The right to vote didn’t come easy

Sub-council 12 chairperson Eddie Andrews

On Monday March 21, South Africans officially celebrated Human Rights Day, declared a public holiday in 1994 following the inaugura-tion of former president Nelson Mandela.

Monday’s celebration paid tribute to the 69 unarmed persons who lost their lives at Sharpeville in 1960 and countless injured in their pursuit to ensure freedom, fairness and opportunities for all South Africans. The protest was against the pass laws at the time.

The pass law was also humiliatingly referred to as the dom pass and was a particular indignation for black men who had to produce it on demand and could be arrested and detained on the spot if they did not have it on them.

Also referred to as Heroes’ Day, the event marked an awakening across the world to the inhumanity of the apartheid regime; however, it also meant the start of the end for peaceful protests against apartheid in South Africa. My appeal to you the unregistered voter, the one who enjoys the freedom of religion, belief and opinion; freedom of expression; freedom of association and the right to education: be reminded there are those who lost lives to ensure we have this rights. In addition to accessing these rights let all of us be mindful of the associated responsibilities when effecting those rights.

So, don’t say I don’t need to vote or my voice does not matter but rather as an affected stakeholder find mediums to convey your concerns or support pertaining to issues that affect all South Africans.