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11 October 2016

Invitation to inaugural conference on restitution in South Africa

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Details of the event
Date:  9 to 10 November 2016
Time: 14.30 to 21.30 on the 9th and
08.30 to 18.00 on the 10th
Venue:  Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Restitution Foundation and the Castle of Good Hope and their patrons and partners are pleased to announce the first ever conference on restitution to be held in South Africa. What sets this event apart from others, is its all-encompassing focus on restitution as symbolic, material (land, wealth, education) and practical (skills sharing, mentoring).

The two-day conference, to be held at the Castle in Cape Town, a former symbol colonialism and oppression, takes place on Wednesday and Thursday 9-10 November. On 9 November following a reflective tour of the Castle, with commemorations of slavery, commercial exploitation, land dispossession and apartheid violence, there will be the launch of the book Another Country: Everyday social restitution by Professor Sharlene Swartz.

The evening plenary comprises an intergenerational panel, including Advocate Thuli Madonsela and her daughter Wenzile (the current General Secretary of the EFF at the University of Pretoria), Nomonde Calata (widow of Fort Calata, killed by security police during Apartheid) and her son Lukhanyo, a renowned journalist, as well as former Apartheid-era Cabinet Minister Leon Wessels and his daughter, a member of the Black Sash. The focus of their talks will be a reflection on past and current struggles for justice in South Africa along with the role of restitution in South Africa.

Over the course of 2016, the conference was prefaced by several events planned and hosted by local NGO, the Restitution Foundation. These panels, addressed by prominent South Africans (including former ambassador to the US, Franklin Sonn and Wilhelm Verwoerd, grandson of Apartheid architect HF Verwoerd), aimed to encourage debate among members of younger and older generations about the role that restitution should play in South Africa.

The day-long sessions hosted on 10 November at the Castle will seek to encourage further debate and discussion and will comprise a series of 16 sessions featuring academics and practitioners along with two plenary sessions on institutional responses to injustice (business, universities and faith communities) and what restitution is expected from those who benefitted from apartheid. More than fifty presentations will cover topics of gender, religion, race and privilege, land, intergenerational trauma, personal journeys to restitution and practical models for restitution.


Kindly find the conference programme available for download below.

For media enquiries contact Adziliwi Nematandani
Cell:  0827659191

Issued by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)