Pityana to give memorial lecture in PE

ZUMA CRITIC: Professor Barney Pityana addresses the SaveSA meeting
Picture: MARK WEST

Uitenhage-born lawyer and theologian Professor Barney Pityana will unpack the role that social cohesion and ethnic identity play in building a better South Africa, at the 11th annual George Botha memorial lecture tomorrow.

The lecture will take place at the South End Museum.

Museum administrator Colin Abrahams said: “Through these lectures, we want people to have the opportunity to come and listen to an esteemed person who can speak about those injustices [of apartheid] with authority.”

He said the lecture series offered people an opportunity to gain closure on matters they might have experienced during the apartheid era.

“For some it serves as a means of finding closure, for others it’s a means of gaining more knowledge about the country, while others can resolve some other issues faced in the apartheid era.”

Pityana, born in Uitenhage in 1945, obtained his law degree at the University of South Africa in 1976, but was barred from practising law by the apartheid government.

Pityana is a founding member of the South African Students’ Organisation and was also an important figure in the black consciousness movement with legendary struggle hero Steve Biko.

Going into exile in 1978, Pityana had stints studying at King’s College London and Ripon College Cuddesdon near Oxford in England.

In December 2002, Pityana received an honourable mention at that year’s Unesco Prize for Human Rights Education.

Abrahams said two temporary exhibitions, The Northern Areas Forced Removal Legacy Statements and the Southern African Development, Research and Training Institute’s One Community, Many Communities, would be on display for visitors to view either before or after the event.

He said the lecture would be kept on video and transcribed for research purposes.

Proceedings are set to get under way at 6.30pm with the lecture itself starting at 7pm.

Abrahams said entry was free but seating was limited so he encouraged people to book their seats early.

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