Features

Organ donation: life goes on

GEMMA GATTICCHI

Organ donation often goes unthought of until the need for an organ becomes an issue in a person’s life. The subject has been brought to light after the death of Ludi Vink, a 30-year-old man who was stabbed to death with a pool cue when he tried to break up a bar fight at Mitzy’s Biker Pub in Alberton on 21 February.

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Animal testing: beneficial or bad?

KATHERINE ATKINSON

Animal testing is a controversial topic that has provoked continuous debate for many years. Various institutions, from universities to pharmaceutical companies, conduct tests on animals to assess the safety and effectiveness of products. 24 April marks World Day for Laboratory Animals and it is important to understand exactly what animal testing entails.

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The globalisation of music

SAM MUKWAMU

In the past few decades, globalisation has had various positive impacts on the developing world, such as technological advances and an increase in levels of education, but not all globalisation’s effects have been deemed positive. The major concern in most developing countries is the degradation of people’s culture, as where the preservation of customs and traditions are considered very important.

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Ahmed Kathrada: the history of a humble man

LORINDA MARRIAN

Well-known anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada passed away last week at the age of 87. The legendary activist, more affectionately known as Uncle Kathy, was one of the most influential political figures in South Africa. Kathrada, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki were tried and sentenced to life imprisonment during the Rivonia Trial for acts of sabotage. He spent a total of 26 years in prison for which he served 18 years on Robben Island before he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison. At the age of 60 he was officially released. Ahmed Kathrada became politically active at a young age and spent most of his life as a steadfast political activist.

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The meaning behind South African national holidays

KATHERINE ATKINSON

Everyone enjoys a public holiday, however, not everyone knows the significance that lies behind them. Public holidays serve as reminders of the struggles that South Africa has overcome and the sacrifices that were made by many.

 

21 March – Human Rights Day

In 1994 when former President Nelson Mandela was elected, Human Rights Day was declared a public holiday. The aim of this day is for South African citizens to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre and reflect upon their rights.

 1948 was the start of formalised segregation, as this was the year that the National Party came into power. The Native Laws Amendment Act of 1952 stated that all black citizens must carry a reference book as a medium to control the movement of black nationals. Failure to produce this reference book was a punishable crime. This legislation was met with an anti-pass protest on 21 March 1960 by the Pan African Congress (PAC), a breakaway party of the ANC. During this protest at the Sharpeville police station, the police opened fire which resulted in the death of 69 individuals and left 180 wounded. Although it is uncertain what caused the police to open fire, the aftermath of the event was tragic. Mass funerals were held and several marches were led by Phillip Kgosana, the PAC Regional Secretary General. Of these marches, the most significant occurred on 30 March 1960 when Kgosana led a crowd of between 30 000 to 50 000 protestors from Nyanga and Langa to the police headquarters in Caledon Square. The protestors offered themselves up for arrest as they did not have their reference books. A week later, both the PAC and the ANC were banned under the Unlawful Organisations Act of 8 April 1960. The apartheid government implemented this banishment – and other more brutal methods of repression – to silence liberation movements. This ban prompted the ANC and PAC to launch an armed struggle campaign as a new means to fight the apartheid government.

Read more: The meaning behind South African national holidays

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