Spend Human Rights Day at Seaside Cottages in Fish Hoek
Spend Human Rights Day at Seaside Cottages in Fish Hoek, 21 March 2023. There is so much to do here.
You can choose to explore Fish Hoek Beach and the general splendour of False Bay from Muizenberg to Cape Point. Or you can choose to adventure to Noordhoek, Silvermine Nature Reserve and Kommetjie.
It is your right to be free to spend this long weekend wherever you choose.
Human Rights Day 2023 falls on a Tuesday, so schools are closed on Monday and Tuesday, creating a long weekend for children. Parents can join in too!
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. [Nelson Mandela, 1964]
Human Rights Day was declared by President Nelson Mandela when he came into power in 1994.
These are some of the human rights according to the South African Bill of Rights, in the Constitution.
Every South African citizen has the right to:
- Human dignity
- Freedom and security
- Religion, belief and opinion
- Political rights
- Movement and residence
- A clean, safe and healthy environment
- Health care, food, water, social security …
Taking a Closer Look at Human Rights Day in our History
Many years ago, on 21 March 1960, 69 people died in South Africa, and 180 were wounded when police opened fire without warning on a crowd that gathered in peace to protest against the Pass laws.
The Pass Laws Act of 1952 forced black South Africans over age 16 to carry a passbook, or a dompas, on them at all times. This was similar to a passport but was thicker and contained more information. People grew tired of this unjust law and arranged a peaceful march.
If anyone did not produce this passbook when police requested it, they were punished. The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) suggested that everyone march without carrying their passbook in a bid to oppose this law. So everyone gathered at police stations in townships near Johannesburg but police told them to clear off. At Sharpeville police station, there was a scuffle and police just started shooting, no orders given!
This was during Apartheid and became known as Sharpeville Day. Today it is called Human Rights Day and it is a public holiday. It is a very important day on our calendar as we remember what happened, and we treasure our human rights as cited in our Constitution.
The march had positive outcomes as the pass laws were eventually abolished in 1986 to decrease some of the worst Apartheid laws in South Africa. In 1994, President Nelson Mandela declared 21 March a public holiday and gave all South Africans freedom.
Think about what you can do for your fellow South Africans on Human Rights Day.
A little bit of kindness goes a long way!