Twenty years of freedom

first_imgNelson Mandela and FW de Klerk receivethe Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for theirefforts to bring peace to South Africa.(Image: FW de Klerk Foundation) De Klerk and Mandela at the WorldEconomic Forum, Davos, in 1992.(Image: World Economic Forum) MEDIA CONTACTS • Danny GoulkanMarketing and communications, NHC+27 11 482 9573 or +27 72 952 2260RELATED ARTICLES• Long walk immortalised in bronze• Drawing on Madiba’s influence• Mandela Day now a global event• Tutu, De Klerk to children’s aidJanine Erasmus“I wish to put it plainly that the government has taken a firm decision to release Mr Mandela unconditionally. I am serious about bringing this matter to finality without delay.”With those words, said on 2 February 1990, then-state president FW de Klerk set a remarkable chain of events in motion. An electorate that, to a large extent, was enjoying the right to vote for the first time in their lives, led to a democratic South Africa with one of the most progressive constitutions in the world.De Klerk, who had assumed the presidency just four months earlier, wasted no time in bringing about long-overdue change.He was making his inaugural State of the Nation address at the 1990 opening of Parliament in Cape Town, speaking before the House and to a television audience.South Africa will mark the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from more than 27 years of imprisonment at the opening of Parliament on 11 February.The 2010 event will also be significant as it will be the first time the State of the Nation address is delivered in the evening. By arranging the speech for a more convenient television time, rather than the traditional morning delivery, the government is encouraging more citizens to tune in.Understanding through dialogueAddressing the nation in 1990, De Klerk went on to say that the agenda for negotiation was now open. He invited “sensible” leaders to come forward and begin talking, so that an understanding may be reached through dialogue.De Klerk’s government had a number of firm goals in mind, among them a new democratic constitution; protection of minorities and the rights of the individual; an independent, unbiased judiciary; religious freedom; better housing, education, social and health services for all; and a strong economy.This could only be achieved with the abolition of apartheid laws and restrictions, a fact of which De Klerk was very well aware.Not only did the president decide to release Mandela, he implemented other changes on a scale that nobody had anticipated.Several political parties were unbanned. These were the African National Congress (ANC), the Pan Africanist Congress, and the South African Communist Party. He also lifted restrictions on 33 other opposition groups. Prisoners who were in jail merely for belonging to one of the banned organisations were pardoned immediately.De Klerk also lifted certain media, education and security restrictions, paving the way for the eventual lifting of the latest state of emergency, by then in place since 1985. The death penalty was suspended and the controversial and deplorable Land Act was repealed.The remaining apartheid laws were dismantled over the next three years, and South Africa’s first democratic election took place in 1994. It was no surprise that Mandela stepped into the role of leader of the nation.Peace and reconciliationThe country had endured tension and violent conflict for decades, said De Klerk, and it was time to break out of that cycle and strive for peace and reconciliation. The silent majority yearned for it, he said, and the youth deserved it.De Klerk was emphatic in urging South Africans to come to the negotiation table. “On the basis of numerous previous statements there is no longer any reasonable excuse for the continuation of violence. The time for talking has arrived and whoever still makes excuses does not really wish to talk.”His decisive actions, which would eventually cut short his own political career as he made way for a new party to take over the government, earned him the praise of the nation, and the world.Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, speaking to the press at the time, exclaimed: “What he said has certainly taken my breath away … give him credit, man.”The BBC reported then-US president George Bush as saying that he welcomed the decision to dismantle apartheid, although more had to be done before the US would lift its economic sanctions. And Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister of Britain, wrote a congratulatory letter to De Klerk.Others, such as current UN secretary-general Perez de Cuellar and presidents Mario Soares of Portugal, Francois Mitterand of France, and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, also expressed their joy and approval.Some were more cautious. The late ANC president Oliver Tambo, speaking from Stockholm where he was receiving treatment for a stroke, described De Klerk’s steps as progressive, but pointed out that two of the ANC’s main demands were not fully realised – the release of all political prisoners, and the complete lifting of the state of emergency.Long-awaited releaseNelson Mandela was released on 11 February 1990 from the low-security Victor Verster prison, now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, in the Dwars River valley near Paarl, Western Cape.Mandela had been relocated from Robben Island to the maximum-security Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town’s southern suburbs in 1984, and a few years later he was moved to a private house within the prison walls of Victor Verster.“When he built a home in Qunu after his release,” said Mandela’s daughter Zindzi, “he insisted that it be a duplicate of his house in Victor Verster, where he felt comfortable. My father often said that he missed his time in prison because it allowed him time to reflect.”Zindzi Mandela received news of her father’s imminent release while she was at the funeral of her partner Clayton Sithole, who died while in detention at the former John Vorster police station, Johannesburg, in January 1990, just 12 days before Mandela walked free.She described the day of her father’s release as emotional, painful and chaotic. “I was terrified. There were so many people, which I never expected. As much as I wanted him to come home as a father, I knew he would come back as a leader first. And I was in mourning for the father of my child.”Straight after his release Mandela addressed thousands of supporters from the balcony of the Cape Town city hall. He spent his first night of freedom at Bishopscourt, the official residence of the Archbishop of Cape Town, who at that time was Desmond Tutu.Mandela flew to Johannesburg the next day, where he attended a rally at Soweto’s FNB stadium, now the impressive Soccer City and venue for the opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. From there he went to his house in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, where he spent his first night at home in almost three decades.In 1993 De Klerk and Mandela jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in abolishing the apartheid policies that had held South Africa back for so long. The Nobel Committee awarded this prestigious honour “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”.The laureates also jointly received the 1991 Unesco Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize.The announcement of the latter prize, made by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, read: “For their contribution to international peace, to encourage them to continue in their effort and as a tribute to what they have done to educate their people towards an understanding and towards an overcoming of prejudice that many would not have thought possible a few short years ago.”Bringing the struggle to lifeIn February 2009 the National Heritage Council announced the first site in the new National Liberation Heritage Route (LHR) – the house at Victor Verster prison where Mandela spent the last few years of his incarceration.Making the announcement, CEO of the National Heritage Council Sonwabile Mancotywa said that the prison had transformed from a place of pain to one that honoured the final stretch in the struggle for freedom. “It is a place of history that has contributed to South Africa’s cultural revival,” said Mancotywa.Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela, also in attendance, expressed her pleasure that the LHR was going all out to recognise the country’s struggle heroes: “We hope that it can include the history of all those who gave up their lives for freedom,” she said, “and tell the story of the Tambos and the Sisulus and others as much as the Mandela story has been told.”The South African LHR, a network of historically valuable sites that reflects key aspects of the country’s struggle for freedom, is modelled on the Australian convict sites. In July 2007 it was submitted to Unesco for nomination as a world heritage site, and is currently on the tentative list.The route consists of a host of stops that cover critical aspects of the liberation struggle, such as the women’s movement, youth and student movements, massacres and assassinations, and sites of historical significance.A few examples are Constitution Hill, once a notorious prison and now seat of South Africa’s Constitutional Court; Sharpeville, site of the massacre in 1960 where 69 protesters died; the Isandlwana battlefield, where Zulus and British colonial troops faced off in 1879; and Olive Schreiner House in De Aar, Northern Cape, once the home of the renowned author of The Story of an African Farm and opponent of women’s oppression.The Mandela section of the route includes his birthplace Mvezo in Mthatha, Eastern Cape province; Qunu in Mthatha where he grew up; the Clarkebury Institution which schooled him; the house in Alexandra, Johannesburg, where he lived for three years in the early 1940s; Fort Hare University; the site in Howick where he was captured by police in 1962; Liliesleaf Farm; Robben Island; Victor Verster prison; and the Mandela family home in Vilakazi Street, where Winnie lived with their children while he was in prison.It is hoped that other countries in the Southern African Development Community will make similar submissions.last_img read more

Les Amazones d’Afrique sing for human rights and gender equality

first_imgAn all-female music supergroup, made up of some of Africa’s legendary performers, are collaborating to drive gender equality and human rights on the continent.Members of the all-female African supergroup, Les Amazones d’Afrique, include legendary and up-and-coming music stars such as Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Inna Modja, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné. The group’s debut album, Republique Amazone, was released in March 2017. (Image: Real World Records)CD AndersonIncluding such internationally renowned performers as Grammy-winning Angélique Kidjo, world music star Mariam Doumbia (Amadou and Mariam) and pop star Nneka, as well as some of the best up-and-coming female African performers, Les Amazones d’Afrique is a formidable music supergroup singing out against gender inequality and human rights violations in Africa and around the world.All the vocalists and musicians, including session players, are African women from Mali, Benin, Gabon and Nigeria, as well as the wider African diaspora in Europe and the United States.The group’s main collaborators, in addition to Kidjo, Doumbia and Nneka, include Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Inna Modja, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné.The name is taken from both the Dahomey Amazons, the women warriors of Benin, and one of Africa’s first convention-defying all-female pop bands, Guinea’s Les Amazones de Guinée.In March 2017, the supergroup released their debut album, Republique Amazone, following on the success of its first single, I Play the Kora. The song is an impassioned call to arms that blends elements of traditional music of the African countries represented by the women in the group.Significantly, the song’s use of the Kora harp, a traditional West African instrument that for many years was only allowed to be played by men, is a powerful symbol of the group’s overall message.Fighting inequality with musicAbout the group’s origins, French music promoter Valerie Malot – who was responsible for bringing the diverse but similar-minded talents together – said: “The only way to build a group like this is to build it around a cause, an idea: (stopping) violence against women not only on the African continent but also in the rest of the world.”Speaking to the Guardian in February 2017, Malot added: “What we found out was that female repression on the continent and in the world, is something that touches every woman. It’s not a question of colour, or culture. It’s something generic. All women can relate to it.”One of the group’s main focuses is promoting the work of the Panzi Foundation, which has treated more than 85,000 survivors of sexual violence and genital mutilation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Ultimately, the group believe that the only way to combat violence against women and strengthen the cause of human rights around the world is to dismantle the dominance of patriarchy and change traditional chauvinistic thinking.Yet, as Malot was quick to add, the philosophy of the collaboration is not anti-men: in voicing the rights of daughters, sisters and mothers of Africa, the music is also “a love letter to (good) men…(that says) we need more of you”.Bringing together young and old, traditional and modernMembers of the all-female African supergroup, Les Amazones d’Afrique, include legendary and up-and-coming music stars such as Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Inna Modja, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné. The group’s debut album, Republique Amazone, was released in March 2017. (Image: Real World Records)As described by the group’s recording company, Real World Music, the women of Les Amazones d’Afrique not only use music as a weapon in an attempt to address the mentalities that continue to perpetuate disempowerment, but also as a way to bring women together across generations and across continents through a shared love of the rich traditions of African music.Nneka, the 36-year-old Nigerian singer who has a growing popularity across Africa and around the world, calls the group’s collaboration a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an opportunity for young female musicians to listen to and make music with some the continent’s more established, renowned female artists.She told the Guardian: “You are there with people who are talented, who have something to say. Who you can listen to, who you can learn from. Most of them are older women who have had so much impact on their society, or on their hometowns. Just looking at that, it definitely inspired me. It gave me hope as well: I’m not out there alone.”Inna Modja, a 32-year-old Malian-French singer, explained in an interview with Le Point Afrique, how she and other younger singers gave the older women in Les Amazones a more modern musical perspective to the group. “We bring something different, from our generation, which is more open than ever to the world. We grew up surrounded by different types of music.”Critics have been overwhelmingly positive, with Robin Denselow of the Guardian highlighting the group’s imaginative and “exuberant harmonies”, while Le Point Afrique calls the collaboration and its success a case of unapologetically “steely resolve” that gives a global voice to the voiceless.Visit Real World Records for more information about the group and to buy the album.Follow Les Amazones d’Afrique on Facebook and Twitter.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Return of Challenge Caches

first_img SharePrint RelatedGeocaching Etiquette 201: Finding and LoggingJune 14, 2019In “Community”Geocaching Etiquette 201: Cache OwnershipJune 25, 2019In “Community”Five Project-GC features you may not know aboutNovember 13, 2018In “News” Today we’re happy to announce the end of the moratorium on challenge cache submissions. Effective immediately, new challenge caches may be submitted in accordance with the updated guidelines.Challenge caches encourage people to set and achieve fun goals. There’s no doubt that they’re a beloved part of the game for many geocachers. However, challenge caches represent a major exception to a basic guideline: For physical caches all logging requirements beyond finding the cache and signing the log are considered additional logging requirements (ALRs) and must be optional. Geocaching HQ has long exempted challenge caches from this guideline because they can bring so many positives to the game.With that exception comes an expectation that the negatives won’t outweigh the positives. Unfortunately, a number of negative factors led to the moratorium going into effect last year, including:Subjectivity often results in a difficult review process. Reviewers are volunteers who give their time to support the geocaching community. With most cache submissions, it’s usually pretty clear to reviewers whether a geocache is publishable. But challenge caches are different. Many reviewers cite the sometimes contentious process of reviewing challenge caches as the least fun thing about reviewing. Since each reviewer examines hundreds or thousands of cache submissions each year, we (HQ and the community) owe it to them to make the process as enjoyable as possible!High percentage of appeals to Geocaching HQ. Cache owners can appeal a reviewer’s decision to HQ if a cache submission is deemed unpublishable. We found that more than 50 percent of appeals related to challenge caches prior to the moratorium. That’s despite the fact that less than one percent of cache submissions were challenge caches. It was another sign that the challenge cache system wasn’t working.Logging requirements are often misunderstood. Some challenge caches are very simple for cachers to understand. However, more and more we found people were submitting challenges with very long lists of logging requirements. In some cases, a single challenge cache listing totaled multiple pages when printed. Appeals for such caches often resulted in the kind of back and forth that can make the process very difficult.These were among some of the known drawbacks to challenge caches. A big goal of the moratorium was to gain an even deeper understanding about what the community and volunteer reviewers liked and didn’t like about challenges. We also wanted to hear your suggestions for how to improve challenge caches. Hundreds of geocachers took part in our User Insights Forum. Nearly 20,000 of you also completed our survey on challenge caches. With all of that data in hand, we set about building a framework that we hope will allow challenges to continue and thrive.What’s Changing?Challenge checkers. Perhaps the biggest change is that all future challenge caches must include a web-based challenge checker. We began looking at this idea after it was suggested by many community members during the User Insights Forum. We then found that a high percentage of survey respondents favored the idea. Checkers will make it much easier for caches to know whether they qualify for a challenge.Since Project-GC is already very experienced in hosting challenge checkers, it made perfect sense to work with them to officially integrate checkers into new challenge caches. Read more about challenge checkers in our Help Center. (We want to thank Magnus and his colleagues at Project-GC for their partnership in this process!)Guideline changes. We’ve updated both the format and some content in the Challenge Cache Guidelines. Here are some of the more important updates:CO is required to have qualified for the challenge. This change was heavily supported in the community survey. In the past, some COs submitted crazy challenges for which even they could not hope to qualify.Time-limited challenges are not permitted. For example, “Find 500 caches in a month” or “Find 10 different icons in a day.” The aim here is at least two-fold. First, these challenges encouraged people to hurry to find caches in a short time period. That’s something a majority of survey respondents said they didn’t like about challenge caches. And it’s not something we wish to encourage. Second, we’ve seen a lot of people creating Events and/or CITOs only to add an icon to the area for “Busy Day” challenges. That’s not at all the spirit for which those activities are intended.Streak challenges limited to 365 days. Ask an experienced cacher, “What did you like most about your caching streak?” and the common answer is, “The day it ended!” Finding caches every day for a long period often makes caching feel like a chore. But we didn’t want to restrict them completely, so we’re setting a maximum streak length for challenges. No challenges based on Waymarking, Benchmarking or Trackable logs, or specifying Lab Cache finds. The community survey results showed low approval ratings for challenges involving these things. While many geocachers do enjoy Waymarking and Benchmarking, these activities aren’t geocaching. Challenges involving trackables can lead to mass logging and other behaviors that aren’t ideal for TBs. We are not permitting Lab Cache challenges because Lab Caches are temporary, are generally only available to those who attend Mega- or Giga-Events, are not associated with Found It logs, and are not completely integrated into Geocaching.com stats. However, since they are included in user profile stats for Total Finds, Longest Streak, and Finds for Each Day of the Year grid, we are making an exception to permit Lab Caches to be used as qualifiers for challenges related only to those metrics.Challenges cannot be based on these listing elements: cache titles, cache owner names, GC Codes, or listing text. This would include such challenges as “Find a cache for every letter of the alphabet” or “Find caches with the Periodic Table symbol in the GC code.” They generally reward database management, rather than geocaching achievement. More importantly, they often lead people to place caches whose titles start with a certain letter or contain a specific word, only to help people qualify for challenges. What’s Not Changing (for now)The idea of a challenge cache icon or attribute earned significant support from the community. We agree there are a lot of good reasons to implement one. However, we want to confirm that the new framework will reduce the problems which led to the moratorium. It wouldn’t make sense to engineer a new icon or attribute only to lose it if challenge caches don’t work out. We’re going to give it a year or so, and then re-evaluate the situation. If we find that things are going well, then we will strongly consider adding a new icon or attribute for challenge caches.What’s Next?We love how challenge caches encourage people to set fun goals and expand their caching horizons. There’s no question we want these caches to thrive for years to come. We have high hopes that this new framework for challenge caches will reduce some of the pre-moratorium difficulties for reviewers and the community. But challenge cache owners are integral to the success of this framework. It’s important that they work within these guidelines in order to reduce the burden that reviewers felt prior to the moratorium. If after a period of evaluation we find that a lot of the pre-moratorium issues are still causing problems, then we’ll know that this new framework isn’t the answer. We don’t have a backup plan. The only remaining option would be to not permit challenge caches as they currently exist.But we’re hopeful the community won’t let it come to that. Through your participation in our User Insights Forum and survey, geocachers and community volunteer reviewers have eagerly participated in a comprehensive process that has resulted in what we believe is solid framework. We’re happy to know that challenge caches will continue to inspire people around the world to achieve exciting geocaching goals!Read more:Challenge Cache GuidelinesLearn about Challenge CheckersChallenge Cache SubjectivityShare with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Greater Than Experience

first_imgIn most cases:Attitude: I would hire for attitude over experience. Someone with the right attitude can quickly gain experience. The person with a good attitude is a better hire than an experienced person with a poor attitude.Skills: I would also hire for skills before experience, too. Especially people skills. Someone who knows how to work with people is a better hire than someone who has experience but extremely poor people skills. Most of us produce results through and with other people.Character: A person with high character is always a better hire than someone with bad character, regardless of their experience. Severe character flaws eventually cause serious problems. Character flaws always eliminate any value in the person’s experience.Work Ethic: A person with a great work ethic is always a better hire than someone who is lazy. A hustler with little skills will outproduce an experienced person who refuses to do the work. Lazy people are never a good hire, no matter how much they know.Coachable: Coachable people are better hires than people who believe they know enough and have no real need to learn anything new. The coachable person can grow, but the non-coachable person will stagnate, becoming less effective over time.Willingness: The better hire is one who is willing to do whatever it takes over someone who is unwilling to do what is necessary. This is true even when the unwilling person has great experience. The experienced person may know what needs to be done, but not doing what needs to be done is the same as not knowing.When Experience MattersIn 1992, I had a brain surgery. In this case, I wanted the best person in the world for the operation I needed. I cared deeply about their experience with this particular type of surgery. I chose someone with extensive experience and a history of massive successes. I didn’t care about his attitude or his coachability.There are some cases where experience matters a great deal and some where experience outweighs almost any other factor. But most of the time, experience shouldn’t be weighted as heavily as it is in hiring decisions.last_img read more

Kolkata T20I: Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav highlight India’s 5-wicket win over West Indies

first_imgDinesh Karthik’s experience held India in good stead in the end as they beat West Indies by 5 wickets in the first T20 international in Kolkata on Sunday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.Chasing a modest 110 for victory, India were rocked early by the Windies pacers but Karthik remained calm under pressure to take the team over the line at Eden Gardens with 13 balls to spare.Karthik remained unbeaten on 31 off 34 balls with three boundaries and a six to top-score for the Men in Blue.India vs West Indies 1st T20I: Report | Highlights | GalleryIndia’s run chase got off to the worst-possible start with debutant Oshane Thomas getting rid of captain Rohit Sharma (6) in the first over itself.Thomas then doubled Windies’ joy as he uprooted Shikhar Dhawan’s middle stump for 3 with sheer pace in the third over.Krunal Pandya wanted to bowl to Kieron Pollard and got him out: Rohit SharmaRishabh Pant (1) and KL Rahul (16) also didn’t last long as Windies skipper Carlos Brathwaite sent them back in the pavilion in quick succession.With India tottering at 45 for 4, Karthik and Manish Pandey joined forces and steadied the ship before adding 38 runs for the fifth wicket.Also Read – Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer in comical run outPandey fell at a crucial juncture after having scored 19 runs off 24 balls.Dubtant Krunal Pandya then came to the crease and took the pressure off Karthik with a quickfire 21 not out off 9 balls which included three boundaries.Krunal and Karthik added 27 runs for the sixth wicket to take India over the finish line in the 18th over with the former hitting the winning runs.advertisementAlso Read – Krunal Pandya, Khaleel Ahmed make T20I debuts in KolkataIt’s all over here at the Eden Gardens.#TeamIndia win by 5 wickets #INDvWI pic.twitter.com/zxDu8K9EYzBCCI (@BCCI) November 4, 2018Earlier, Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and all-rounder Krunal spun a web around the West Indies batsmen in a joint spell of eight overs to restrict them to a paltry 109 for 8 in 20 overs after India opted to bowl first.Also Read – India vs West Indies 1st T20I in Kolkata: As it happenedThe Windies were reduced to 34/3 in seven overs when Pandya — who had misfielded in only the second ball of the innings — was brought in.The elder brother of injured Hardik got rid of comeback man Kieron Pollard and gave away just 15 runs while senior pro Kuldeep scalped three wickets leaking 13 runs.After 15 overs, the tourists had managed just 63 runs, losing 7 wickets.Fabien Allen top-scored for the Windies with a counter-attacking 27 off 20 balls (4×4) while Keemo Paul remained unbeaten on 15 alongwith Khari Pierre (9 not out).West Indies crossed the 100-run mark riding a big 19th over which fetched 16 runs off Umesh Yadav (1/36).Jasprit Bumrah (1/27) and debutant Khaleel Ahmed (1/16) also got a wicket apiece.(With IANS inputs)last_img read more