On Wednesday, Grahamstown’s Kingswood College had the distinct honour and privilege to have Advocate Thuli Madonsela as the guest speaker for this year’s Neil Aggett Memorial Lecture. Her speech was entitled: “Standing up against injustice”.
It was an auspicious occasion which was well-attended by pupils and the general public.
Madonsela’s speech touched on various issues that we face as a country today, and she was humbled by the fact that Aggett was one of the people who had inspired her to get involved in the struggle. In some way, Aggett and others like him, paved the way for our democracy.
“AS LONG AS THERE IS INJUSTICE SOMEWHERE, SUSTAINABLE PEACE CANNOT BE EXPERIENCED ANYWHERE”
The message by Madonsela was clear: “As long as there is injustice somewhere‚ sustainable peace cannot be experienced anywhere”. She went on to emphasize that it is up to the youth to drive change in our country. By educating young minds we are creating a space and a platform from which transformation can, and will take place in South Africa. Kingswood College pupils, and the public were captivated by her message and were all left to ponder a number of thought-provoking statements.
On the life of Dr Neil Aggett, Madonsela stated that while he had lived a short life, it was an impactful one.
Aggett attended Kingswood College from 1964-1970. He graduated as a doctor from the University of Cape Town and went on to work in a hospital in the Transkei and later at Baragwanath Hospital. He was deeply concerned with the hardships endured by black South Africans under the Apartheid regime and left his medical career to become involved in the black trade union movement. In late 1981 he was detained for “interrogation” by the Security Police and was found hanging in his cell at John Vorster Square in February 1982.
LUTHO ZONO RECEIVES THE NEIL AGGETT AWARD
The prestigious Neil Aggett Award was founded by members of his Class of 1970 to foster a spirit of ‘individual service above self’ in young men and women of Kingswood College. It pays tribute to the recipient’s true commitment to a wider social responsibility within the College, as well as to the greater community of Grahamstown and South Africa.
The recipient of this year’s award was Lutho Zono, Headgirl at Kingswood College. Lively, vivacious, courageous, caring and kind – this is Lutho Zono. Her willingness to give to her school and the community around her has meant that she has shown what can be done to improve the lives of others if we are sensitive to their needs and purposeful in making a difference.
Advocate Thuli Madonsela ended the evening by urging the audience to realise that everyone can stand up to injustice if we are willing to work together. She stressed the importance that our futures are all intertwined and that “I am, because you are” – the true meaning of Ubuntu.
Press release by Kingswood College.