Apartheid era photographer Jurgen Schadeberg dies aged 89
Jurgen Schadeberg was a crucial eye-witness to South Africa’s struggle for freedom during apartheid era and what he saw was shared with the world.
Photojournalist Schadeberg, who has died aged 89, was a powerful pictorial historian who captured the tragedies and triumphs of country in conflict.
Born in Germany, he arrived in South Africa in the 1950s and began working for Drum magazine. As chief photographer of that publication he was perfectly placed to catalogue the developing struggles of the anti apartheid protests and soon became well known to key figures like Nelson Mandela and of course Desmond Tutu.
Schadeberg would go on to take many iconic images of a brutally oppressed society. In 2014 he was honoured with the Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement Award, for outstanding achievements in photography.
This week tributes on social media described him “ an incredible pictorial historian” and “a man of intense passion and profound empathy”
While Benny Gool, a multimedia journalist who works with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, said that he grew up worshipping Jurgen Schadeberg’s work and spoke of his respect for the courage Schadeberg displayed.
A Tribute To Human Rights Champion George Bizos.
The South African human rights lawyer George Bizos has died at the age of ninety-two.
He was a lifelong friend of Nelson Mandela and he defended him and other activists as part of the legal team at the famous Rivonia Trial in which Mandela and his fellow trialists faced execution.
His legal expertise was a constant thorn in the side of the apartheid regime as he demonstrated numerous times. He represented the families of the black consciousness leader Steve Biko and Matthew Goniwe and many others after their deaths in detention at the hands of the police.
He worked closely with Archbishop Tutu in the struggle against apartheid and was a key lawyer in the Archbishop’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) when on behalf of victims’ families he challenged amnesty applications by apartheid agents.
His work with the TRC is recognised as bringing justice and some sense of closure for the thousands of South Africans whose relatives were detained, tortured or killed by the apartheid regime, while preserving Archbishop Tutu’s stated aim for healing and reconciliation.
The legendary South African journalist and writer Alistair Sparks called Bizos “a tenacious old warhorse who fought so many civil rights cases throughout the apartheid era”.
When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Bizos’ death he described him as “one of those lawyers who contributed immensely to the attainment of our democracy”.
George Bizos also played a major role outside the courtroom in the anti-apartheid struggle. It was Bizos who flew to meet the ANC leadership in exile in Lusaka with the secret message that Mandela believed the time had come to start negotiations with the white minority government.
Bizos’ intervention eventually led to Nelson Mandela’s release after twenty-seven years in prison, followed by the first all-race elections and the inauguration of Mandela as South Africa’s first democratically elected President.
I was fortunate enough to meet George Bizos on several occasions. He was a modest family man who gave no sense of the role he’d played in his country’s historic transformation. This week one family member told me that he never had any desire to be famous and was simply committed to defending human rights and doing what he believed was the right thing to do.
Author and political activist Achmat Dangor dies aged 71
We are sad to hear that Achmat Dangor, the author, political activist and former CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation has died. He was 71.Dangor studied literature at Rhodes University and as an award winning writer was best known for novels that included 1997’s Kafka’s Curse which won the Herman Charles Bosman prize while his 2003 novel Bitter Fruit was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. There were also several collections of poetry and a short stories.As a young activist in the 1970s Dangor co-founded the group Black Thoughts and campaigned against the racially segregated eduction system of the apartheid era. The group also visited the townships promoting the books and writings of authors from Africa and other developing nations.Dangor was also one of the founding members of the Congress of South African Writers and the brother of ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte. Committed in bother his writing and activism to highlight the cruelty and absurdity of racial inequality, he served as CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation from 2007 to 2013.He was also one of the early advocates of the need to take action to combat South Africa’s emerging HIV/AIDS crisis and in that capacity served as a director at UNAIDS and the World AIDS Campaign, He also worked alongside church leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu to establish the largest black-led foundation in South Africa.In a statement following the announcement of his death the ANC said ‘in Achmat Dangor, the country has lost an important voice, but we can take comfort that his light will keep shining through his books and other writings’.
10th Annual Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture
The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation announced the 10th Annual Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture, to be held on the 7th October 2020. The topic ‘Climate Justice Globally: Now and For the Future,’ reflects on the idea that environmental justice and the climate crisis are the prevailing human rights challenges we face today.
Guest speakers include climate activists Vanessa Nakate, 23, and Greta Thunberg, 17.
Registration for the event can be done at https://bit.ly/3aUeWtL.
The event will be broadcast digitally, and held on the Archbishop’s 89th birthday.
Review into claims of institutional racism at the Westway Trust
The Tutu Foundation UK was commissioned by the Westway Trust in 2018 to undertake an independent and comprehensive review into allegations of Institutional Racism. The scope of the review centres on ‘whether institutional racism has existed, (exists) within the Westway Trust, if so, how it has manifested and its impact on the communities served by the Trust.”
The review has adopted the definition of institutional racism as outlined in the Macpherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence.
Given the current heightening of awareness of racial inequality and injustice in the UK and internationally, the commissioning of a report of this nature in 2018 was a demonstration of leadership and courage. Many public institutions would be hesitant to undergo such scrutiny.
The community were involved from the outset in the governance arrangements for the review by the creation of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) to the review. The CAG encouraged extensive public participation in the review process which was crucial to ensuring trust and confidence. The review process was mindful of sensitivities around longstanding community concerns of alienation, marginalisation and perceived historic failures to acknowledge and respond to issues articulated by local communities. This has been made all the more acute in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy.
The Tutu Foundation UK welcomes the recent announcement by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on the development of an urgent action plan on race aimed at improving trust, confidence and transparency.
13 June 2020
Statement from Tutu Foundation UK
The world is rightly outraged at the killing of George Floyd as they see social injustice played out in front of them. Their outrage restores faith in humanity – but we need to be sure that we channel that outrage into positive change.
To take the words of our Patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
“Racism is the ultimate blasphemy. Racism is never benign and conventional and acceptable, for it is racism that resulted in the awfulness of lynching and the excesses of slavery; it spawned the Holocaust and apartheid and was responsible for ethnic cleansing.”
Bridging the gaps of understanding between and within our communities will not come from violence or throwing our hands up in dismay. Abandoning hope that we can build a world in which all people feel dignified and valued no matter their colour or creed is not an option for a civilised world. This cannot be an incurable malaise. Fixing it requires caring and responsive governments and cross-cultural understanding. It requires people to believe they can have an active role in determining their personal and community destinies.
It requires societies that comprehend that failing to act to narrow the disparities in the qualities and expectations of peoples’ lives threatens our very existence.
The Tutu Foundation UK believes we need to create spaces for people to speak to and listen and hear from one another. The Tutu Foundation Ubuntu Roundtables is a first attempt to open that dialogue and encourage conversations between local police and young people who want to create a fairer and more equal society. We don’t expect to turn things around overnight, but we recognise the importance of affording people a sense of hope – in themselves, in each other and in their communities.
#BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Chair Clive Conway honored at the African Diaspora Awards
Chair Clive Conway was given an Honorary Award at the Annual African Diaspora Awards. The Awards committee said
“This award is in recognition of your immense contribution to key initiatives in communities that have impacted a positive change and unrivaled experience and influence in Philanthropy and leadership circles. As an organization we recognize your influence and appreciate your efforts and sustained success in championing good causes in the UK and Africa.”
Ubuntu Round Tables in West London – TFUK awarded £39K with Youth Futures for our Round Tables in West London
The Tutu Foundation UK and our partners Youth Futures have been awarded £39K to run our innovative Ubuntu Round Tables Project in three areas of West London. We have been commissioned to do this by MOPAC and other local agencies. This is our first group of round tables that have been commissioned directly.
Paul was an inspiration. We will always remember his boundless energy, enthusiasm and wisdom. Perhaps most of all we will remember how he managed to make solving the complexity and emotional challenges of conflict appear within reach if we were able to learn to listen to each other and think about each other a bit more. He made the difficult become simpler and the cautious braver.
The Tutu Foundation UK will miss Paul enormously.
Paul’s family have set up a memorial site for Paul:
The nominated charity is the Tutu Foundation UK. We are very grateful.