Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) Mr. John Jeffery engaged in a Learner Dialogue Session at Wittebome High School in Wynberg (Western Cape). This session was aimed at raising awareness about the Bill of Rights and the Preamble section of the constitution.
Wittebome High School has a history in fighting for freedom that includes the Wynberg 7. Wynberg 7 as famously known is a group of seven pupils who were arrested and incarcerated in Pollsmoor Prison after being convicted of public violence.
Speaking at the event the Deputy Minister John Jeffery said the Department is running this year-long programme, called the Constitutional Learner Programme, to educate learners about the strides and contributions made by our freedom fighters and struggle icons to realize the freedom we are enjoying today. "As we celebrate Human Rights Day, let us never forget those who walked these very streets and fought for the freedom and democracy that we all enjoy today," he said. He concluded by saying he feels a affinity for the school, as a former colleague and Member of Parliament who passed away last year, Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, also went to Wittebome.
School Principal Mr. Raymond Threw said learners have a greater appreciation for stories relating to human rights and the sacrifices which were necessary for South Africans to experience the freedoms granted to them through the Constitution. "The fact that the school they attend was part of the struggle opened their minds to a greater appreciation and respect for the diversity in the school," said Threw.
Zoe Arendse, one of the learners at Wittebome High School said, celebrating the human rights and 25 years of the constitution is important because now young people can go to school wherever they want unlike in the old days whereby they must fight for the right to schooling.The event was attended by Grades Ten and Twelve learners from Wittebome High School. In concluding the event learners recited the Preamble to demonstrate their commitment to the values of the constitution
By Solomon Mahlangu