Before the march commenced, Sachs spoke about what he believed the social justice march was about. Sachs said, “One comes to university to get knowledge, information, ideas, concepts [and an] understanding of the world, but you also come to university to dream … to connect with other people, to imagine, to wonder. And, in a sense, what the march does is unites these two themes of hard knowledge or principles, theory, idea, fact information, data on one hand and what it means to be African, what it means to be a human being, what it means to be a lawyer, be it a South African or a non-South African at this university [on the other hand].”
The 30 minute march commenced at 17:30 at UP’s graffiti wall with children, students, lecturers and members of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation marching through campus with the aim of raising awareness about social justice issues pertaining to children and transformation.
The march took place at a later time during the day which clashed with semester test times and resulted in fewer participants this year in comparison to the previous year. Law House chairperson Anke Olivier said, “It was great to see so many people participate because it is a march after hours, so you never know how many will actually stay behind and do a march and [not] get anything in return.”
The march was followed by a screening of Sachs’ biographical film Soft vengeance of a freedom fighter. The screening lasted an hour and the audience was given an opportunity to ask Sachs questions with regard to his life experiences and his views on society and the law.
Isolde de Villiers, senior lecturer of the Department of Jurisprudence and organiser of the faculty festival, said that the overall event was “inspiring, with [Sachs] singing at the end and also talking to the students and telling us what our stance [is] now and how we should move on and go forward with it”. De Villiers went on to add that, “There is critique against the Constitution, and having one of the founders here makes a difference because, in the presence of the people who struggled for the Constitution, it is difficult to be as critical because you see it in context and you understand why people fought for the Constitution.”
Photo: Shen Scott