Constitution Hill Presents The Human Rights Festival 

21 Р24 March 2019, 11 Kotze Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg. 

All events for Free, entire lineup for festival on, tickets for music, tour and walk must be downloaded at or at PicknPay.


StandUp4HumanRights is the theme of the Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival which takes place from 21 Р24 March 2019 at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Entrance is free of charge.

Constitution Hill and leading human rights organisations have come together to bring you the second edition of the Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival. The festival highlights the work of social justice organisations and the importance of civic activism. It is part of an evolving conversation about human rights that links the universal struggle for dignity and freedom to the injustices that many people in SA and the region experience daily.

The Constitutional Court will form the backdrop of the four-day festival which will include interactive activist booths hosted by social justice organisations over the weekend of the festival. The festival is packed with interactive workshops, panel discussions, film screenings, poetry readings, art exhibitions and theatre & dance performances and a music festival featuring Sho Madjozi, Sjava, BCUC, DJ Kenzhero, Ready D and Samthing Soweto amongst others. It kicks off on Human Rights Day with exhibition openings and free tours of Constitution Hill, paying homage to all those who lost their lives in the struggle for democracy, particularly those who perished at the hands of the apartheid forces at Sharpeville on 21 March 1960. The full programme can be found on 

2019 marks the 25th¬†anniversary of our country’s democracy and marks the 70th¬†year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a poignant moment therefore to acknowledge the immense sacrifices that have been made by countless people in the quest for human rights, both nationally and globally. While Human Rights are enshrined in South Africa’s constitution; it is democracy that provides us with the space to reflect on the gains made, the challenges we still face and the future we want to build.

It is appropriate that the Festival is held at Constitution Hill as this acknowledges the values and principles enshrined in the constitution ‚Äď equality; justice; freedom and dignity.¬†“It is time now, to use our voices, louder and more effectively than ever before, to speak out for human rights ‚Äď but more importantly, it is time to act to protect and promote human rights”, says Constitution Hill CEO, Ms. Dawn Robertson.¬†“In this the second year of the Human Rights Festival, we call for active citizenship. The Constitution and the rights enshrined therein can only be animated by active citizenry whose very agency is protected by the Constitution”.

On Thursday the 21st a number of exhibitions will launch and then be open throughout the festival.¬†Inequality,¬†is a¬†photo essay which resulted from a mentorship project led by award winning photographer¬†Neo Ntsoma¬†who coached 3 young photographers over a week to do photo essays about entrepreneurs living/working in/around Mitchell’s Plain,CapeTown: It opens at The Women’s Jail on Thursday the 21st at 9am.¬†At 11am on the 21st, Photographer¬†Greg Marinovich¬†will open his exhibition¬†The Dead Zone¬†in The Constitution Court where he will be in conversation with Karel Nel. ¬†At 2pm at Number 4¬†The¬†Clan-destine¬†photography and art exhibition explores the lived realities of¬†African LGBTQI+¬†.¬†At 5pm in the same venue¬†The Price Of Gold by Thom Pierce¬†opens, it is presented by ¬†SECTION27 and deals with the historic Silicosis Class Action¬†taken by miners.

The¬†Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival 2019 Public Lecture¬†on Thursday the 21st of March at 6pm at The Women’s Jail is¬†“The Trial of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe¬†by¬†Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, a South African lawyer, public speaker, author and political activist.

Friday the 23rd The Oliver & Adelaide Foundation open their art exhibition featuring a partnership with Vusi Mbulali, an artist who created a series of Oliver Tambo portraits to commemorate the centenary of his birth. The exhibition will be open all weekend.

Voices On The Hill on Friday at 18:00 is poetry hosted by Natalia Molebatsi and features Afurakan, Poetic Soul, Mo Afrika and an open mic session. On Saturday at 3pm Voices On The Hill sees poets Lebo Mashile, Napo Masheane, Andrew Miller and Vangile Gantsho take to the stage

The Tri Continental Film Festival¬†will host movies from the ¬†22nd ¬†of March til the 24th of March at the Women’s Jail .¬†Highlights include¬†the documentary¬†Dying For Gold¬†at¬†¬†6pm on Friday which will be followed at 19:30 by the Kagiso Lediga directed smash¬†Matwetwe.¬†

The #StandUp4HumanRights Music Concert will take place on Saturday 23 March from 5pm. The lineup includes Sho Madjozi, Sjava, DJ Kenzhero; Msaki; BCUC; DJ Ready D; Samthing Soweto and Easy Freak. Surprise additions to the lineup will be revealed in the run up to the festival.

Albie Sachs is amongst many authors taking part in panel discussions at the book festival at the Activism Village at Constitution Hill: We The People: Insights Of An Activist Judge will see him in conversation with Deputy Minister Enver Surtie on Saturday the 23d at 3pm. On Sunday the 24th the book festival will see Siya Khumalo speak on his book You Have To Be Gay To Know God at 12pm.


The Annual Constitution Hill¬†“We the people Walk”¬†will take place on Sunday 24th¬†March.¬† Participants are encouraged to walk for the causes they support and to defend these causes under the banner of #StandUp4HumanRights.

The festival also has a dedicated children’s programme supported by key organisations. Play Africa will offer families their unique, interactive play exhibits where they can discover, explore and connect alongside their children.¬†“Families can also check out our new Children’s Rights exhibit, or take part in the Children’s Voices programme to¬†learn about the Constitution, human rights, and how to democratically to participate in decisions that affect their lives, so South Africa’s democracy can thrive in future generations”¬†said Gretchen Wilson-Prangley, founder and CEO of Play Africa.

The entire festival is free and open to the public, the full programme can be found on

Registration is necessary for the walk through webtickets. Tickets are required for the tours and music concert and can also be downloaded for free from webtickets: or at your local Pick n Pay.

PUBLIC LECTURE: ¬†Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival 2019 Public Lecture: “The Trial of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe” Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi
Date: March 21
Time 6pm
Venue: Women’s Goal
The Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival kicks off on 21 March 2019 with a public lecture by historian and lawyer, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi on the trial of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe – “I’m resistance against invisibility and erasure of our history.
Adv Tembeka Ngcukaitobi is a South African lawyer, public speaker, author and political activist. He is a member of the South African Law Reform Commission. Ngcukaitobi has authored the book “The Land Is Ours: South Africa’s First Black Lawyers and the birth of Constitution”
EXHIBITION: Clan-destine Рthe lived realities of African LGBTQI+
Date of opening: 21 March
Venue:  Number Four Prison Section
Time: 14:00
An exhibition of art and photography, hosted by Gateway Health Institute an NGO committed to promoting and protecting the health and rights of vulnerable groups. This exhibition aims to create awareness, not only of the hardships faced by LGBT in many, many African countries (including South Africa), but also of love and defiant sexiness in the face of adversity. It tells of the lack of access to justice and we hope this exhibition will start uncomfortable conversations on the continent. Clan-destine opened at Alliance Francaise de Durban and will also be at the SVRI Forum in Cape Town in October. The exhibition is curated by Stefan Hofmeyr, a Durban based artist and LGBT activist who is inspired by his partner’s PhD thesis on corrective rape.
EXHIBITION:The Price of Gold ‚Äď Section 27
Date of opening: 21 March
Venue: Number 4
Time 17h00 ‚Äď19h00
SECTION27 represented the Treatment Action Campaign and Sonke Gender Justice which were admitted as friends of the court in the historic Silicosis Class Action. The litigation strategy was supported with a strong media and advocacy which involved an exhibition of portraits of the 56 class representatives in the case.
Award winning photographer Thom Pierce produced a series of large scale prints which were displayed in the basement of the Methodist Church next to the South Gauteng High Court where the case was being heard. This served to bring to give a face to the arguments being made in the court. To highlight the human rights violations inflicted on the miners during their time in the mines and to demonstrate the impact these violations had on the families of the miners.
EXHIBITION: Inequality 
Date of opening : 21 March
Venue: Women’s Jail East & West WingLaunch Venue: WJ Atrium
Time: 9am 
A photo essay which resulted from a mentorship projectled by award winning photographer Neo Ntsoma who coached 3 young photographers over a week to do 3 separate photo essays about entrepreneurs living/working in/around Mitchell’sPlain,CapeTown.
The project highlights social inequalities in South Africa but from a positive, uplifting perspective. Forget about poverty and powerlessness voyeurism!
This exhibition tells uplifting stories of individuals who have fought against social inequalities with dignity and work, carving a place for themselves in today’s highly unequal South African society
EXHIBITION : The Dead Zone ‚Äď Greg Marinovich
Venue: Constitutional Court Gallery
Date: 21 March
Opening and Conversation with Karel Nel at 11:00
The Constitutional Court Trust in association with Constitution Hill will unveil a major recent acquisition to the Constitutional Court Art Collection ‚Äď The Dead Zone, a portfolio of 41 photographs by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Greg Marinovich.
The portfolio offers a wide-ranging visual history of the internecine conflicts and violent strife that engulfed large parts of South Africa in the 1990s. This follows the unbanning of 33 political parties and release of political prisoners, in the protracted lead-up to non-racial elections in 1994. The photographs offer unflinching witness to the painful becoming of a nation.
Many works in the CCAC speak to the political and social strife preceding our country’s transition to a constitutional democracy. The protection of human rights is now enshrined in the highest law of the land, based on the values of freedom, dignity and equality.
Date: Thursday 21 March
Venue: Number 4
Date: Thursday March 21
Venue: Number 4
Time: 5pm
EXHIBITIONS: O.R. Tambo Portraits
Date of opening : Friday 22nd March
Venue: Womens Goal Atrium
Time: 17h00 ‚Äď19h00
The Oliver & Adelaide Foundation has partnered with Vusi Mbulali, an artist who created a series of Oliver Tambo portraits to commemorate the centenary of his birth.
Vusi is influenced by O.R’s brilliance and powerful stature.The Faces series took Vusi on an exciting journey of discovery and expression: “With each stroke,I uncover a unique feature reflecting familiar characteristics of the beloved O.R.Tambo, some times a stalwart, and at other times the honourable expression of his face.This body of work is a tribute to a legend South Africa loves and honours.”
Vusi uses mixed media of soft pastel, charcoal, squashed and burned papers, acrylic and pastel on primed canvas to reproduce familiar images of O.R Tambo,originally in pictures.The produced work ranges from exceptionally detailed portraits to abstract interpretations.
The completion of one work of art stirs up the inspiration and energy for the next,yet each one is unique in how it captures the subject.The final stroke is to maintain the integrity of the O.R.Tambo faces collection by presenting it at an exhibition that honours the legend it represents and everything he stood for.
POETRY ON THE HILL: Hosted by Natalia Molebatsi featuring Afurakan, Poetic Soul, Mo Afrika Mokgathi and an open mic follows
Date: Friday 22 March 2019
Natalia Molebatsi is a writer, performance poet,workshop facilitator and programme director who has presented shows such as An Evening with AliceWalker,Urban Voices International Spoken Word Festival, and an evening with the father of Ethio-jazz, Mulatu Astatke.
The Tembisa born and raised Natalia has performed in SouthAfrica, Zimbabwe, Holland, Italy, Nigeria, Senegal, Arzerbaijan and England. She is founding member of theSouth African/Italian band Soul Making.
BOOK REVIEW: Facilitator: Wandile Ngcaweni
Panel Contributor: Sarah Mokwebo
The Struggle For #FeesMustFall:
We Are No Longer at Ease
Edited Wandile Ngcaweni and Busani Ngcaweni
Friday, 22 March 2019 
Time: 16h40
We Are No Longer at Ease is a collection of personal articles, essays, speeches and poetry mainly from voices of young people who were part of the student-led protest movement known as  #FeesMustFall which began in 2015.
It tells the journey of a youth that participated in a movement that redefined politics in post apartheid South Africa and is the evidence of a “bornfree” generation telling their own story and leading discourse as well as action on transforming South Africa with a foreword by Malaika wa Azania.
BOOK REVIEW: Racism After Apartheid: Challenges for Marxism and anti-Racism
By: Vishwas Satgar
Friday, 22 March 2019 
Time: 17h40
Racism after Apartheid, volume four of the Democratic Marxism series, brings together leading scholars and activists from around the world studying and challenging racism. In eleven thematically rich and conceptually informed chapters, the contributors interrogate the complex nexus of questions surrounding race and relations of oppression as they are played out in the global South and global North.Their work challenges Marxism and anti-racism to take these lived realities seriously and consistently struggle to build human solidarities
SCREENING: Dying For Gold
Friday 22 March 2019 at18:00pm
Women’s Jail Conference Room 2
For over 120 years hundreds of thousands of black men from the countries of Southern Africa have left their families to dig for gold and produce the wealth of SouthAfrica.Today these mining communities face severe poverty and the world’s greatest epidemic of silicosis and tuberculosis caused by exposure to silica dust in gold mines.
The true cost of South Africa’s wealth is revealed by the juxta-positioning of present day gold miner stories with an archival voice created from state and mining records and repurposed industrial documentaries and propaganda films.The archival voice further reveals the untold story of how industrialised South Africa was built on a foundation of modern slavery based on a vast system of recruitment that utilized propaganda films since the early 1900’s. Dying for Gold is also a story of mad love that holds men, women and children through experiences of unspeakable pain and death.
SCREENING: Matwetwe 
Saturday 22 March at 19:30pm
Venue: Women’s Jail Conference Room 2
Directed by Kagiso Lediga
Matwetwe(Wizard) is a coming of age adventure following Lefa and Papi,best friends and recent high school graduates, on the hustle of their young lives.Over the course of one action packed New Years Eve in the iconic township of Atteridgeville, the boys try to score a huge deal, dodge a kingpin gangster and his violent minions, get the girl and ultimately save their lives in this hilarious and sometimes very serious escapade.
SCREENING:  Everything Must Fall
Saturday 22 March 2019 at18:00am
Venue:Women’s Jail Conference Room 2
An unflinching look at the #FeesMustFall student movement that burst onto the South African political landscape in 2015 as a protest over the cost of education,and morphed into the most militant national revolt since the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.
The story is told by four student leaders at Wits University and their Vice Chancellor,Adam Habib, a left-wing, former anti apartheid student activist. When Habib’s efforts to contain the protest fail, he brings 1000 police on to campus. There are dire consequences for the young leaders: Mcebo Dlamini is arrested and charged with serious offences, Shaeera Kalla is shot 13 times with rubber coated bullets;others, fearing the involvement of the state security agencie s, are forced into hiding.
At the heart of the films its an intergenerational conflict connecting us to an important contemporary discourse on the conceptualisation of higher education as a public good.
BOOK REVIEW: Albie Sachs: We The People
Saturday, Programme, 23 March 2019
Time: 15h10-15h45
Venue: Activism Village
We, the People¬†contains some of Sachs’ most memorable public talks and writings, in which he takes us back to the broad-based popular foundations of the Constitution in the Freedom Charter. He picks up on Oliver Tambo’s original vision of a non-racial future forSouth Africa, rather than one based on institutionalized power-sharing between the races.
He explores the tension between perfectibility and corruptibility, hope and mistrust, which lies at the center of all constitutions. Sachs discusses the enforcement of social and economic rights, and contemplates the building of the ConstitutionalCourt in the heart of the Old Fort Prison as a mechanism for reconciling the past and the future.
BOOK REVIEW: Hidden Voices3: TheStory of One Tells the Story of All
Venue: Saturday 23 March
Time: 12:00
The Story of One Tells the Struggle of All:Metal workers under Apartheid is the third volume in the Hidden Voices Series.It is comprised of two booklets first published under Raven Press’s Worker Series which aims to tell the lived experiences of workers during apartheid.
POETRY: VOICES ON THE HILL : Napo Masheane, Lebo Mashile, Andrew Miller, Vangile Gantsho.
Date: Saturday 23 March
Time: 15:00

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