Human Rights Awareness Month is celebrated in March to hark back South Africans about the martyrs that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. Human Rights Day on 21 March falls within this period.
The Department of Political and International Studies (POLIS) in the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the university of Zululand in partnership with the King Cetshwayo District along with delegates from ECF, UNDP, and SADC at the IEC Observers Debriefing Workshop Boksburg, Johannesburg decided to host an event in commemoration of this day.
The head of POLIS Professor Toyin .C. Adetiba explained that the department decided to host this event while educating students and staff alike about the importance of education vis-à-vis human rights in a democratic state. “ Going by the theme of the event (Education and Human Rights in a Democratic State), ours is to educate the University of Zululand students about Human Rights, democracy and what it stands for. Most of our students often talk about having the right to do certain things in a democratic state like ours but the fact remains that some don’t know their rights even though they claim to know what it is. For example, the right to vote and to be voted for. Which party should I vote for? Why should I vote? What is the implication if I decide not to vote? ” Explained Prof Adetiba.
The Department participated in the last local government election as observer and represent UNIZULU along with delegates from ECF, UNDP, and SADC at the IEC Observers Debriefing Workshop 5 – 6 December 2021, Boksburg, Johannesburg. Drawing from this inspiration POLIS thus decided to host this event to celebrate the University of Zululand while educating students and staff alike about the importance of education vis-à-vis human rights in a democratic state.
According to Prof Adetiba, POLIS want to use the platform to encourage students and staff alike to register for 2024 election. POLIS is a new and the smallest department in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, notwithstanding, the department is committed to upholding the values of UNIZULU.
History shows that democracies in danger of losing their freedom register frighteningly low voter turnouts. In thriving democracies, people vote in large numbers and the people’s voice remains supreme. So here are our top reasons why you should vote:
1. Because you can!
2. Elections have consequences
You have the power to decide on the quality of life you want for yourself and your community, and even future generations. Voting is your chance to stand up for the issues you care about. This is your life: take the time to help decide what’s best. Voting – rather than just venting on social media or protesting – is the best way to make your voice heard and make a positive input on the issues that concern you.
- Precious Shamase