemorative event at the United Nations.    In Owerri, Nigeria, they will be celebrating through fundraising.

    In London there will also be a celebration.   On Friday 17th July, there will be a concert at South Africa House, to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation, where young South African artists such as Mi Casa and Toya Delazy will be performing.   On Saturday 18th July, Mandela’s birthday, there will be a festival of music and arts at the South Bank Centre.   So, just wander along the river by the Royal Festival Hall, and look for the sculpture of Mandela’s head.

    In Glasgow, we will be sending a large container of children’s books (I am guessing at 40,000 but we will not know until the day) to schools and public libraries in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.   Mandela himself was born at Mvezo, near Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, and retired to where he was born.  He is now buried there.

     Our volunteers have been sorting and packing these books for several weeks now, and there are still thousands to be packed with only four days to go.

    The container will leave City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow at 2.30pm on Saturday 18th July.   It will be sent on its way to the Eastern Cape by Sadie Docherty, the Lord Provost.   This will be followed by a Civic Reception in which the guests will be entertained by Charlie and the Bachelors, a local jazz band, and Magnus Walker, a young baritone, will sing “Nkosi Sikelel’I Afrika”.

    This year, the world is celebrating Nelson Mandela’s legacy in style.   And in 2018, it will be the centenary of his birth, so start making your plans now.   Mayibuye I Afrika!

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    Strike! Play on the Dunnes Stores anti-Apartheid strike

    By ACTSA | July 13, 2015

    The Ardent Theatre company are looking to produce a new version of the play, ‘Strike!’.

    Strike!, written by Tracy Ryan, tells the story of the Dunnes Stores Anti-apartheid strike in Ireland, 1984-1987. The script was written through interviews with original Strikers, Brendan Archbold (Union Organiser) and archive material.

    This production would mark the London premiere of the show and the Company is in talks with venues as high profile as the National Theatre.

    To make it happen, they need our help. They are trying to bring the play to the attention of as many people as possible in order for it to attract funding and potential audiences.

    To find out more about Strike! and about other shows that the Ardent Theatre Company are showing, follow this link: http://www.ardenttheatre.co.uk/strike

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    25th Anniversary of the Release of Nelson Mandela

    By Mark | February 11, 2015

    Message by President Jacob Zuma marking the 25th Anniversary of the release of Madiba

    Source: The Presidency

    Exactly 25 years ago… on the 11th of February, our late former President Nelson Mandela walked out of the Victor Verster prison as a free man after twenty seven years of imprisonment.

    This day therefore marked a giant Read the rest of this entry »

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    Remembering Peter Brayshaw, by David Kenvyn

    By Mark | December 26, 2014

    I first met Peter Brayshaw in 1968 at the London School of Economics.   It was at the Freshers’ Fair.   Peter was staffing the stall of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and I was making an application for membership of the student group.   In those days, Peter’s commitment to internationalism concentrated on two causes – the liberation of Southern Africa and the liberation of Read the rest of this entry »

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    Letter from Hobeni 22: Transforming lives

    By Mark | December 18, 2014

    This will be my last letter from Hobeni.   I have been here for nearly five months, and I will be heading back to East London tomorrow to catch my plane back to Glasgow via Johannesburg and Amsterdam on Sunday.   In a remarkable piece of bad planning I will be travelling from South Africa at midsummer to Scotland in midwinter.   I will have to do more than adjust to the Read the rest of this entry »

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