“We stand here today as the collective voice of the Rastafarian Faith in South Africa. We have come here today to hand over our grievances and demands to the National Assembly, Ministers and Presidency of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma. If they are unable to attend, we trust that their respective representatives are here to receive the memorandum on their behalf and hand it over to them.
This memorandum is a collated document: It consults the 2016 Adwa March Memorandum, the 2016 Constitutional Court March memorandum and The RASTAFARI Millennium Proclamation as presented at the opening at the Rastafari Exhibit at Smithsonian Institute Washington, D.C. on Nov. 2, 2007. The compilation of select parts of these documents form the 2017 Memorandum delivered on Adwa Day Firstly, we would like to stress the crucial and pivotal contribution which the Rastafarian faith of South Africa added to the fight against apartheid and all other forms of White Domination locally and internationally. Numerous Rastafarian adherents have been martyred during the struggle against Apartheid most notably, the leader of the feared MK grouping known as the “Gugulethu 7” Christopher “Piet” Rasta was a Rastafarian adherent who was murdered in 1986 by the Security Police during a counter-terrorism operation in Gugulethu.
A further example is the catalytic influence which reggae artists and their music had on adding impetus to the independence struggles of numerous African countries including South Africa when Anti-Apartheid activists drew inspiration and morale from reggae music. Not to mention that in 1962 former president Nelson Mandela underwent political, military and spiritual training in Ethiopia this was after he was invited by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I who is the God and deity of the Rastafarian faith. The now famous Makarov pistol which Nelson Mandela hid underground at the ANC’s Lilies Leaf Farm in Rivonia, Johannesburg after returning from Ethiopia was handed to him by an Ethiopian Army Commander acting on the direct instruction of Emperor Haile Selassie I.
Sadly, the contribution of the Rastafarian faith towards the fight against Apartheid has been grossly overlooked by those who now call themselves the Leaders of the “New” South Africa. This is no more evident than in the daily encounters of victimization, brutalization and marginalization which Rastafarians are subjected to at the hands of members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the exclusionary laws which we are subjected to at schools, at our respective workplaces and in public spaces.
Note that this is not the first time that we are marching against the ill-treatment of Rastafarian adherents in South Africa; we have been protesting for many years but to no avail by the South African Government.”
|Date:||March 1, 2017|
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