First Fort Calata Memorial Lecture an opportunity to ask questions about delayed justice

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Garden of Remembrance, Cradock
Garden of Remembrance, Cradock

Justice and Correctional Services minister, Ronald Lamola, will be among the speakers at the inaugural Fort Calata Memorial Lecture in Lingelihle, Cradock on 5 November 2021.

A joint initiative of the Fort Calata Foundation and Rhodes University, the memorial lecture will take the form of a panel discussion centred on the theme The Quest for Justice. Other panellists include Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane as well as Professors Janet Cherry and Saths Cooper.

“This lecture is the first in a series of annual lectures in honour of my father, Fort Calata. The day is of special significance to our family because we would have celebrated his 65th birthday had it not been for his state-sponsored murder alongside fellow activists Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkonto and Sicelo Mhauli – the Cradock Four – in June 1985,” says Lukhanyo Calata, spokesperson of the Fort Calata Foundation.

“It is a great privilege for Rhodes University to partner with the Fort Calata Foundation. We hope this event will be the first of many in our partnership. Our University stands for social justice and has a history of honouring not only the memory of Fort Calata, but also that of his activist grandfather, Canon James Calata,” adds Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University.

The lecture will provide the Cradock Four families as well as community members the opportunity to ask direct questions regarding the delay in prosecution of those implicated in the assassination of the Cradock Four. The former security branch officers who applied to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for amnesty in relation to their murders have all since died. Nyameka Goniwe also tragically died last year without seeing justice for the murder of her husband, Matthew.

Among the highlights at the event will be the unveiling of the Inqaba Photographic Exhibition, comprising photographs and newspaper articles commemorating Fort Calata’s life and celebrating Lingelihle’s activism in the anti-apartheid struggle. This initiative would not have been possible without financial support from Stellenbosch University.

The Cradock Four Garden of Remembrance will provide the backdrop for the memorial lecture, which will be live streamed on the Fort Calata Foundation and Rhodes University’s Facebook pages. Only 100 people will be allowed to attend the event, which will take place in an open-air amphitheatre under strict COVID-19 regulations.

Information and updates on the inaugural Fort Calata Memorial Lecture will be posted on the foundation and Rhodes University’s social media platforms.

Source:  Fort Calata Foundation

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