Celebrating PMB’s historic conference

2014-03-25 00:00

THE historic two-day All-In Africa Conference took place in Pietermaritzburg 53 years ago today.

The occasion is being commemorated with an All-In Africa week organised by Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism and the Manaye-Imbali Development Trust.

The highlight of today’s programme will be a visit by a group of African-Americans led by veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr Lenora Tait-Magubane, who is also the wife of celebrated photojournalist, Peter Magubane. Tait-Magubane said it was an opportunity for the visitors to hear about the significance of the conference in terms of South Africa’s resistance history.

Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg tourism director Dumisani Mhlongo said the conference put Pietermaritzburg on the map. He said Nelson Mandela’s banning order expired on the eve of the conference allowing him to make a surprise appearance at the meeting, which was attended by about 1 400 delegates from over 145 organisations. The event took place at the Arya Samaj Hall, now known as the Manaye Hall after community members saw the security policemen bug the Edendale Health Commission Hall where the conference was supposed to be held.

Mhlongo said the theme for the commemorative event will be a reflection of Mandela’s local footprint. “The All-In Africa Conference featured a call to communities to organise mass demonstrations on the eve of the Nationalist Government’s proclamation that South Africa was to become a Republic. ‘One man, one vote’, was demanded and the slogan, ‘Amandla Awethu’, was made popular,” he added.

Today there will be an Amandla Awethu Freedom exhibition attended by the American visitors.

Tomorrow, Mhlongo will be conducting the “One man, one vote,” youth and school exposure and tours around the exhibition informing them of the historical significance of the All-In African Conference.

All activities will take place in the Manaye Hall precinct in Imbali.

For more details, contact Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism on 033 345 1348.

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