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Events planned on and ahead of Freedom Day in Cape Town

A panoramic view of the City Hall from Castle of Good Hope. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

A panoramic view of the City Hall from Castle of Good Hope. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 26, 2022

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Cape Town - A number of Freedom Day-centred activities are expected to take place ahead of the public holiday and on the day.

The City of Cape Town will honour the composer of part of the democratic South African national anthem, Enoch Mankayi Sontonga, through a temporary exhibition at the Cape Town City Hall.

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Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika was composed by Sontonga, a Methodist mission school teacher in 1897.

On April 20, 1994, a proclamation issued by the then-state president stated that the country would have two national anthems, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and The Call of South Africa (Die Stem van Suid-Afrika).

A shortened, combined version of the two would later become the National Anthem in 1997.

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The opening will take place today at the Nelson Mandela Exhibition, First Floor, for members of the media, with the exhibition open to the public for the next 12 months after that.

Led by the Women on Farms Project (WFP), women farmworkers and dwellers are expected to march to the Paarl Magistrate’s Court and Drakenstein Municipality to demand an end to farm evictions.

WFP director Colette Solomon said about 200 women will be engaging with different government departments as well as the SA Human Rights Commission around the crisis of farmworker evictions.

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“As part of the National State of Disaster, there was a temporary moratorium on evictions but, of course, that has been lifted so we are expecting a spike in farmworker evictions,” said Solomon.

An Eviction Dialogue will take place today at the Huguenot Hall, Paarl, from 10am to 12pm, followed by the march from 12.30pm to 3pm.

In recognition of the Castle of Good Hope’s historic complicity in slavery and oppression, the Castle Control Board (CCB) will be hosting a series of activities to mark Freedom Day.

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This will include a Freedom and Human Rights Dialogue with heritage activists, the SA Human Rights Commission and Military Veterans, among others.

The dialogue titled #operationkhumbulani will take place on Wednesday, from 9am to 1.30pm in the Castle’s Centre for Memory, Healing and Learning.

“The CCB firmly believes that the authentic voices of the communities must be heard and believes that healthy communities will result in a healthy society and a nation that promotes social cohesion,” CCB CEO Calvyn Gilfellan said.

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