JOURNEYS TO PEACE: The 2015 conference on nonviolence

Conference aims


 To deepen our understanding of the nature, extent and consequences of the violence that    permeates our societies


To deepen our understanding of the thinking of nonviolence and peace


To review and strengthen our work to advance nonviolence in all areas of life


To celebrate our humanity and our capacity for harmony amongst ourselves and with the rest of creation


The conference will address issues in relation to specific areas of human activity, including  migrancy, education; the creative arts and media; the military,  police and prisons; government;

corporate life; family; gender; the environment; community life, and so on.



The shape and emphasis will reflect the proposals from participants. There will be both plenary and parallel sessions, to encompass the diversity of topics and forms of presentation. Papers, workshops, posters and creative activities will be presented by delegates themselves.


The structure will accommodate both more theoretical presentations, practical workshops that develop skills, displays (including interactive digital media) and creative expression such as dance and music.

A central element is that the whole conference, from the early planning stages onwards, will be a model of nonviolence in action. It will be inclusive and respectful of the whole range of human diversity.  For this reason, we encourage participants to attend the whole conference.

Thanks to the support of the eThekwini Metro, there will be a civic reception to welcome delegates, who will also be able to enjoy tours to places of specific significance in the history of nonviolent struggle.

Call for papers

The conference has a specific role in stimulating and reporting research. While not all sessions will be academic in nature, it is important that academics can present in an atmosphere that is both critical and supportive.

Academics and researchers are invited to submit an abstract  of not more than 250 words.  A presentation may take the form of a formal presentation (20 minutes), poster or a workshop (45 minutes).

Registration fees

This will cover all issues directly related to the conference, such as meals, teas and conference material.

Academics, corporate, government, overseas visitors                               R2 750

Representatives from unions, NGOs and religious faith communities       R1 000

Teachers                                                                                                    R800

School and university students, conference staff                                      R50

To register, please visit the ICON website:


Please contact the organisers if you need assistance in finding accommodation.

Crispin Hemson             +27 31 373 5499

Brightness Nyawose         +27 31 373 5499


As we speak hundreds of foreigners are being chased out of their homes and their shops looted. This is happening all around Durban. This morning we spoke with some of them. They are scared, and most want nothing more than to go home. I felt ashamed as a South African as I heard their stories of hardship and deep pain. DDP will be convening dialogues with these different groups so that they can speak with a common voice about their concerns and fears, and just to hear their stories and know that there are some of us who care.

Most of these stories are not known to many of us and perhaps through the creation of this space our basic humanity and compassion will be triggered to demonstrate our sense of Ubuntu and hospitality.

Whilst we are doing this there is an urgent need to feed the hungry children and women who are in these camps around Durban, as well as possibly with assisting transporting some of them back to their homes, as they no longer feel welcome here.

If you feel moved to help please make a deposit to the following DDP account. A full breakdown of disbursement will be provided on our website. Any amount, no matter how small, will be appreciated. These people need our help now.

BANK:                               STANDARD

BRANCH:                          WINDEMERE

BRANCH NUMBER:         042726


ACCOUNT NUMBER:       508 474 81




Kind Regards

DDP Team

2 Floor, DDP House,

32 Dullah Omar Road,

Durban, 4001

T 031 304 9305

F 031 306 2261


DIALOGUE INVITATION- Home away from home! or is it reaally?

Intimidation and violence against foreign nationals and internal migrants has been an ongoing feature of post-Apartheid South Africa. While the most intense period of intimidation and violence took place in May 2008, similar patterns of behaviour began long before and have yet to stop. The intolerance against foreign nationals occurs in locales with high (but not the highest) levels of economic deprivation, high percentages of male residents, high levels of informal housing, and high levels of language diversity (including many South African and foreign languages).

The key trigger against outsiders in specific locations appears to be localised competition for political (formal and informal) and economic power. Leaders, and aspirant leaders, often mobilise residents to intimidate and/or attack and evict foreign nationals as a means of strengthening their personal political or economic power within the local community. Lately, there has been overwhelming evidence of violence against businesses owned by African migrants particularly in Gauteng and in some regions of KwaZulu-Natal

This intolerance and violence is a symptom of broader challenges of legitimate and accountable local governance, especially in informal settlements. It is likely to continue if concerted efforts to address impunity and scapegoating are not instituted speedily. The government has made small steps in these directions but there is a lot that needs to be done. One of the ways to address this situation is by having conversations amongst ourselves as citizens and our migrant communities to question those aspects of our society that seem to be driving us apart as Africans.

Our key conversational questions are:

  1. What is driving us apart from each other?
  2. How can we, together as citizens, co-exist peacefully and co-create sustainable communities?

Come and make your voice heard!


Event dDetails:

Speaker:     Prof Ahmed Bawa- Vice Chancellor of Durban University of Technology.

DATE:            14 April 2015

TIME:             4:30 for 5:00-7:00 pm

VENUE:         DUT, City Campus, Room 207

ADDRESS:    Corner of Smith St, Warwick Ave & Berea Road, Tel: 031 373 2000

PARKING:     Safe off-road parking is available

COST:             Free

RSVP:             Please complete the form below and send to DDP via or fax 031 306 2261 on or before 2 April 2015.

                      Seats arelimited and restricted to those that have confirmed.


For general enquiries call 031 304 9305



  • Equality: You cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed.


  • Human Dignity: Your dignity must be respected and protected.


  • Life: You have the right to life.


  • Freedom and security of the person: You cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished cruelly. Domestic violence is not allowed.


  • Slavery, servitude and forced labour: Slavery and forced labour are not allowed.


  • Privacy: You cannot be searched or have your home or possessions searched.


  • Freedom of religion, belief and opinion: You can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice.


  • Freedom of expression: All people (including the press) can say whatever they want.


  • Assembly, demonstration, picket and petition: You can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition. But you must do this peacefully.


  • Freedom of association: You can associate with whomever you want to.


  • Political rights: You can support the political party of your choice. If you are a citizen, and at least 18 years old, you can vote.


  • Citizenship: Your citizenship cannot be taken away from you.


  • Freedom of movement and residence: You can go and live anywhere in South Africa.


  • Freedom of trade, occupation and profession: You can do whatever work you choose.


  • Labour relations: You may join trade unions and go on strike.


  • Environment: You have the right to a healthy environment.


  • Property: Your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed.


  • Housing: The government must make sure people get access to proper housing.


  • Health care, food, water and social security: The government must make sure you have access to food and water; health care and social security.


  • Children: Children under the age of 18 have special rights, like the right not to be abused.


  • Education: You have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible).


  • Language and culture: You can use the language you want to and follow the culture that you choose.


  • Cultural, religious and linguistic communities: Communities can enjoy their own culture; practice their own religion; and use their own language.


  • Access to information: You have the right to any information, which the government has.


  • Just administrative action: Actions by the government must be fair.


  • Access to courts: You can have a legal problem decided by a court, or a similar structure.


  • Arrested, detained and accused persons: This right protects people who have been arrested, imprisoned or accused.


  • NOTE: All these rights can be limited if it would be fair to do so





The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1945) states in Article 2:"Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind." 


 With the increased global media attention on violent acts of torment caused on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons, a current key question before the

worldcommunity iswhether LGBTI rights are included under our basic human rights. We all have a sexual orientation and a gender identity, and this shared fact should mean that

discrimination against members of the LGBTI

community, based on sexual orientation and/ or gender identity, is an issue that transcends that community and affects all of us.

It is with that in mind the Democracy Development Program (DDP) in partnership with the Arts For Humanity (AFH) will co-host a dialogue to raise awareness around the topic,

but also have a conversation about possible advocacy actions.

In preparation for attending this forum, consider the next questions:

1. Why are African countries, especially South Africa which has one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, silent on the criminalisation of LGBTI persons?

2. Are Institutions of higher learning doing enough to integrate the various communities through security and awareness?

3. In what ways can the LGBTI community engage institutions of higher learning to enhance the appreciation of its community to ensure that LGBTI persons’ rights and needs are to be respected?

4. How can the LGBTI community mobilise and support each other more effectively against homophobia, and other rights as well as influence? 

Speaker includes:

Dr Rene Smith (Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design at DUT)

Event details:

Date: 19 March 2015

Time: 4:30 for 5:00-7:00 pm

Venue: DUT, City Campus, Room 207

RSVP: Seats are limited and restricted to those that have confirmed


Please complete the RSVP form below and send it back to us either by fax 031 306 2261 or email to before or on 9 March 2015

For general enquiries call 031 304 9305  





More than 25 000 South Africans gathered to celebrate and participate in the second annual UNITE 2.0 Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day on the 22nd of November in Tshwane.

The event, an initiative of the Department of Sports and Recreation and the Department of Arts and Culture, included 67 performers, 27 creatives and a selection of artists from various genres. The sporting events included a cycling race, a road running race, a run/walk race and a fun walk.

Among the more than 25 000 South Africans who gathered at the Union Building in Pretoria was also South African Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula who also took part in the activities. 

“The Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day is designed to bring together South Africans from all walks of life, particularly this year in its 2nd year and as we celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy. Almost one year ago, South Africans lined the streets of Tshwane, to say our final farewell. This year, on Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day- we reclaim those very same streets to celebrate the life of this global icon,” said Mbalula.

The sporting competitions saw both amateurs and professionals competing with R2 million worth of prizes to be won and with both males and females receiving the same amounts respectively. In partnership with Cycling SA and Athletics SA, cycling and athletics were introduced this year.

The sporting events saw a 67km cycling race, which is in remembrance of the 67 years that Mandela devoted to social activism. The top three winners received R250 000, R150 000 and R100 000 respectively. The main running event was a 27km race which was in remembrance of the 27 years that Madiba spent in prison. The top three for the 27km race received R150 00, R100 000 and R50 000 respectively. The 9.4km run and walk was in honour of Nelson Mandela’s life. The 9.4km run winner received R40 000 and the winner of the 9.4km walk received R20 000.

The first Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day took place at the FNB Stadiums on the 17th of August where the Springboks played against Argentina and Bafana Bafana played against Burkina Faso. 

The event is part of the UNITE 2.0 One Man, One Nation, One Celebration campaign which honours and celebrates Madiba’s commitment to justice, equality nation building, non-racialism, social cohesion and other values that the late President Nelson Mandela stood for.

 Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa in his statement during the launch of the event echoed the significance and importance of the event saying it would promote patriotism and nation building. 

“More than just an event, the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day expresses South Africa’s diverse cultural, artistic and linguistic heritage,” said minister Mthethwa. He also added that the campaign would serve as a lead event in the relay to Reconciliation Day celebrations.

A concert was held later during the day at the Union Building with a line-up that included 67 performers (musicians, poets, comedians, dancers, and drummers), 27 creatives (crafters, designers, technical trainees and visual artists and 5 young filmmakers.

The lineup of artists included the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lira, Kurt Darren, Mzwakhe Mbuli and a host of other well respected South African artists. 


The 2014 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children Campaign will officially be launched today by South African President Jacob Zuma in Reiger Park.

“Count me in. Together moving a non-violence South Africa Forward,” is the theme that this year’s campaign will run under. The international campaign aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence as well as highlight the negative effect that gender-based violence has on women and children.

The first day of the campaign-25 November- is also International Day on no Violence against Women and the last day-10 December- is also International Human Rights Day. Other key dates during the campaign include World Aids Day- 1 December and International Day for the Disabled- 3 December.

The campaign will be celebrating its 16th year anniversary as well as reflecting on 60 years of the women’s charter. The campaign is expected to see national and provincial dialogues driven by the Department of women.  The programme will also include a national prayer for “women and children from all walks including sex workers, abused women and children on the 6th of December as well as a Human Trafficking Indaba by the Department of Social Development. A Presidential Men’s Dialogue will be held on 10 December at the Presidential Guesthouse at the Union Building.

“Imagine living in a society where we no longer read or hear about the abuse that women and children often suffer at the hands of heartless predators,” said Minister in the Presidency for women Susan Shabangu, speaking about the campaign in parliament on Friday.

“The brutal killing of women and children despite laws having been instituted to criminalise brutal behaviour and to improve the safety of women and children, shows that there is a need to move from policy to action and to provide stronger focus than ever on prevention and early intervention to support women and children against this scourge,” she added.

The campaign will also aim to bring together various stakeholders such as governments and NGO’s to work together towards ending gender-based violence on local and international levels.


South Africa’s oldest and most recognised civic society organisation active on AIDS treatment is under threat of closure due to lack of funds.

The treatment Action Campaign (TAC) was launched 10 December 1989- International Human Rights Day- to campaign for access of AIDS treatment. TAC came at a time where South African communities were being torn apart through fear, death and stigma of HIV. Today, the organisation which represents users of public health care system in South Africa faces a risk of shutting down due to lack of funding. TAC is hoping to raise R10 million by the 1st of December, which is also World Aids Day.

World Aids Day will also mark the 10th year anniversary of the distribution of Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, which TAC has been very instrumental in.

According to the organisation, 12% of the South African population- 6 million people- is HIV positive and for people between the age of 15 and 49, the rate is at 17%. With over 2.4 million people on ARV’s as of mid-2014, South Africa has the world’s largest AIDS treatment programme. TAC also believes that at least another 2 million people will require treatment in the next five years. The life expectancy at birth moved from 51 in 2005 to 61 in 2012.

Amongst many victories, the TAC is most popular for its victory against the South African government after they challenged the reluctant government under former president Thabo Mbeki’s leadership to make antiretroviral treatment available to South Africans. The group also engaged in a legal battle with the government where they were fighting for the prevention of mother-to-child (MTC) transmission. They were victorious and won on the basis of the guarantee of the right to health care by the South African constitution. The government was then ordered to provide MTC treatment and programs in public clinics.

The HIV/AIDS activist group has received national and international support over the years but now the group is in a crisis which could lead to it shutting down if not funded and the fight against HIV/AIDS is far from over, regardless of the progress that has been reached so far.

“If we don’t get this money, we don’t have a plan B. We’ve got plan A, and plan A is to make sure we get this money because if TAC closes, we need to understand-all of us here, that many people will die,” said TAC general secretary Anele Yawa at a press briefing held by the TAC early November in Braamfontein. 

Many of the groups’ sponsors and donors have pulled out and the TAC has turned to South Africans for assistance in maintaining the HIV/AIDS treatment campaigns and programs. The group has only one third of its 2015 budget currently.

“We are not asking for charity but for money to save lives. We are faced with a financial problem the people who were donating to us pulled out,” said TAC board member Mark Heywood during the press briefing.