Former Anti-Apartheid activist Hanif Bhamjee returned to Kwa Zulu Natal in January this year to present cheques to three community organizations in the region. Bhamjee, secretary of Action for Southern Africa – Wales (ACTSA) helped raise approximately R60 000 for the J.L Dube High School, Zisize (Ingwavuma) Educational Trust and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).
Action for Southern Africa has been lending assistance to South African organisations since 1976 and is the successor organization to the Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement. “The organisation is broad based and enjoys support of the major political parties, trade unions, religious bodies, student groupings and community based networks who are acutely aware of the campaigns for freedom, justice and equality,” said Bhamjee.
The recipients of the donation expressed their appreciation to the organization. Principal of J.L Dube High School Sipho Magwaza said that the money could not have come at a better time. “We were fortunate to have two representatives come in person to look at the challenges that we face at our school. We are very happy about the donation and by 2011 we want to have a new look J.L Dube High School. This is the first step for us – this money has laid a foundation on which to build.”
Hlengiwe Mthimkhulu Director of Zisize (Ingwavuma) Educational Trust explained that the money will assist in providing hope and strength to people in her community. “We used the first tranche of the donation for the building of a small home for a child headed household which was in the most appalling condition – we want to improve the basic living conditions of people in our community. This money will help us provide further resources and services so that our children can have a brighter future.” Mthimkhulu added, “There are many such child headed families in our area of operation and we are using windfall funds such as that given by ACTSA to build a replacement home whenever we can.”
Meanwhile the TAC believes that this donation will enable them to continue and expand its work in a range of ways locally and internationally. “These donations are an ongoing commitment from ordinary working people in Wales who have been involved in the Anti-Apartheid movement. It is a genuine contribution towards the development of a better future for those in need in South Africa and is a continuing show of genuine solidarity with those working towards reconstruction and development in our society,” said Bhamjee.
Bhamjee, 60 is formerly from Pietermatizburg and is the brother of former Member of Parliament Yusuf Bhamjee. He matriculated at Woodlands High school and was actively involved in student politics. He moved to England in 1965 where he studied law at London University and later joined the University of Birmingham. Bhamjee has received many accolades and at the top of the list is the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to race relations, the charity and voluntary sector and for founding the Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement. The OBE was presented to him by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in 2003.