08/24/2017 - 00:00

The History Workshop at Wits, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and the Wits Historical Papers Research Archive, together with SECTION 27 and Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), will be hosting a colloquium on apartheid era archives and public record keeping in a post-apartheid state.

The full day Archives and Democracy Colloquium, themed: Is it time to free the apartheid era archives? Promoting open and transparent public record keeping for a democratic South Africa, is open to all media.

The Colloquium will start with a keynote address by Ronnie Kasrils, former Minister for Intelligence, and Yasmin Sooka, Director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa.

This will be followed by various panel discussions with a host of academics, researchers, authors, civil society representatives, activists and open access campaigners.

Date: Thursday, 24 August 2017

Time: 09:00 - 17:00

Venue: Seminar Room, Humanities Graduate Centre, South West Engineering Building, Braamfontein Campus East

The media is invited to attend.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #FreeTheArchive

The highlight of the day will be a panel discussion on the way forward.

Title: Agenda for Openness: How do we liberate the Archives?

Panelists include:

  • Hennie van Vuuren - Author of Apartheid Guns and Money
  • Karabo Rajuli - amaBhungane
  • Dale McKinley - Right2Know
  • Ferial Haffajee - Huffington Post South Africa


Chair: Mark Heywood - SECTION 27

Time: 16:00 – 17:00

The debate regarding the apartheid era archives is surging with renewed calls to declassify the Apartheid Archives in order to unravel the full truth of the country’s past.

Recent political events increasing impact on responsible record keeping in post-apartheid South Africa and continue to inhibit the critical engagement with records created by the apartheid government.

More than 20 years of democracy, and with drastic system changes in the country, the battle to open the apartheid state records continues with concerted efforts to legislate full declassification of these records, in order to pave the way for an open engagement with apartheid history through the records of its various state departments.

Promoting openness and transparency

The one-day Colloquium aims to create public awareness about the urgent need for open and transparent regulation of the records of the apartheid era, and to promote initiatives in the interest of sound public record keeping. Academics and renowned speakers from civil society organisations, social justice and research institutions will attend.

“The Colloquium aims to examine the status and role of archives and public records in democratic societies, and to initiate steps to engage the state and relevant institutions to adhere to their duties in the public interest as a matter of administrative justice and transparency,” says Gabriele Mohale, Archivist at the Historical Papers Research Archive at Wits University.

For media enquiries and to RSVP:

Gabriele Mohale | Archivist, Historical Papers Research Archive

Email: gabriele.mohale@wits.ac.za | Telephone: (011) 717-1940 / 082 452 8795

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 08:47

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