The Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) conducted its 52nd Graduation Exercise consisting of its biggest batch of 156 students, on Friday at the School’s Campus in Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.From Left: Paul White, Jamaul Wilson, Anisa Mancey, Tanisha Thompson and Rabindranauth MohalAttendees at the graduation consisted of the school’s Principal, Dindyal Permaul, Chief Executive Officer Brian Greenidge, director Dexter Allen, chairman of the board of directors and Chief Education Officer of the Ministry of Education Olatto Sam, as well as Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder, among other board members, academic staff and the graduating students.Speaking to the students the Minister of Agriculture congratulated them for having successfully completed their studies, and offered words of advice as the graduating class of 2016 moves on to other endeavours.“As you go on to higher and better things, I hope you carry a positive mindset. Your thoughts are yours and must be controlled. It is perhaps one of the most important resources you have,” Holder said.Holder further advised them to take control of their future and pursue jobs that would enable them to become independent, highlighting that there will be considerations of GSA providing assistance to graduates who may find it difficult in acquiring a job. He asserted that this may be done through the establishment of internship programmes within partnering entities.“Seize the opportunity with open arms and commit to the task at hand…The youth unemployment rate across the Caribbean averages 25 per cent, while here in Guyana this rate has been hovering close to 40 per cent. It is clear that we can turn to our agriculture sector for aid in tackling this problem. Additionally, for the industry to attain sustainability, it must address the aging farming population by promoting greater involvement of our youths in agriculture.”The Graduating Class of 2016 consisted of 84 pupils who completed their Diploma in Agriculture, 15 acquired a Certificate in Agriculture, 10 graduated with a Diploma in Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health, 36 received a Certificate in Forestry and 11 acquired a Certificate in Agro-Processing.Receiving the Chief Executive Officer Prize was Rabindranauth Mohal, who also acquired the spot of Best Performance in Agronomy, Experimental Methods, Veterinary Science, and Diploma in Agriculture Class.Following him was Jamaul Wilson, who received the Chairman’s Prize, and also copped the position of Outstanding Performance in Forest Resource Management, Timber Harvesting, and Forestry Class.Anisa Mancey was awarded prizes for Best Performance in Veterinary Pathology and Veterinary Public Health, Animal Physiology and Veterinary Anatomy, Animal Nutrition, Surgery, Animal Breeding and Reproductive Physiology, Pharmacology, and Best Overall Performance in Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health Class.
On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the European Union reaffirms once again its strongest commitment to prevent, condemn and eradicate all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, it continues to be practiced around the world either in isolated cases or systematically, through different forms. Torture can target everyone – men, women, and children. Torture is an inexcusable crime for which each perpetrator has to be prosecuted and brought in front of justice.We will keep mobilising all our means to protect all those that have been and continue to be exposed to this abhorrent human rights violation and standing by all those who very courageously engage against this crime through awareness raising, engagement in civil society organisations or support to victims.The fight against torture and other ill-treatment is enshrined in the European Union Treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights and a key priority area of the EU Action plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019.We apply a global approach to eradicate torture including prohibition, prevention, combating impunity and redress for the victims through a combination of political and human rights dialogues, awareness-raising activities and financial assistance – notably the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights and our development aid policies. The EU also promotes the need for safeguards to prevent torture in all its actions and towards those in most vulnerable situations, including in the contexts of counterterrorism, crisis management and migration.The role of international and regional mechanisms as well as the important role by National Human Rights Institutions and National Preventive Mechanisms is key to eradicate torture. The EU financially supports their important work in several countries around the globe. Setting up independent national preventive mechanisms can ensure continuous monitoring and dialogue, and thereby meaningful changes in the prevention of torture.Eradication of torture can only be achieved through a global effort by joining forces, defining common strategies and implementing joint actions. Continuous engagement with our partners, at regional and multilateral level, along with civil society, is crucial to making progress.The launch of the “Global Alliance for Torture-Free Trade” in September 2017 for example reiterates the EU’s commitment to the absolute prohibition of torture, capital punishment and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This common initiative, with Argentina and Mongolia, is a global effort from countries who commit themselves to take effective measures to prevent, restrict and ban trade of such goods.On this particular day, the EU reiterates its call for a broad ratification and effective implementation of the UN Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol and welcomes its recent ratification by Afghanistan, Australia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka as well as the Palestinian ratification.In a year which marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the European Union recalls that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Guided by its founding principles based on the universality and indivisibility of human rights, the rule of law, respect for fundamental freedoms and human dignity, the EU will continue to strive for the prevention and eradication of torture globally and redress for the harm done to torture victims and survivors.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The D&D Rebels slow-pitch squad is inviting local teams to join its upcoming tournament.The Summer Solstice Slow-pitch Tournament runs from June 18-20, and guarantees 5 games per team.- Advertisement -It will also include a homerun competition, a pitching competition, a poker hand challenge, raffles, a live band, and food from Tim n’ Tyc’s.The entry fee is $250 per team, and all proceeds go to the D&D Rebels, to help fund their trip to the 2010 National Championships. By Energeticcity.ca staff
Courtesy of Weekley’s miss on the final hole of regulation, he, Camilo Villegas, Mark Wilson and Jose Coceres – who all finished at 5-under 275 – went into a four-man playoff Sunday night, one that they couldn’t finish before darkness fell on PGA National. “I was shaking,” Weekley said. “I ain’t going to lie about it. I mean, I was shaking like a leaf. … I made a good stroke. I just hit it way too hard.” Play was scheduled to resume at 5:30 a.m. today, with the foursome on the par-4 10th hole. With a 15-footer on the tournament’s 71st hole, the par-3 17th, Weekley took the lead and only needed a par at the last to get that win and the money. He reached the 18th green in three shots, tipping his cap as he walked up to acknowledge the long, loud serenade of “Boo.” The gallery made a much different sound moments later, when his putt slid past the left edge. They never came. And he had to wait until this morning to get a shot at redeeming himself. “You’ve got to feel for Boo,” Villegas said. “But it’s golf. Those things happen.” Each player made par at the par-5 18th, the first playoff hole. Wilson’s was spectacular, coming after he drove his tee shot into the mud and scrambling to the green before making a 30-foot putt to keep him in contention. Wilson, 0 for 110 in tour events, also made a 45-footer to save par at the 16th hole – which, obviously, kept his hopes afloat. And Coceres – who lost a playoff to Fred Funk in Mexico at last week’s tour stop, the Mayakoba Golf Classic – had a birdie try that would have ended the tournament hit the lip and roll away. “I’m old. I’m 43,” said Coceres, who is 1-1 in playoffs on tour, and is the only member of the final foursome here to go to extra holes in a tour event. “I couldn’t see.” Weekley then made a 3-footer to earn his trip to the second playoff hole, and Villegas followed with a tap-in from about 2 feet – the final shot before play was suspended. “We had no chance of playing any more holes,” Villegas said. “It was real dark.” Westlake High’s Charlie Wi finished in a four-way tie for 16th, shooting 3 over Sunday with a final round total of 280. PGA European: Anton Haig won a three-way playoff with Richard Sterne and Oliver Wilson to win his first European Tour title at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Phuket, Thailand. The three finished regular play at the Blue Canyon County Club on 13-under 275. The 20-year-old from Johannesburg knocked in a 3-foot putt for a birdie in the 18th hole shootout to win for the first time in 17 appearances on the European Tour. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Only 3 feet separated Boo Weekley from everything he has spent the past decade chasing. A PGA Tour victory, the big winner’s check, a two-year exemption, all of them a mere short putt away. He pulled his putter back in the fading light on the 72nd hole of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., struck the ball and waited for the cheers to rain down.
“Mandela is not sure to play and it’s a huge problem for me. We need to find solution and maybe develop another option. It is not easy because this is Kenya and we don’t have so many foreign based players. But we will try to find a solution and this is a good opportunity for me to see other players,” Migne said.He added; “There are other players who I have not played since I came in like Owino (David) or Masud. This is their chance to show what they can do.”Mandela’s injury comes just few days after it was confirmed that striker Michael Olunga is unavailable due to a hamstring strain.In Mandela’s absence, Migne will have plenty of options with Gor Mahia’s Joash Onyango back from injury while David Owino might be in line for a start having missed the last three international games with injury.Harambee Stars new call up Christopher Mbamba (Centre) vies for the ball with Ismail Gonzalez during a training session at the Kasarani Stadium on March 19, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaMeanwhile, new call up, Sweden-based Christopher Mbamba is racing against time to get his documentation right before the team travels to Accra early Thursday morning.The winger born in Zimbabwe to a Namibian father and a Kenyan mother earned a first ever call-up to the national team for this trip to Ghana, but the only impediment is his paperwork.“He (Mbamba) missed the session in the morning because he was working on his documentation and I hope by the end of the day he will be able to get it,” Migne said.“He is an interesting players and will compete to be on final list for AFCON. I asked him to come because I saw his quality and I watched him in some games and it was interesting to see. But I need to know him more and see whether he can compete well with the group,” the French tactician stated.Stars will hold their final training session on Wednesday evening after which Migne will nae his final list of travelling players early morning Thursday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars defender Brian Mandela during a training session at the Kasarani Stadium on March 20, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne will need to re-organize his cards for the trip to Ghana ahead of Saturday’s final African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification match in Accra with defender Brian Mandela doubtful.The burly defender sat out of the final 20 minutes of Wednesday morning’s session at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani with a suspected muscular problem and Migne confirmed to Capital Sport the defender might miss the tie.
SAN DIMAS – Helen Gonzales would have liked to have joined a recent tribute to her late son, but she felt too overcome with grief – even three years after Thomas Hatch died in a boating accident at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park. The eighth-grader, who attended Center Middle School in Azusa, died June 1, 2003, when two Sea-Doos collided head-on on the lake in San Dimas. For the single mother from Covina, it still feels like yesterday. “I feel like I have been on pause since that day,” Gonzales said. “I keep thinking the sadness and shock will go away. But each day it just gets harder.” At Bonelli Park, only one fatality on the water occurred in the past three years, officials there said. Last year, however, there were eight boat collisions, and lifeguards rescued 134 swimmers. More than 139 boat owners were caught disobeying boating rules, park officials said. The biggest problem is that people do not bother to educate themselves about boating rules and don’t take safety precautions seriously, said June Iljana, spokeswoman for the Department of Boating and Waterways. “A lot of accidents happen when boats collide because of operator inexperience,” she said. “People also don’t take boat-safety classes ahead of time.” Many accidents could be avoided if people didn’t drink before getting behind the wheel of a boat. About 38 percent of boating accidents in the state are alcohol-related, she said. At Bonelli Park, where as many as 200 personal watercraft can be on the water during a holiday, boating rules are handed out to visitors as soon as they roll through the gates, said Rob Welch, supervising lake lifeguard. Lifeguards also give out lots of citations to parents of children not wearing life jackets on the 250-acre lake. After seeing too many near-collisions, personal watercraft and boats are no longer allowed in the fast-boat area on the same day. “It was bad,” said senior lifeguard Kris Johnson. “We would get Jet Skis landing in boats or trying to jump the wake behind boats. So the change was made.” Children under 12 are not allowed to operate personal watercraft, and children between 12 and 16 must be accompanied by an adult on boats. Gonzales wishes boat safety rules were stricter. “Watercraft should only be operated by licensed drivers age 16 and up, because children can’t make quick decisions on land or water,” she said. People also need to take boating safety more seriously, she said. “They need to realize there can be accidents on the water just like on the highway,” Gonzales said. firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Rescue personnel routinely brace for tragedies as the weather heats up and the popularity of recreational boating increases. Behind the summer fun of riding watercraft on a placid lake or shimmering ocean is a little-spotlighted dark side. Each year, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, accidents involving personal watercraft take the lives of dozens of people, according to state statistics. Over the recent Memorial Day weekend, Edward Gomez, 43, of Santa Fe Springs was killed while riding in an inner tube being dragged by a boat on Pyramid Lake. The inner tube crashed into the hull of a boat. John Galvan, 46, the driver of the boat pulling Gomez, is accused of being under the influence of alcohol. He is charged with one count of vessel manslaughter. His scheduled arraignment Friday was continued to June 14 in San Fernando Superior Court. According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, 12 people have died in boating-related accidents so far this year. Last year, 58 people died in boating accidents in the state, including two in Los Angeles County. Eight people were injured in the county, the state agency’s figures show.
29 August 2012Promoting South Africa as a financial centre and investment “gateway” for the continent is imperative if the country is to benefit fully from the growing global investor interest in Africa, according to the National Treasury and the country’s banks.This was one of the things that emerged from Monday’s meeting in Pretoria between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the chairpersons and CEOs of the major banks.In a statement issued after the meeting, the Treasury said “the substantial global increase in interest in Africa was noted, as well as the fact that South Africa was well placed to benefit from this.“If South Africa is to benefit fully from this interest in sub-Saharan Africa, government and the private sector must work together closely.”The meeting noted that despite the ongoing European and global financial crisis, South Africa’s banks remained well-capitalized, liquid and solvent. Lending conditions had in fact improved, with credit extension beginning to rise, and the latest banking results pointing to a recovery in banks’ profitability.“In particular, the representatives of banks confirmed the build-up of corporate cash balances and noted that this was a global phenomenon, which was typical of global uncertainty and a lack of investor confidence.“This provided opportunities going forward to unlock money for investment in emerging economies.”The banks indicated their strong support for the government’s vision of growth that supported job creation and poverty reduction, and in particular for the state-led infrastructure drive announced by President Jacob Zuma in February.The banks “noted that they could play in key role in both the financing of the key infrastructure projects as well assist in providing the technical capacity to speed up the delivery of such infrastructure,” the Treasury said.“Constraints to a smoother working relationship between the financial sector and government were identified, and the meeting agreed that the Minister of Finance will coordinate attempts within government to remove these blockages.”The meeting also discussed the international regulatory requirements for banks.“Progress in meeting Basel 3 requirements was noted, and the announcement of measures to assist banks to meet the liquidity coverage ratio was welcomed.”The banks had also noted “the ongoing efforts of the National Treasury and the Financial Services Board to ensure South Africa’s compliance with the G20 requirements for clearing and reporting of derivative transactions”.SAinfo reporter
20 June 2013 South Africa’s current account deficit narrowed from 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 5.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2013, the Reserve Bank said on Wednesday. “With the value of merchandise exports advancing at a slightly firmer pace compared to merchandise imports, the trade deficit narrowed from R86.1-billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 to R78.2-billion in the first quarter of 2013,” the central bank said in its June quarterly bulletin. Consistent with the pick-up in world economic activity, global trade volumes gained further momentum in the first quarter of 2013. The shortfall on South Africa’s services, income and current transfer account with the rest of the world, which had remained broadly unchanged since the second quarter of 2012, improved markedly in the first quarter of 2013, supporting the improvement in the country’s trade balance. “Consequently, the deficit on the current account of the balance of payments narrowed from R212.6-billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 to R190.9-billion in the first quarter of 2013,” the Bank said. “As a ratio of the country’s gross domestic product, the deficit came to 5.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013, noticeably lower than the 6.5 percent registered in the preceding quarter.” According to the bulletin, the volume of mining and manufactured goods exported from South Africa increased in the first quarter of 2013. “At the same time, the export earnings of South African producers continued to benefit from the lower exchange value of the rand which extended into the first quarter of 2013. As a result, the value of merchandise exports advanced by 11.9% to R800.1-billion in the first quarter of 2013, up from R715-billion in the fourth quarter of 2012,” the Bank said. Some analysts had expected the deficit to have risen sharply. Nedbank said the narrower deficit was encouraging, but said the shortfall still remained large and that the rand was still vulnerable. “The balance of payments will remain under pressure in 2013,” the Bank said. “Trade performance will remain lacklustre as long as the global environment remains unfavourable. More domestic production disruptions, mainly labour strikes, would add to the weak external trade account.” Nedbank added that general economic conditions remained weak. “Today’s numbers confirm that general economic conditions remain weak, with significant downside risks. Risks to the inflation outlook remain high due to further weakness of the rand. “We expect the Reserve Bank to continue striking a balance between weak growth and rising inflation by maintain its accommodative monetary policy stance well into 2014.” Source: SAnews.gov.za
Nelson Mandela lived in one of the outbuildings at Liliesleaf. The security police searching the main farmhouse at Liliesleaf at the time of the raid. The Liliesleaf farmhouse with the outbuildings in the background. (Images: Liliesleaf Trust) MEDIA CONTACTS • Nicholas Wolpe CEO, Liliesleaf Trust +27 11 803 7882 RELATED ARTICLES • From Liliesleaf to Robben Island • Mandela: a remarkable 92 years • Mandela’s head rises in Howick • Travelling the Mandela Route • Mandela prison anniversary marked Lucille Davie and Wilma den HartighDenis Goldberg was sitting in the lounge of the farmhouse reading a book when the police swooped on the high command of the African National Congress‘s (ANC) military wing at Liliesleaf Farm back in 1963.The police must have been very pleased with themselves – they had hit bull’s eye: members of Umkhonto we Sizwe or MK were poring over Operation Mayibuye, the plan for guerrilla warfare in South Africa.This year marks the 50th anniversary of the raid on Liliesleaf, now in the upmarket suburb of Rivonia in northern Johannesburg, on 11 July 1963.In one of the outbuildings, six men were discussing Mayibuye – Raymond Mhlaba, Govan Mbeki, Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein, Walter Sisulu, Bob Hepple, and Ahmed Kathrada. Nelson Mandela himself was absent – he was serving a five-year sentence for inciting workers to strike, and for leaving the country without a passport.The men were all taken into custody and charged with sabotage, a sentence that carried the death penalty. But they didn’t go to the gallows – the resultant Rivonia Trial saw eight men convicted to life imprisonment, serving up to 27 years in jail.BannedThe ANC had been banned in April 1960, forcing it to reconsider its commitment to non-violence, and to go underground. In mid-1961 it was decided to form Umkhonto we Sizwe, the Spear of the Nation. The farm at Liliesleaf was purchased, to be used for meetings of the ANC and MK. Mandela had at various times lived at Liliesleaf, in disguise as a gardener under the alias of David Motsamayi.The book Goldberg was reading was Brighter than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the Atomic Scientists, by Austrian Robert Jungk, first published in 1958. It is the first published account of the Manhattan Project and the German atomic bomb project, which studied the making and dropping of the deadly bomb, as told by the atomic scientists. It is based on interviews with those who played a major role in the construction and deployment of the bombs in WW2.“They hit the jackpot,” says Goldberg now. He recalls that he ran to the bathroom the moment he heard the police. He wanted to hide the notes he had made, showing his designs for the development of weapons. Goldberg trained as a civil engineer.Several ironiesThere is an irony in the fact that while MK were planning for armed resistance, not a single weapon was found at Liliesleaf. “The police searched the entire farm and confiscated hundreds of documents and papers, though they found no weapons,” writes Mandela in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. “One of the most important documents remained right on the table: Operation Mayibuye, a plan for guerrilla warfare in South Africa.”Another irony is that this was to be the last meeting at Liliesleaf. Hepple writes in a paper published in Social Dynamics in 1964 on the raid, Rivonia: The story of accused no 11, that they were aware that the police were getting closer to discovering Liliesleaf. “We all knew that the police were closing in on the leaders who were living underground. Many arrests had been made, including on June 25 that of five or six activists who knew about the Place.”That “Place” was Liliesleaf, of course, also referred to as “Lil’s place”. Hepple explains that there had been several breaches of security, with outsiders invited to Liliesleaf without approval, witnessing “eleven or twelve members of the central leadership”.Hepple, an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar at the time, wrote of his trip out to Liliesleaf: “I was full of anxieties as I drove from my chambers in central Johannesburg to the meeting at ‘Lil’s place’ (which is how we described Lilliesleaf Farm).”It was never established how the police got to know about Liliesleaf. Says Kathrada in his Memoirs: “The truth is, we never found out who or what led the police to Rivonia that day. Every version that has been bandied about over the years is based on mothing more than speculation.”New headquartersGoldberg confirms that they had already bought a new headquarters, Travallyn in Krugersdorp, a small town on the western outskirts of Johannesburg. Several people had already moved into the small holding. But Bernstein had to get home within a specific time, as specified by his banning order. So it was agreed to meet at Liliesleaf for the last time.Hepple recounts the dramatic events on that afternoon at the farm: “It was about 3.15pm when a van was heard coming down the drive. Govan went to the window. He said, ‘It’s a dry-cleaning van. I’ve never seen it before’. Rusty then went to the window and exclaimed ‘My God, I saw that van outside the police station on the way here!’”Dogs were heard barking, and Bernstein shouted that it was the cops. “Govan had collected up the Operation Mayibuye document and some other papers and I saw him putting them in the chimney of the small stove in the room. The back window was open, and I helped Govan, Walter and Kathy [Kathrada’s nickname] jump out of it. There was a second or two as I moved back near the door, with Rusty next to me and Ray sitting next to the window. The door burst open. Detective Sergeant Kennedy, whom I had cross-examined in a political trial earlier that year, rushed in: ‘Stay where you are. You’re all under arrest.’ He walked up to me with an excited sneer: ‘You’re Advocate Hepple, aren’t you?’”It was all over. They were marched outside and searched, bundled into the back of the van, and after several hours, driven to The Fort in the city centre, then on to Pretoria Central Prison. Hepple spent three months in solitary confinement.Charged with sabotageOther arrests had been made. In October everyone appeared in the Supreme Court, charged with sabotage. Accused No 1 was Mandela, Hepple was Accused No 11. Hepple had been Mandela’s legal counsel when he was sentenced to five years on Robben Island in 1962.In an unexpected move, all charges against Hepple were withdrawn, and he was to be called as a witness for the state. He was released from prison. “I had no intention of testifying against the accused, whom I admired and respected,” he writes.He made plans to escape across the border into Botswana with his wife, on his way to Dar es Salaam, and on to London. “On Saturday, November 25th, as the news of Kennedy’s assassination broke, Shirley and I left our children and our parents, our home and friends, and the country we loved.”His children later joined him in London, where he still lives. He wrote his account a year later, just as the Rivonia trialists were sentenced to life imprisonment, on 12 June 1964.He went on to have a long and distinguished legal career. He is an international expert and activist in labour law, equality and human rights; Emeritus Master of Clare College and emeritus professor of law at the University of Cambridge in England; and has received several awards and honours, including a knighthood in 2004.Hepple launched a new book this week in Johannesburg, titled Young man with a Red Tie: a memoir of Mandela and the Failed Revolution 1960-1963. It recounts his escape to avoid testifying against the Rivonia trialists.Liliesleaf todayThe Liliesleaf farmhouse and outbuildings have been sensitively restored, and a new building housing a museum has been built on the site.“It is a site of immense significance,” says Nicholas Wolpe, CEO of the Liliesleaf Trust.Through the establishment of the Liliesleaf Trust and Legacy Project, the site has been developed into one of South Africa’s most prominent liberation landmarks.About 60% of the building infrastructure consists of original brickwork. During the excavation process, more than seven different types of brickface were uncovered and any post-1963 brick was discarded.This brickwork was used in the restoration of the historical buildings and structures, which today constitute the museum component of Liliesleaf, a project which began in mid-2004.Interactive museum experienceA visit to Liliesleaf is much more than a dry history lesson. The interactive displays and beautifully restored buildings tell the story of commitment, dedication and selfless sacrifice of many people who fought for freedom from an oppressive apartheid government.A key component of the Liliesleaf Legacy Project has been the interviewing of numerous individuals linked to Liliesleaf, to build-up a comprehensive audiovisual archive of the farm’s history.The interactive tour takes visitors on a journey, retracing the footsteps of prominent anti-apartheid activists who spent time on the farm.At each point in the tour, visitors have an opportunity to experience a first-hand account of the events and circumstances leading up to the raid of the Rivonia farm, through interviews with struggle veterans.In the farmhouse, a large 3D interactive table allows visitors to pull up videos, images, audio and text about the farm’s history, using two aluminium navigator orbs. Tour guide Zein Khumalo says the table is the only one of its kind in the world.The electronically-controlled cabinet of curiosity holds an account of each event that culminated in the Rivonia trial. As each cabinet is pulled out, the accounts are automatically read out.A telephone rings in the corner of one of the manor house’s rooms – it’s one of those old bulky black phones with a dial, and on picking up the receiver, the telephone plays recorded stories of spy agents, terrorists and infiltrators.The award-winning touch screen technology, telephone stories, sparse furnishings and dark rooms convey the sense of secrecy, fear and tension that the struggle leaders must have lived with every day.In search of a historical artefactAccording to Wolpe, the vision for Liliesleaf Farm took root after a Rivonia trialists’ reunion on the site in 2001. This led to the farm being re-purchased and its original structures were uncovered by archaeological diggings.But after all the excavations, one important item is still missing – the search for Mandela’s highly prized Russian Makarov pistol is still on.Although it was reportedly only buried about 20 paces from the farmhouse kitchen, an extensive search still hasn’t delivered the artefact, now valued at about R22-million (US$3-million).The semi-automatic pistol is believed to be the first weapon of the war against apartheid. It was given to the young Nelson Mandela in 1962 by Colonel Biru Tadesse of the Ethiopian Riot Battalion in Addis Ababa, when Mandela was on a trip to seek military assistance.Mandela hid the pistol, and 200 rounds of ammunition, in a pit deep enough so that a plough could not uncover it, near an oak tree on the farm. At the time he hoped to retrieve it soon, but he never got the chance. A few weeks after he buried the firearm he was arrested and imprisoned.Celebrating South Africa’s journey to freedomAs the search for the valuable firearm continues – and Wolpe thinks that renewed efforts will be successful – the Liliesleaf museum remains an important part of South Africa’s history.“Liliesleaf is our connection to South Africa’s past, a link to the present and a bridge to the future,” he says.What makes a visit to Liliesleaf worthwhile is that the individual memories of the struggle are conveyed by people who were actually there.It represents the beliefs, inspiration and aspirations of a fearless group of leaders who were committed to bringing about socio-political transformation based on democratic principles.“It is important that the memory and legacy of South Africa’s struggle for freedom is preserved in the hearts and minds of all South Africans,” he says.
Nompi Zim (19), originally from the Free State province, established a dairy farm in 2014 and currently supplies major multinational NestléWomen’s rights are human rights; these powerful words were uttered and echoed by South African leaders at the Sowetan Dialogues in Bloemfontein, which discussed women’s roles, rights and progress in a democratic South Africa.Nompi Zim (19), originally from the Free State province, established a dairy farm in 2014 and currently supplies major multinational Nestlé.Zim’s inspiring story was highlighted at the Sowetan Dialogues at the Bloemfontein City Hall in the Free State.The dialogue, one in a series that continues throughout the year, commemorated Women’s Month. The dialogues are a joint initiative run by Brand South Africa with the Sowetan newspaper. They allow for South African communities to come together to discuss issues facing them, and those outlined in the National Development Plan, with the country’s leading thinkers.The dialogues aim to encourage community members to play their part in driving the social, developmental and economic change of their communities through active citizenship.Panellists at the dialogue included: the Honourable Sisi Mabe – Speaker of the Free State Legislature; Mbuyiselo Botha from Sonke Gender Justice; Kenosi Machepa from the Ministry of Women; and Zim.In line with the Bloemfontein dialogue’s theme – The Role of Women in Nation Building 20 years after Democracy – Zim described her career path, and what it took to become a female dairy farm owner at just 19.She was born in the Eastern Free State at Khayalam Farm and attended Majweng farm school. She completed her Grade 12 at Sekgutlong High School in Qwaqwa before enrolling at an agricultural college in 2014.In 2014 she used her savings to buy ten dairy cows and has since purchased another 15 cows. Subsequently she was honoured as the Best Dairy Producer of the Year in the Eastern Free State and has been nominated for the award again this year.Zim encouraged the women in the audience to improve their lives, saying: “Ladies our time is NOW – start your own businesses and let’s nation build; you won’t achieve anything by waiting for hand-outs – I’m a 19 year old female entrepreneur who supplies Nestlé.”As the dialogue continued, each speaker made important points about gender and the role of women, and men, in South Africa’s democracy.Botha believes that men have a duty to support the leadership roles of women.Botha said: “Men have somewhat lost their places in the world because of the rise in power of women in this century, but, on the same token men don’t need to just be ATMs for women – our support needs to advance.”He asked that men support women to build families, and to support women physically, emotionally and spiritually to build a successful nation.Machepa agreed and added that there needs to be a change in government policy: “For policies to uplift women, they must be women- and gender-friendly in order to eradicate the stereotypes which hinder women in the workplace.”She added: “These dialogues help us speak up and cement what is rightfully ours and women should not aim to be like men. The challenge is that women want to lead like men but our femininity helped build the men of this nation.”Mabe said, “The role of women in a country has no boundaries. It is not defined by colour, class or religion.” She said women still felt voiceless in South Africa’s patriarchal society, which could be attributed to cultural practices enforced to ostracise women who progressed.When the discussion turned towards men and traditional practices in a world of courageous women, the audience was animated, responding to Mabe saying, “We need to sympathise with men who are led by women when they have been raised to believe otherwise; we need to allow our men to cry and not see it as weak – women empowerment works both ways.”She added: “We are like a puzzle; a puzzle has several pieces which make it a complete picture – we should bring people together by listening and analysing which will help combat the challenge of professional jealousy in the workplace.”Machepa emphasised to the audience that “women’s rights are human rights” and that women and men must fight together to protect these rights. She said women should guard against their rights being eroded.The dialogue end on a positive note, reiterating that “when you empower a woman, you empower a nation and everyone wins”.