Justice Today

Justice Today, Mar 2021

Justice in Action

Celebrating 25 years of the Constitution

This year’s Human rights Month is commemorated under the theme “The year of Charlotte Maxeke: Promoting Human rights in the age of Covid-19”.

Human Rights Day which is celebrated on 21st March marks the commemoration of the Sharpeville Massacre which led to the killing of 69 people and left many others injured after apartheid government security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters.

In honouring this month, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) in partnership with National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Department of Arts and Culture hosted a constitutional learner programme at Pretoria Boys High School aimed at heightening constitutional education.

Mr. Bheki Mbonani Director for Participatory Democracy (DOJ&CD), emphasised the importance of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution saying that it protects everyone against any form of discrimination and ensures that everyone enjoys these rights equally. “You must never allow anyone discriminate against you because of your race, gender and sexuality. We all equal before the law and we are protected by the Constitution,” he said.

He cautioned learners to stay away from cyberbullying. “Online bullying has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers, as the digital sphere has expanded, and technology has advanced,” he said.  

Mr Sabelo Khumalo from the Department of Arts and Culture highlighted the importance of national symbols focusing mainly on the national flag and the National Anthem. “When singing the national anthem, all civilians should stand at attention, only the President place the right hand over the heart while individuals in uniform should salute,” he said.

Grade 12 learner, Lethabo Munyai appreciated the opportunity to learn more the Bill of Rights and the national flag.  “When I came here, I did not know much about the Bill of Rights. Today I am grateful that through this piece of legislation I’m part of a previously whites only school. He added that when he joined the school three years ago, he was struggling with Afrikaans, but he managed to make friends and they assisted him to better understand the language. “Through diversity and unison in the school I am doing very well, and I hope to pass my Matric with fly colours,” he said.

This event forms part of the Department’s activities to celebrate 25 years anniversary since the signing into law of the Constitution.

By Makinta Kgomotso