Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom June 7, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Organisation Three of the worst press freedom predators – China, Russia and Cuba – will have seats on the Human Rights Council for three years from next January as a result of elections held by the UN General Assembly on 13 October. Other countries with some of the worst World Press Freedom Index rankings – Uzbekistan (156th), Pakistan (145th) and Mexico (143rd) – are also among the 15 countries chosen to fill the newly vacant seats on the 47-seat council. Only Saudi Arabia failed to get enough votes to fill one of the Asia-Pacific region’s four empty seats.“It is disgraceful that China, Russia and Cuba are part of a council tasked with defending human rights,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “The only way to avoid ridicule would be for these countries to use their presence on the HRC to make some progress, including with regard to press freedom. It is fortunate that Saudi Arabia was not elected after journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and with 34 journalists still rotting in its prisons.”The new members include:China (ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index), which is currently holding more than 100 journalists and bloggers in its jails, often in conditions that threaten their survival.Cuba (171st), which continues to be Latin America’s worst press freedom violator, imposing a state monopoly on the media while maintaining pressure on its few independent journalists and bloggers.Uzbekistan (156th), which has seen some progress in the situation of its media in recent years, although they are still subjected to censorship and surveillance as soon as they criticize the government.Russia (149th), which harasses all media outlets that don’t toe the official line and has brought the Internet under Kremlin control, while regions such as Crimea and Chechnya have become “black holes” from which little news or information emerges.France and the United Kingdom, ranked 34th and 35th respectively in the World Press Freedom Index, were elected to represent Europe on the council.The reelected countries include:Pakistan (145th), where the media are under the sway of the military and intelligence agencies and are subjected to cyber-censorship, and where journalists are often harassed. Four journalists were killed in connection with their work in 2019.Mexico (143rd), which continues to be the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. Caught between organized crime and corrupt politicians and officials, journalists who dare to cover sensitive subjects are harassed and threatened, or just gunned down in the street.Although UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251, which created the HRC, says that, when electing members of the council, member states should “take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights,” this week’s elections were only competitive with regard to the Asia-Pacific region, where five countries competed for four seats. In the other elections (Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe and other states), the number of seats was the same as the number of candidates. The council’s members are elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the General Assembly’s members. ChinaRussiaCubaUzbekistanPakistanMexicoAsia – PacificEurope – Central AsiaAmericas International bodies United Nations United Nations Human Rights Council (photo : AFP/Fabrice Coffrini). ChinaRussiaCubaUzbekistanPakistanMexicoAsia – PacificEurope – Central AsiaAmericas International bodies United Nations to go further After several of the world’s worst enemies of press freedom were elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council this week, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on leading democracies to do what they can to ensure that these countries do not dictate future international human rights standards. Receive email alerts News Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists News June 2, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en October 15, 2020 New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council Follow the news on Asia – Pacific News Help by sharing this information
News to go further Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa Religious intolerance Organisation November 30, 2015 – Updated on May 1, 2016 RSF hopes Raif Badawi will be freed very soon Saudi media silent on RSF complaint against MBS Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has learned that Raif Badawi, a young Saudi blogger who was awarded the 2014 RSF Press Freedom Prize in the Netizen category, could be released soon. Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa Religious intolerance April 28, 2021 Find out more RSF has been campaigning for many months for the release of Badawi, who has been sentenced to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes.The possibility of a pardon was mentioned at the end of last week by the Swiss foreign ministry’s secretary of state after an official visit to Saudi Arabia. He said Badawi’s sentence had been suspended while a proposed pardon was being considered. RSF hopes that the pardon materializes and that its many appeals to the Saudi king will finally lead to Badawi’s release.“The release of the winner of the 2014 RSF Press Freedom Prize and the 2015 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought would send a strong message to the international community,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk.“We urge the Saudi authorities to approve Raif Badawi’s pardon and we hope that we will soon be able to see this young blogger released and reunited with his family. We meanwhile remain vigilant and call for the international pressure to be maintained.”As part of its campaign, RSF launched a petition for Badawi’s release in December 2014 that has gathered more than 50,000 signatures.Badawi was arrested in June 2012 and was sentenced in May 2014 under Saudi Arabia’s cyber-crime law to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a heavy fine for “insulting Islam” on the discussion website he created.His case is emblematic of the crackdown on dissidents in Saudi Arabia.Nine journalists and citizen-journalists are currently detained in Saudi Arabia, which is ranked 164th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Follow the news on Saudi Arabia News June 8, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News March 9, 2021 Find out more
CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Subscribe EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS 22 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Top of the News Make a comment Community News Oversight Commission Led by Former Pasadena Assistant City Manager Calls For Sheriff Villanueva’s Resignation Battle between county commission and elected sheriff continues CITY NEWS SERVICE Published on Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 5:16 pm STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy More Cool Stuff Business News Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website Escalating its war of words with Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the county’s Civilian Oversight Commission, led by Brian Williams, who served as the assistant city manager in Pasadena, today unanimously approved a resolution condemning the sheriff’s leadership of the department and called for his immediate resignation.Villanueva refused to appear before the commission earlier this year after he threatened to close the Altadena substation. He has also clashed with the board of supervisors.The commission had originally planned to adopt a resolution that blasted Villanueva’s administration, accusing him of failing to cooperate with the oversight panel and vowing to hold him accountable if he continued to “facilitate dysfunction” in the agency.But during its discussion, commission members first considered amending the document to make it a no confidence vote, then went even further by demanding his resignation. The panel amended the document to conclude that it has “lost confidence in Sheriff Villanueva’s ability to effectively govern the sheriff’s department. He should resign immediately.”Commission Chair Lael Rubin made the initial call to add a resignation demand, telling her colleagues, “I don’t think he (Villanueva) has any intention of making anything better.” She noted that some members of the panel individually called on the sheriff to step down last month.“One would have hoped that during the last month, with all of that discussion and public comment and comments in news articles that he would takesome of that to heart,” she said. “He obviously has not.”Other commission members joined her in the call for Villanueva to resign. Commissioner Priscilla Ocen said to simply pass a resolution saying the panel had “grave concerns” would be an “understatement.” She accused Villanueva of engaging in “lies” and “coverups,” and of exacerbating problems in the agency through “his willingness to defend indefensible actions by deputies.”“He fails to take responsibility for problems in his department, blaming everyone else,” Ocen said. “… He blames everyone else, including the former sheriff, for the problems he’s responsible for.”Villanueva has repeatedly dismissed criticism from the commission, calling its members political pawns of the Board of Supervisors, with whom the Sheriff has repeatedly clashed on budget and other issues.The sheriff on Wednesday said the county should have an “elected oversight commission,” saying the current makeup of the panel is “political appointees” of the board, “and they act like it.”“Their political philosophies are they really, really hate cops or they slightly hate cops or they’re not too sure,” Villanueva said.When some members of the commission last month called for him to resign, Villanueva accused the panel of being nothing more than an “attack dog” for the Board of Supervisors.“They’re just part of the echo chamber of the board,” Villanueva said. “And unfortunately, the route they take is not one that’s going to engender goodwill … between myself or the organization, because there’s a fine line being a watchdog and an attack dog, a political attack dog. And that’s pretty much the line they’ve crossed, along with (Inspector General) Max Huntsman. In fact, they crossed that line a long time ago, this is just the latest example of that.“… I’m just going to ignore it and move on,” he said. “I’m going to continue serving the community, and I just have to set that aside.”The resolution adopted by the commission Thursday outlines a series of disputes between the panel and Villanueva, concluding that he “enables a culture within the sheriff’s department of deputy impunity, disregards the constitutional rights of Los Angeles County residents, disdains other elected officials and disrespects the will of voters who support robust civilian oversight.”Despite toughening the document to call for Villanueva’s resignation, the commission still included language stating that the panel still remains “committed to implementing constructive reforms in collaboration with Sheriff Villanueva and wishes to see Sheriff Villanueva succeed in rebuilding the sheriff’s department.”Some commissioners questioned the inclusion of that language following a call for him to resign, calling it contradictory.The commission has no legal authority to force Villanueva — an elected sheriff — out of office or force him to resign. Commission James Harris warned his colleagues during the discussion that such a strongly worded resolution “basically slams the door” on relations with the Sheriff. “And we’ve got two-plus more years of this sheriff before there’s another election,” he noted. HerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? You Need To Know A Few TricksHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty8 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can MakeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWhat Is It That Actually Makes French Women So Admirable?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyCostume That Makes Actresses Beneath Practically UnrecognizableHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyBaby Boom: The Stars Are Getting Busy In QuarantineHerbeautyHerbeauty Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena
Forsyth County Sheriffs Office(NEW YORK) — Georgia authorities are searching for information after they say an abandoned newborn girl was found alive in a plastic grocery bag. Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman called it “divine intervention” that the baby was found in good condition. The newborn was found along a road in Forsyth County at about 10 p.m Thursday, Freeman said at a news conference on Friday.Residents heard the baby’s cry and called 911, he said. “It was obvious that the baby was a newborn. We believe within hours of our discovery that the baby had been born,” he said. She was rushed to a hospital “where surprisingly, the baby was in good condition,” Freeman said.Now, the sheriff is desperate to find the identity of the baby and her parents.“We want to understand and find out how this baby was abandoned,” Freeman said. “Thirty-two years, this is the first one I’ve had of an abandoned child in this manner.” As the news spreads, residents are coming forward and asking about adopting the baby, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Deputy Jenny Belafi said Monday.The state has laws allowing for the safe surrender of newborn children. “Georgia Safe Haven Law allows a mother up to 30 days after the birth of an infant to drop that infant off at a hospital, a fire station, a police station, a sheriff’s station,” the sheriff stressed. “And as long as they turn it over to a person, a live human being, they cannot be charged with abandonment, cruelty to children. It is a way to make sure that a child like this is safely cared for.” The little girl has been temporarily named India, and is in custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, the sheriff said.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Seven Uquo Gas, a subsidiary of Seven Energy, has a participating stake of 40% in the Uquo field. Photo: courtesy of Seven Energy. UK-based Savannah Petroleum has wrapped up its acquisition of Nigerian oil and gas company Seven Energy, about two years after announcing the deal.The acquisition was completed following a court hearing last week during which administrators were appointed to the Nigerian company. The administrators subsequently completed the transfer of the company’s assets to group companies controlled by Savannah Petroleum and African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM).Through the acquisition of Seven Energy, the UK firm has now taken stakes in Seven Uquo Gas, in the Stubb Creek field, and in the Accugas midstream business.Savannah Petroleum CEO Andrew Knott said: “The deal transforms Savannah into a full-cycle E&P company in West Africa and marks the start of a very exciting time for us. We have acquired a business with great people and a strong set of exploration, appraisal, development and production assets which are expected to be highly cash flow generative for the Company.”Details of the assets added through the acquisition of Seven EnergySavannah Petroleum has acquired 80% stake in Seven Uquo Gas, which has a participating stake of 40% in the Uquo field located in South East Nigeria. Seven Uquo Gas will take over responsibility for all operations of the gas project at the Uquo field after the completion of its previously announced transaction with Frontier Oil.The British oil and gas company gets a 51% stake in the Stubb Creek field located in South East Nigeria via Seven Energy’s 100% ownership of Universal Energy Resources.In the Accugas midstream business, the company gets an 80% stake. The Accugas midstream operations is made up of the Uquo gas processing facility, which has a capacity of 200 mmscfd, a 260km long pipeline network, and long-term gas sales agreements with downstream customers.Savannah Petroleum has offloaded 20% stakes each in Seven Uquo Gas and Accugas to AIIM for $54m.Savannah Petroleum chairman Steve Jenkins said: “In Nigeria, our focus is on delivering further growth in the Company’s revenue base, and as we continue to develop in country we see strong potential for additional resource growth over time.“In Niger, we look forward to recommencing activity in 2020, with expected delivery of first oil from R3 East and a multi-well exploration drilling campaign.” The acquisition of Seven Energy is said to transform Savannah Petroleum into a full-cycle exploration and production company in West Africa
The numbers of coronavirus cases in Florida continue to rise.Florida reported 5,511 cases in one day, shattering the record for most in a day by 1,462, as deaths rose by 54 to 3,281, the Florida Department of Health announced Wednesday.Testing has also gone up in the state. The state reported 15.91 percent of people who tested for the first time were positive. Two weeks ago, the percentage was 5.54. Of all results reported by labs, the positive rate was 18.43 percent of the 36,339 tests compared with 7.31 percent among 31,415 tests two week ago.The overall positive rate is 6.5 percent, which is up one-tenth of 1 percent, compared with 5.3 percent one week ago and 10 percent several weeks ago.The state cases reported Wednesday were 2,225 more than Tuesday’s total of 3,286. The record was 4,049 set Saturday. Earlier increases were a previous mark of 3,822 Friday after a 3,207 record Thursday. In addition, there was a record 2,783 one week ago Tuesday.Until recently, the increased cases daily were often under 1,000.
Parker Homestead Hosts Vintage GameBy Jay Cook. Photos by Ottie Lynne Paterson.LITTLE SILVER – Chants of “Moose, Moose, Moose!” roared out from the Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club’s dugout as starting catcher Frank Siracusa emerged with his willow in hand. As he strolled to the dish for his first at-bat, Chesapeake Nine’s pitcher “Silver Fox” began his underhand windup, reminiscent of a mid-19th century hurler’s motion to home plate.Adorned in black caps, black cravats, unseasonably long sleeve shirts and tan pants, Monmouth Furnace, the baseball team established out of Allaire Village, hosted the Chesapeake Nine of Baltimore for a game of 1864-style baseball.The game took place on June 12 at Sickles Field, and was run in conjunction with the Parker Homestead, a historical farmhouse dating back to the 17th century. “My great grandmother was a Parker, that’s my relationship, and so since 1667 this property has been here,” said Bob Sickles, owner of Sickles Market and president of The Parker Homestead-1665, a non-profit organization.A collection of bats, otherwise known as willows in 1864, just outside the dugout.“We’ve been a team for three years,” said Russ McIver, the captain of the Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club. “Prior to this year we were called the Bog Iron Boys of Allaire Village, but then we changed our name to the Monmouth Furnace so we could do more things outside of Allaire.”Monmouth Furnace is one of 30 teams in the tri-state area who play this type of baseball, and “the only ones doing this in the Monmouth/Ocean County area,” McIver said. They are members of the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League.The league models its method of play primarily from how it was in 1864. Players do not use gloves, helmets or any type of visible protective gear, consisting of either catcher’s gear or shin guards when batting. The ball, otherwise known as a “lemon peel,” is about the same size as a modern baseball, yet weighs notably less and has a distinctive stitching design reminiscent of the letter X.Some aspects of modern baseball, such as leading and stealing, were utilized in the game, while one key rule from the 1864 game characterized baseball from that time period. Known as the “bound-out rule,” a fielder is allowed to let a fly ball bounce off the ground once, and then catch it for an out. If done successfully, the batter is out, whether that bound-out comes from a foul-tip, a shank off the bat to the first baseman or a deep fly ball to center field.A close play at second base as the MFBBC steal a baseThe majority of teams are comprised of around 15 to 20 players who come from all different age groups. “The teams primarily, and our team is no exception, consist of players from late high school to close to 70, so it’s very inclusive,” said McIver. “Every team is full of guys who are pure baseball players, there are players that are pure historians and there’s a bunch of guys who are in the middle.”Outfielder Dan Radel falls in the category of a historian. “This is like playing on a field of dreams,” said Radel, an adjunct history professor at Brookdale Community College.Known by teammates as a “muffin,” a term given to the rookies, Radel, 40, of Brick, joined Monmouth Furnace after watching a game at The Spirit of the Jerseys state fair. “I first saw them playing at Monmouth Battlefield and thought to myself ‘I have to do this.’”Abigail Murphy cheers on the MFBBC from the stands in a hoop skirt dress she sewed herself.Sunday’s event, which was hosted by the Parker Homestead, would never had happened without Liz Hanson, secretary to The Parker Homestead-1665. Tasked with archiving the contents inside the Bates House after a pipe burst in February of 2015, which is across the street from the Parker Homestead, Hanson came across quite a find.“I opened a cardboard box, it was full of hair, human hair,” Hanson said uneasily. “It was clean hair, but just wasn’t what I was looking for at the time.”Beneath the hair was the real treasure. While preparing to throw the next item out, an old Christmas cookie tin, Hanson felt a rattle inside when she reached over to toss it into the garbage.When she opened the tin, numerous cards were found inside, in remarkably good shape. “I don’t know much about baseball, but the first or second card that I looked at was Ty Cobb, and even I know who Ty Cobb was,” she said. “That’s when I knew there was something.”Not only was there one Ty Cobb card, but a second was found in the collection. Additionally, fellow MLB Hall-of-Famer Christy Mathewson’s card was buried in the cookie tin.The hurler, or pitcher, pitches underhand to batters with the“lemon peel” ball, a softer version of the modern baseball.“It’s not the ones that are hyper expensive, like a Honus Wagner from 1909 in certain series’ is worth two to three million dollars,” Sickles said. “But this collection is worth maybe 20 to 30 thousand.”In total, Hanson salvaged the 24 Philadelphia Caramel Co. cards, and on Sunday, they were on display inside the Parker Homestead. The collection dates back to 1909 and is thought to be of Stan Parker’s collection. He was a relative of Julia Parker, who passed away in 1996 as the last owner of the house.“I have not been to a game like this before, but I think it’s really cool to see the old uniforms,” said Sue Goldberg, 68 of Highlands. “I need to get a picture of these guys just milling about.”Goldberg, an avid baseball card collector with a collection into the hundreds, gazed at the pair of Ty Cobb cards under the display case. “I hadn’t seen it until I was at Archives Day, except for on the internet and books, but not in person.”The vintage baseball cards on display in the Parker House.The game between Monmouth Furnace and the Chesapeake Nine was competitive into the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Nine’s pulling out a win for a final score of 14-11. After the game, McIver lined players up from both teams along the first and third baselines to thank Sickles Market, The Parker Homestead and the nearly 150 fans in attendance, finishing off with a collective “Hip Hip, Huzzah!” cheer from the players.Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club has ten remaining games on their schedule for this season, which lasts until October 8. For additional information about Monmouth Furnace Base Ball Club, visit their Facebook page. For updates on The Parker Homestead regarding future construction and events, visit ParkerHomestead-1665.org.
No plans this Thursday night? Why not put your knowledge to the test at the All Blakes Team table quiz in aid of Relay for Life!The event promises to be a night of great craic and good competition in Blake’s Bar, Letterkenny Main Street at 9.30pm. All are welcome to come and support the fundraiser and there will be great prizes on offer, sponsored by Kernan’s. The ‘All Blakes’ are getting ready to take part in Relay for Life Donegal on 25th-26th May to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society to fund research provide local support services in Donegal.The ‘All Blakes’ Relay for Life teamAnd the family team are also running a mega-draw ‘Raffle for Relay’ this weekend!Instead of just asking people to donate money to this great Charity which they will gladly accept, the ‘All Blakes’ team together with all of their generous sponsors are also giving everyone a chance to win some amazing prizes. Vouchers from a wide range of local businesses have been donated and there are over 15 prizes to be won!And the first prize is an incredible trip to Man Utd. V Arsenal, sponsored by Ireland West Airport Knock! These tickets are available in Blake’s Bar, The Brewery, The Cottage, Arena 7, Hue Hair Salon and Tír na nÓg to name but a few and can also be obtained from any of the ALL BLAKES TEAM.So, if you see any of the All Blakes Team with buckets or raffle tickets over the next week, please give what you can. Every little helps and remember it is all for a great cause.Let’s all help out with the fight against Cancer.Time to get behind the ‘All Blakes’ Big Quiz night! was last modified: May 23rd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:all blakesTable quiz
A display on Solomon Mahlangu, who was hanged in 1979 at the age of 23. This headline refers to the 1980 Silverton Siege, when 25 people were taken hostage in Volkskas Bank, Silverton, Pretoria, by three ANC members who were later allshot dead.(Images: Lucille Davie) MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello Hatang NMF communications manager +27 11 547 5600• To arrange an appointment to view: Ethel Arends MNF records management specialist +27 11 547 5676. RELATED ARTICLES • Tribute to Arthur Goldreich • Liliesleaf to sprout new hotel • Sharpeville remembered • SA, Angola strengthen ties • New ward opened for Smile WeekLucille DavieAfrican National Congress (ANC) military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) turns 50 this year, and in commemoration, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is hosting an exhibition highlighting the organisation during its active period.Movingly displayed in the foyer of the foundation’s offices in Houghton, the exhibition is titled In pursuit of liberty: legality vs justice. Its theme is “heroism, martyrdom and the ethical principles of South African liberation movements”.Visitors can learn about the struggle of MK cadres against apartheid.The exhibition has three main areas of focus – the Rivonia triallists and their capture at Liliesleaf; the story of Solomon Mahlangu who in 1979 became the first MK soldier to be executed by the government of the time; and the 1980 bank siege in Silverton, Pretoria, and the subsequent Soekmekaar and Silverton trials, which became the “turning point of the liberation struggle”.“The exhibition portrays how freedom fighters used the apartheid courts and police holding cells as sites of struggle,” said a press statement.“It evokes unpleasant memories of the turbulent apartheid years, but it can help those who were born after the dawn of democracy to understand the heavy price their forebears paid for democracy.”In pursuit of liberty runs until the end of 2011. Viewing is by appointment only.The South African Post Office, which is a participant in the exhibition, will issue a new set of stamps in support of its successful Legends of Freedom series and its 2009 Solomon Mahlangu stamp.The struggle for freedomIn a moving address at the exhibition’s opening, during which she sang a verse of a freedom song, Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration Ayanda Dlodlo talked about her time in MK.“Ours was a just war and it should be celebrated,” she said. “It was a war that had to be fought to find freedom.”She described the “vigorous training” that she and many other young South Africans went through in the 1970s, after they left South Africa in the wake of the 16 June 1976 Soweto pupils’ uprising.Dlodlo thanked guest and respected advocate George Bizos, who defended Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki in the Rivonia Trial, for his support during the struggle years.She also mentioned the citizens of various countries, including Angola, Mozambique, Russia, Sweden and Cuba, who welcomed exiled MK members within their borders. People like the late Zimbabwean politician Joshua Nkomo, music producer Quincy Jones, former Cuban president Fidel Castro, and the Reverend Jesse Jackson had also offered unfailing support to the ANC.“Whites were not our enemy, the system was the enemy,” she said.Dlodlo, who is also secretary-general of the Military Veterans Association, stressed that many comrades in exile were young – some were 18 and 19 years old. The women cadres in exile were called “flowers of our revolution”, a term originally coined by ANC leader in exile Oliver Tambo.Continuing the fightJames Mange, an MK commander who was arrested with Mahlangu and 12 others, described his experience of the trial, and how the death sentence hung over them.“There was no doubt in our minds that John Vorster would hang Solomon,” he said, referring to the state president at the time.Despite a two-year wait during which the government came under intense international pressure to repeal his sentence, Mahlangu went to the gallows in 1979. His hanging “just gave us strength and more determination,” added Mange.Mahlangu’s long incarceration had not broken his spirit, and his last words were reportedly: ”My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight.”Like a number of struggle heroes, he posthumously received the National Order of Mendi for Bravery, in 2005.Mange, too, was sentenced to death while his comrades were sent to Robben Island, but this fate was commuted to a jail term of 20 years after an appeal.“We were afraid to disgrace the generation before us,” he said, and added that the present generation needs to learn about the sacrifices made by his generation, as they go forward into the future.Taking up armsUmkhonto we Sizwe is isiZulu and isiXhosa for “Spear of the Nation”. The movement played a major role in South Africa’s armed struggle.The decision to form MK was taken in mid-1961 in response to the government’s increasing and sometimes lethal determination to oppress non-white South Africans, despite the fact that resistance action had been peaceful until then. The ANC decided that it had no choice but to take up arms.MK’s founding members were, among others, former president Nelson Mandela and Joe Slovo, the secretary-general of the South African Communist Party.Other key members in cells around the country included Jack Hogson, Ahmed Kathrada, Arthur Goldreich, Chris Hani, Dennis Goldberg, Ronnie Kasrils, former president Thabo Mbeki, current president Jacob Zuma, Curnick Dlovu and Vuyisile Mini.MK announced its presence with a series of bomb attacks on government buildings on 16 December 1961 in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth. Now the Day of Reconciliation, the 16 December public holiday formerly commemorated the Afrikaner defeat of the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River in 1838, and was known as the Day of the Covenant or Dingaan’s Day.The government promptly banned MK as a terrorist organisation, but this didn’t stop many cadres from receiving military training overseas. During its years of activity the organisation’s operations included sabotage of transport systems and power plants – including the Koeberg nuclear facility – attacks on police stations and military bases, and bomb blasts of varying intensity.Despite fierce resistance from the government and two states of emergency, the first one in 1960 and the second in 1986, the apartheid system eventually fell away.After 29 years MK suspended its armed struggle when the ANC and other organisations were unbanned in 1990, four years before South Africa’s first democratic elections. It was completely absorbed into the National Defence Force by 1994.A display on Solomon Mahlangu, who was hanged in 1979