THE KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has thanked members of the judiciary for their instrumental role in the upholding of law and order in democratic South Africa.
The MEC was the main speaker at a function held at the Durban Magistrate’s Court, to commemorate Freedom Day (27 April), as well as highlight the significance of Human Rights Day, which is commemorated countrywide on 21 March. Coincidentally, it was on 21 March 1991 that MEC Dhlomo was released from Robben Island after being sentenced to 10 years for terrorism at the self-same Durban Magistrate’s Court in 1986.
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Commenting after addressing a group of magistrates, senior prosecutors and lawyers at the function, MEC Dhlomo said: “I was happy to get an invitation from Chief Magistrate Edmund Ngubane. On 27 April, as we commemorate Freedom Day, we need to reflect as South Africans. Now we have a new dawn that looks into all aspects of our humanity. This South Africa belongs to all of us, black and white. Nobody should venture to think that this country is not for other race groups.”
“So, we were there to encourage those who work at the Durban Magistrate’s Court and commend them for the good work that they continue to do to normalize our situation, through prosecutions… sentencing people for social ills crimes related to rape, murder and instability in society. They are the final arbiter to assist us to make sure we normalize our society,” he said.
Reflecting on the importance of 21 March, Dhlomo said: “I was telling them that 21 March was a day of my release from Robben Island in 1991, having been charged in the very same court where I was speaking. It was a paradox that I was invited to speak in the same court that I appeared in in June 1986, charged for terrorism, which gave me a sentence of 10 years. [This time around…], my invitation was very interesting, coming in there to share with them the democracy that we now enjoy.”
The MEC also met with Provincial Co-Ordinator of the EFF MP Reneiloe Mashabela in Durban. Accompanied by senior management officials from the provincial head office, Dhlomo had a cordial engagement with the EFF on the memorandum that the EFF has been delivering to the Department in the province. The EFF was satisfied with the responses and committed to highlighting some of the issues in Parliament in support for more resources for the province.
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