Home News NC dept gears up for Human Rights Day

NC dept gears up for Human Rights Day

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Human Rights Day 2022 in the Northern Cape will honour members of the Khoe community who were killed during a massacre at the Leliefontein Methodist mission station on January 31, 1902.

File image: Pixabay

HUMAN Rights Day 2022 will honour members of the Khoe community who were killed during a massacre at the Leliefontein Methodist mission station in Kamiesberg Municipality in the Namakwa District on January 31, 1902.

Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture spokesperson Morapedi Sekhoane said that Premier Zamani Saul was expected to deliver the keynote address in Kimberley on Monday, March 21.

“He will be accompanied by the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Desery Fienies, members of the executive council and local mayors. The department has scheduled a number of dialogues, educational and information sessions with the communities of Leliefontein, Paulshoek, Rooifontein, Nourivier and Kamasies in the build-up to the main event. The department will also support the Phakamile Mabija half marathon that will be held in Kimberley on Monday, March 21,” said Sekhoane.

He said that 36 members of the Khoe community were killed in retaliation following an attack on the party of Boer leader Manie Maritz when he went to interview the European missionaries in the town.

“The attack, which took place over two days, saw residents of Leliefontein inflicting serious casualties on the Boers on the first day, when they killed 30 of them and lost only seven Khoe people in the fight.

“Maritz summoned reinforcements and invaded Leliefontein the following day leading to a battle in which over 35 Khoe people were killed and an estimated 100 wounded. The residents of Leliefontein were massacred while taking shelter in the mission church.

“Research indicates that Leliefontein was one of the first massacres of the 20th century in South Africa.

“The Leliefontein mission had livestock and it also produced corn and vegetables. The settlement was completely destroyed by Maritz’s troops. Those left by the massacre were hunted down by Boer forces and killed. Others were captured and forced to work as slave labourers cooking and cleaning for the troops.”

Sekhoane added that this year’s commemoration of Human Rights Day coincided with the celebration of the 26th anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution.

“The Constitution enshrines the rights of all people in South Africa and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.”

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