Media release: Black Sash turns sixty

MEDIA RELEASE: THE BLACK SASH TURNS SIXTY - 15 May 2015

For immediate release

On 19 May 1955, 2015 six feisty women decided on political action (against the packing of the Senate to disenfranchise coloured voters) that was to be foundational to the establishment of the Black Sash.

Sixty years later, on Tuesday 19 May 2015, past members of the Black Sash, friends, colleagues and our feisty staff of today will gather in Cape Town to celebrate this significant milestone in our history.

Known for our silent street protests at unjust laws and our rigorous advice office work under apartheid, the organization today works alongside NGO and community activists who aim to bring redress to our society struggling to deal with the aftermath and long term effects of migrant labour and family break-up, segregation and systemic poverty. We celebrate this new generation of principled, disciplined activism to make human rights real in South Africa.

Celebrations during May that will profile the work of the Black Sash in 2015:

On 16th May, our KwaZulu-Natal colleagues gather in Pietermaritzburg to launch Mary Kleinenberg and Christopher Merrett’s book ‘STANDING ON STREET CORNERS: A history of the Natal Midlands region of the Black Sash’.

On 19th May in Cape Town, Annemarie Hendrikz’s book ‘SHEENA DUNCAN’ will be launched. Sheena Duncan was our long-serving Advice Office Coordinator, President, Chair of the Black Sash Trust and Patron of the Black Sash, as well as Vice-President of the SACC. She oversaw the transition of our organization in 1995, the birth of the Black Sash Trust and led the way in re-prioritizing our work in a democratic South Africa.

On 23rd May, our Gauteng colleagues gather to celebrate at the Women’s Jail Atrium, Constitution Hill on Saturday 23 May at 09h00 for 09h30. This is being organized by the South African History Archive (SAHA) in conjunction with the Black Sash. ‘SHEENA DUNCAN’ will again be launched, in addition to there being a panel discussion between Black Sash leaders, activists and allies, both past and present, including Bongi Mkhabela (Chair of the Black Sash Trust), Thandiwe Zulu, Judith Hawarden, Ish Mkhabela, Adele Kirsten, Gille de Vlieg and Marj Brown.

Kindly contact

Di Oliver (trustee, BST) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 083 232 2349 or

Jenny de Tolly (trustee, BST) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 021 689 3763 for more information.

Additional useful contacts:

Elroy Paulus Black Sash Advocacy Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 082 748 5621

Lynette Maart National Director, the Black Sash Trust This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 021 6866952

Andrea George Black Sash Media Liaison This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Tel: 021 6866952

Annemarie Hendrikz This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 076 6835795

Mary Kleinenberg (trustee BST) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 072 0265632; 033 344 2620

SAHA (South African History Archive):

Catherine Kennedy (Director) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

NalaRamohlokoane This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Debora Matthews This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 011 7182560

www.blacksash.org.za