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The African National Congress (ANC) pays tribute to the late anti-apartheid campaigner Helen Suzman who has died at the age of 91. As a Member of Parliament and a vocal critic against apartheid, the...
Author: African National Congress
Publication date: 1 Jaunary, 2009
The National Executive Committee of the ANC met over the weekend of the 19th to 21st September 2008, to deliberate on various pertinent issues. After careful debate and discussion the NEC decided to...
Author: Jacob Zuma
Publication date: 22 September, 2008
Sibongile ‘Promise’ Khumalo claims that, after running away from home in the 1970s to receive military training in exile, she was sexually abused by the then PAC president. (Photographer: Oupa Nkosi...
Author: Carl Collison
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Friends, 20 years ago London hosted a historic concert which called for our freedom. Your voices carried across the water to inspire us in our prison cells far away. Tonight, we are free. We are...
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publication date: 27 June, 2008
Friends, thank you for joining us here this evening, and your support for our causes. It is a great privilege having been able to travel here in our 90th year and be in the presence of so many good...
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publication date: 25 June, 2008
President Johnson-Sirleaf, distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, We have for years remarked about people coming to such events primarily to see what an old man looks like. To see a...
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publication date: 12 July, 2008
I am pleased to be here today, to enjoy the warm company of friends like Nadine Gordimer, and to know that Seamus Heaney is with us through his words. That I am being honoured by Amnesty...
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publication date: 1 November, 2006
Friends Comrades I have so often announced my retirement from public life that nobody believes me anymore - not even my closest advisors or friends, it seems. Every time some so-called last event...
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publication date: 5 June, 2005
Ladies and Gentlemen Comrades and Friends Thank you for attending this function at the invitation of an old man. What you have just witnessed could be described as one old man giving another old...
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publication date: 21 September, 2004
Great gains have been made since Nelson Mandela became President in 1994. The first is that the old guard racists have in general come to realize that there is no going back to the apartheid past and...
Author: Denis Goldberg
It helped enormously that I had a post to go to. Ronnie Kasrils was meticulous in requiring me to provide real information showing that I could indeed handle the post of Special Adviser in the...
Author: Denis Goldberg
In the months after I started my incessant round of speaking engagements in 1985 I found that there was a wonderful array of t-shirts, badges and buttons, posters and pamphlets available from the...
Author: Denis Goldberg
It is with deep sadness and regret that the African National Congress has learnt of the death today (12 September 2004) of Ray Alexander Simons, a champion of the working class and an outstanding...
Publication date: 12 September, 2004
Ladies and gentlemen Friends and colleagues and especially my good friends from the media. Thank you very much to all of you for taking time out of your very busy schedules to come and listen to me...
Author: Nelson Mandela
Publication date: 1 June, 2004
Parliament is today taking part in celebrating the first decade of freedom and democracy in our country. And as we so, we remain cognisant of the brave collective efforts that all our people put to...
Author: Nkosinathi Nhleko
Publication date: 10 May, 2004
When I returned to London after six weeks Esmé was not very pleased with me for being away so long. For both of us we were faced with shaping our new life together. We had to get to know each other...
Author: Denis Goldberg
Once I knew I was being released I had a problem. I needed to buy clothes. Under guard I was taken shopping in Pretoria by Hillary and that was exciting, disturbing and exhausting. It was lovely...
Author: Denis Goldberg

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Art is an act of resistance. It asserts our agency. Omar Badsha has identified not only as an artist, but an activist for most of his life. Born in 1945, he grew up under the oppression of apartheid, facing injustice on a daily basis. He was harassed, his work was banned, and his movement was restricted. But Badsha fought back with photography. Today his work as a historian is ensuring that the truth of our past, and our future, remains free.     

Badsha discovered his love of politics through his father, being raised in a house where activists came to meet. He had dreams of studying art abroad, but in 1965 was denied a passport by the government. Nevertheless, he continued to create, and that same year one of his woodcuts won the first of many awards. As a man well known for his doggedness, veracity, and humanity, Badsha refused to exhibit his drawings and paintings in segregated galleries. When he joined the trade union movement he turned his eye to photography. Badsha’s first book of photographs, Letter to Farzanah, was banned after release. Now freely accessible, his book depicts the lives of South African children of all races and backgrounds during apartheid. “We came out of a society where our history was actually erased, totally, not recognised,” he says. “But we turned it around during the anti-apartheid struggle.”

Badsha’s extensive photographic work has been exhibited globally, and it’s his emotive images of ordinary people that illustrate the heart behind his activism. In the 1990s, Badsha was finally given his first passport. It was only valid for three months, but the freedom he fought for came soon after as South Africa held its first democratic elections on 27 April 1994. He then founded South African History Online, a non-profit project dedicated to preserving an open history of our country. It’s the largest website of its kind in Africa, and has a virtual classroom to help teach children. In 2017, Badsha was awarded an honorary doctorate by Stellenbosch University. His work serves as a reminder that the pain of our past is not to be forgotten. Instead, it is the key to our future, and our freedom.

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