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“We will continue to fight for and support our communities”

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The DFA’s Sol Plaatje Award for best achievement in the English language in the 2019 matric examinations was awarded to former Northern Cape High School pupil Silje Fredericks

From left: The Editor of the DFA, Johan du Plessis, Sol Plaatje Memorial Medal recipient Silje Fredericks and DFA Office Manager Keshia Billings. Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE DFA’s Sol Plaatje Award for best achievement in the English language in the 2019 matric examinations was awarded to former Northern Cape High School pupil Silje Fredericks earlier this week.

The ceremony was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Editor of the DFA, Johan du Plessis, said yesterday that the newspaper felt that Silje’s achievement should still be recognised and rewarded.

The DFA recognises two matric pupils every year, the matriculant with the best marks in the English language and the matriculant with the best marks in the Setswana language. Attempts are still under way to contact the Setswana achiever.

During a ceremony held at Northern Cape High School earlier this week, Silje received the Sol Plaatje Memorial Medal, a certificate and R5 000 towards her studies.

The school also handed over her Honours Blazer during the same ceremony. Silje is currently studying at the University of Stellenbosch.

Du Plessis said the awarding of the medal was significant for three reasons.

“First of all it is in recognition of Silje’s achievements. Although it is now months after she completed matric, we felt that it was still important to say ‘well done’,” Du Plessis said.

“Secondly, we believe that Silje’s achievement is a shining light for matric pupils in this very difficult time. It will be the young people of South Africa who will push us forward post Covid-19. And Silje is an example of this.

“And finally, the award was significant for the DFA because our message is clear. We are still here. Although we are redesigning how we do things, the people of Kimberley and the Northern Cape must know that we will continue to be their voice. While other media organisations have pulled out, we will continue to fight for and support our communities.”

The ceremony was attended by Northern Cape High School staff and Silje’s parents.