Strini Moodley Remembered at UKZN
South Africa: The Unfinished Revolution was the theme of the annual Strini Moodley Memorial Lecture held at UKZN in collaboration with Umtapo’s Steve Biko Transformative Education Project.
The lecture explored South Africa’s progress, the exploitation of human rights and the inequalities in society.
Keynote speakers included Black Consciousness Movement stalwart and close friend and comrade of the late Moodley, Dr Nchaupe Aubrey Mokoape; and a co-founder of the Umphakatsi Peace Ecovillage, Ms Sarah Motha.
In his welcome, Professor Donal McCracken of UKZN’s School of Applied Human Sciences said memorial lectures were important as they provided an opportunity to explore challenges the country faced today and to commit to serving society.
Said McCracken: ‘Strini’s banning and imprisonment are reminders of the sacrifices made by many South Africans in the liberation struggle.’ McCracken added that Moodley exhibited most of the qualities that UKZN seemed to emulate.
A medical doctor involved in politics from the age of 13 and becoming a spokesperson for the Pan Africanist Congress youth at 15, Mokoape met Steve Biko at medical school and became a leading member of the Black Consciousness Movement. He was imprisoned on Robben Island together with Strini Moodley and seven other leaders of the Movement. Mokoape’s presentation, was titled: The Tragedy of South Africa: A House Divided by Racism/Tribalism, Patriarchy and Greed.
His talk focused on inequalities in society today. He said a number of White South Africans continued to live comfortable lives because they are beneficiaries of “colonial dividends” while the majority of Black people continued to be victims.
Mokoape said the lecture was an important gathering to remember ‘where we come from, where we are, and where we are going.’ He commended Umtapo for their commitment to the struggle.
Mokoape encouraged South Africans to know their identity, carry their cultures with pride and emulate other African countries and rename the country. He added that names were important as they provided identity.
Programme Manager (Vulnerable Groups) at the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR), Motha said South Africa was a wounded society suffering from generational violence.
She said it was important for South Africa to historically analyse the root causes of the current challenges, so it could be enablers and animators for the change people wanted to see.
She spoke about the Foundation’s involvement in partnership with the Department of Justice in teaching the citizens, especially school children, about xenophobia, Ubuntu and other fundamental human rights.
Motha highlighted the work done by the FHR to correct the injustices of the past and urged the youth to continue on that path.
Words: Sithembile Shabangu