New Donegal charity adventure race is launched

first_imgNews Donegal is getting ready for one of the most ambitious charity sporting events this year.The Cancer Coastal Challenge takes place around Dunfanaghay on July 21st.The unique fundraiser will see people complete in a 16km run, a 45 km cycle and  a 2km kayak.The event is in aid of Action Breast Cancer, Relay for Life and the Donegal Hospice.Anyone who wants to participate in the event, can do so on www.coastalcancerchallenge.com.Boyd Robinson, from Letterkenny Rugby Club, who’s organising the event, says relay teams can enter the event as well…….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/boyd.mp3[/[podcast] WhatsApp New Donegal charity adventure race is launched Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry WhatsApp Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Facebook By News Highland – February 11, 2012 Pinterest Facebook 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic center_img Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleNI authorities should enfore European free movement laws – MEP Marian HarkinNext articleDonegal v Laois ‘LIVE’ Online News Highland Twitter Twitter 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Google+ Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Pinterestlast_img read more

This Friday, Celebrate Beautiful SA!

first_img6 September 2010Plant a tree. Host a recycling day. Help clean up around your home, school, place of work … as part of its “Legacy” campaign, Brand SA has called on South Africans this Friday to “fly the flag for our beautiful country.”Brand South Africa’s Legacy campaign aims to leverage the momentum of the 2010 Fifa World Cup by providing platforms for South Africans to keep achieving and showcasing their “South Africanness” to the world, while entrenching the principles of pride, patriotism and solid citizenship that have been established over the past year.SA Legacy campaign explainedFor the past two Fridays, and the next three to come, South Africans have been “celebrating all the things that make us who we are”. Each Friday has a different theme, this Friday’s being a call to celebrate South Africa’s natural beauty by, for example:Hosting a recycling day. Ask everyone to bring in paper, glass, plastic and tins to be recycled and given a new lease on life.Planting a tree at home, at school, at your office or in a community space..Hosting a clean-up day around the office, your school or community.Celebrate Our Beautiful Country – poster“Thousands of new visitors experienced South Africa during the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ and went home with memories to last a lifetime,” Brand South Africa said in a statement. “We impressed the world with our ability to unite for a common cause and create a legacy for our country and children.“We now know what we can do when we stand together, so let’s do it again this Friday – by making sure our country stays beautiful for generations to come.”SAinfo reporterSA Legacy campaign: programmeWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Liliesleaf remembered 50 years on

first_img11 July 2013 Denis Goldberg was sitting in the lounge of the farmhouse reading a book when the South African police swooped on the high command of the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) military wing at Liliesleaf Farm back in 1963. The police must have been very pleased with themselves – they had hit bull’s eye: members of Umkhonto we Sizwe or MK were poring over Operation Mayibuye, the plan for guerrilla warfare in South Africa. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the raid on Liliesleaf, now in the upmarket suburb of Rivonia in northern Johannesburg, on 11 July 1963. In one of the outbuildings, six men were discussing Mayibuye – Raymond Mhlaba, Govan Mbeki, Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein, Walter Sisulu, Bob Hepple, and Ahmed Kathrada. Nelson Mandela himself was absent – he was serving a five-year sentence on Robben Island for inciting workers to strike, and for leaving the country without a passport. The men were all taken into custody and charged with sabotage, a sentence that carried the death penalty. But they didn’t go to the gallows – the resultant Rivonia Trial saw eight men convicted to life imprisonment, serving up to 27 years in jail.Banned The ANC had been banned in April 1960, forcing it to reconsider its commitment to non-violence, and to go underground. In mid-1961 it was decided to form Umkhonto we Sizwe, the Spear of the Nation. The farm at Liliesleaf was purchased, to be used for meetings of the ANC and MK. Mandela had at various times lived at Liliesleaf, in disguise as a gardener under the alias of David Motsamayi. The book Goldberg was reading was Brighter than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the Atomic Scientists, by Austrian Robert Jungk, first published in 1958. It is the first published account of the Manhattan Project and the German atomic bomb project, which studied the making and dropping of the deadly bomb, as told by the atomic scientists. It is based on interviews with those who played a major role in the construction and deployment of the bombs in WW2. “They hit the jackpot,” says Goldberg now. He recalls that he ran to the bathroom the moment he heard the police. He wanted to hide the notes he had made, showing his designs for the development of weapons. Goldberg trained as a civil engineer.Several ironies There is an irony in the fact that while MK were planning for armed resistance, not a single weapon was found at Liliesleaf. “The police searched the entire farm and confiscated hundreds of documents and papers, though they found no weapons,” writes Mandela in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. “One of the most important documents remained right on the table: Operation Mayibuye, a plan for guerrilla warfare in South Africa.” Another irony is that this was to be the last meeting at Liliesleaf. Hepple writes in a paper published in Social Dynamics in 1964 on the raid, “Rivonia: The story of accused no 11”, that they were aware that the police were getting closer to discovering Liliesleaf. “We all knew that the police were closing in on the leaders who were living underground. Many arrests had been made, including on June 25 that of five or six activists who knew about the Place.” That “Place” was Liliesleaf, of course, also referred to as “Lil’s place”. Hepple explains that there had been several breaches of security, with outsiders invited to Liliesleaf without approval, witnessing “eleven or twelve members of the central leadership”. Hepple, an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar at the time, wrote of his trip out to Liliesleaf: “I was full of anxieties as I drove from my chambers in central Johannesburg to the meeting at ‘Lil’s place’ (which is how we described Lilliesleaf Farm).”New headquarters Goldberg confirms that they had already bought a new headquarters, Travallyn in Krugersdorp, a small town on the western outskirts of Johannesburg. Several people had already moved into the small holding. But Bernstein had to get home within a specific time, as specified by his banning order. So it was agreed to meet at Liliesleaf for the last time. Hepple recounts the dramatic events on that afternoon at the farm: “It was about 3.15pm when a van was heard coming down the drive. Govan went to the window. He said, ‘It’s a dry-cleaning van. I’ve never seen it before’. Rusty then went to the window and exclaimed ‘My God, I saw that van outside the police station on the way here!’” Dogs were heard barking, and Bernstein shouted that it was the cops. “Govan had collected up the Operation Mayibuye document and some other papers and I saw him putting them in the chimney of the small stove in the room. The back window was open, and I helped Govan, Walter and Kathy [Kathrada’s nickname] jump out of it. There was a second or two as I moved back near the door, with Rusty next to me and Ray sitting next to the window. The door burst open. Detective Sergeant Kennedy, whom I had cross-examined in a political trial earlier that year, rushed in: ‘Stay where you are. You’re all under arrest.’ He walked up to me with an excited sneer: ‘You’re Advocate Hepple, aren’t you?’” It was all over. They were marched outside and searched, bundled into the back of the van, and after several hours, driven to The Fort in the city centre, then on to Pretoria Central Prison. Hepple spent three months in solitary confinement.Charged with sabotage Other arrests had been made. In October everyone appeared in the Supreme Court, charged with sabotage. Accused No 1 was Mandela, Hepple was Accused No 11. Hepple had been Mandela’s legal counsel when he was sentenced to five years on Robben Island in 1962. In an unexpected move, all charges against Hepple were withdrawn, and he was to be called as a witness for the state. He was released from prison. “I had no intention of testifying against the accused, whom I admired and respected,” he writes. He made plans to escape across the border into Botswana with his wife, on his way to Dar es Salaam, and on to London. “On Saturday, November 25th, as the news of Kennedy’s assassination broke, Shirley and I left our children and our parents, our home and friends, and the country we loved.” His children later joined him in London, where he still lives. He wrote his account a year later, just as the Rivonia trialists were sentenced to life imprisonment, on 12 June 1964. He went on to have a long and distinguished legal career. He is an international expert and activist in labour law, equality and human rights; Emeritus Master of Clare College and emeritus professor of law at the University of Cambridge in England; and has received several awards and honours, including a knighthood in 2004. Hepple launched a new book in Johannesburg this week, titled Young man with a Red Tie: a memoir of Mandela and the Failed Revolution 1960-1963. It recounts his escape to avoid testifying against the Rivonia trialists.Liliesleaf today The Liliesleaf farmhouse and outbuildings have been sensitively restored, and a new building housing a museum has been built on the site. “It is a site of immense significance,” says Nicholas Wolpe, CEO of the Liliesleaf Trust. Through the establishment of the Liliesleaf Trust and Legacy Project, the site has been developed into one of South Africa’s most prominent liberation landmarks. About 60% of the building infrastructure consists of original brickwork. During the excavation process, more than seven different types of brickface were uncovered and any post-1963 brick was discarded. This brickwork was used in the restoration of the historical buildings and structures, which today constitute the museum component of Liliesleaf, a project which began in mid-2004.Interactive museum experience A visit to Liliesleaf is much more than a dry history lesson. The interactive displays and beautifully restored buildings tell the story of commitment, dedication and selfless sacrifice of many people who fought for freedom from an oppressive apartheid government. A key component of the Liliesleaf Legacy Project has been the interviewing of numerous individuals linked to Liliesleaf, to build-up a comprehensive audiovisual archive of the farm’s history. The interactive tour takes visitors on a journey, retracing the footsteps of prominent anti-apartheid activists who spent time on the farm. At each point in the tour, visitors have an opportunity to experience a first-hand account of the events and circumstances leading up to the raid of the Rivonia farm, through interviews with struggle veterans. In the farmhouse, a large 3D interactive table allows visitors to pull up videos, images, audio and text about the farm’s history, using two aluminium navigator orbs. Tour guide Zein Khumalo says the table is the only one of its kind in the world. The electronically-controlled cabinet of curiosity holds an account of each event that culminated in the Rivonia trial. As each cabinet is pulled out, the accounts are automatically read out. A telephone rings in the corner of one of the manor house’s rooms – it’s one of those old bulky black phones with a dial, and on picking up the receiver, the telephone plays recorded stories of spy agents, terrorists and infiltrators. The award-winning touch screen technology, telephone stories, sparse furnishings and dark rooms convey the sense of secrecy, fear and tension that the struggle leaders must have lived with every day.In search of a historical artefact According to Wolpe, the vision for Liliesleaf Farm took root after a Rivonia trialists’ reunion on the site in 2001. This led to the farm being re-purchased and its original structures were uncovered by archaeological diggings. But after all the excavations, one important item is still missing – the search for Mandela’s highly prized Russian Makarov pistol is still on. Although it was reportedly only buried about 20 paces from the farmhouse kitchen, an extensive search still hasn’t delivered the artefact, now valued at about R22-million (US$3-million). The semi-automatic pistol is believed to be the first weapon of the war against apartheid. It was given to the young Nelson Mandela in 1962 by Colonel Biru Tadesse of the Ethiopian Riot Battalion in Addis Ababa, when Mandela was on a trip to seek military assistance. Mandela hid the pistol, and 200 rounds of ammunition, in a pit deep enough so that a plough could not uncover it, near an oak tree on the farm. At the time he hoped to retrieve it soon, but he never got the chance. A few weeks after he buried the firearm he was arrested and imprisoned.Celebrating South Africa’s journey to freedom As the search for the valuable firearm continues – and Wolpe thinks that renewed efforts will be successful – the Liliesleaf museum remains an important part of South Africa’s history. “Liliesleaf is our connection to South Africa’s past, a link to the present and a bridge to the future,” he says. What makes a visit to Liliesleaf worthwhile is that the individual memories of the struggle are conveyed by people who were actually there. It represents the beliefs, inspiration and aspirations of a fearless group of leaders who were committed to bringing about socio-political transformation based on democratic principles. “It is important that the memory and legacy of South Africa’s struggle for freedom is preserved in the hearts and minds of all South Africans,” he says. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

War on terror: Kabul celebrates liberation from Taliban by the Northern Alliance

first_imgHOPE ROLLS IN: Residents of Kabul, some exuberant, some cautious, watch Northern Alliance tanks rumble down the streets of the capitalWith an abandon he said he had not felt in years, 17-year-old Ahmad Zaki chased down a soccer ball on the dusty Wazeer field in central Kabul on Thursday, November,HOPE ROLLS IN: Residents of Kabul, some exuberant, some cautious, watch Northern Alliance tanks rumble down the streets of the capitalWith an abandon he said he had not felt in years, 17-year-old Ahmad Zaki chased down a soccer ball on the dusty Wazeer field in central Kabul on Thursday, November 15. His teammates and opponents yelped in delight as they ran after him, laughing at the tightness of his athletic shorts. He hadn’t worn them since he was 13.Their skills rusty but their enthusiasm at a peak Zaki and his friends took advantage of the third day of the Taliban’s absence in the Afghan capital to break at least two rules laid down by the hardline regime after it captured Kabul in 1996: playing sports and wearing short pants. “I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was young,” Zaki said, out of breath during a pause in the game. “Now I hope I can play every day.”KICKING AWAY THE PAST: A Kabul civilian pays his tribute to a dead soldier of his former Taliban rulersSmall scenes like this played out across the capital in the immediate aftermath of Northern Alliance troops taking control of the streets on November 13. They were the first signs of the tentative rebirth of a city. A boxing club – closed in 1997 by the Taliban, who wanted to turn it into a sandal factory – was refitted with its former punching bags and readied to reopen.In the Jamhuriat marketplace, cassette vendors blared previously forbidden Indian and Persian pop music from tiny loudspeakers, and openly hawked cassettes featuring pictures of unveiled beauties to crowds of young men and boys. Even a few western titles, such as a recording by Jennifer Lopez and the soundtrack of Legends of the Fall, could be found among the formerly dreary music selection.advertisementA few days earlier, customers who hoped to buy such wares had to arrange to meet the vendor at a secret location. “Under the Taliban, we were allowed to sell only religious music and recorded readings of the holy Koran,” said Ahmad Farid, who operates a cassette stall with his brother, Nisar. THE COLOUR OF VENGEANCE: Bodies of Taliban soldiers on the road leading to Kabul”Now I think business will improve.” It had been a heady 48 hours. As Northern Alliance troops rolled into Kabul on November 13 morning despite assurances they would remain outside the city, tens of thousands of surprised residents poured into the streets to welcome the new force in control of the capital, with expressions ranging from cautious optimism to uninhibited joy.After a hasty withdrawal of Taliban officials and military forces on Monday night, an estimated 6,000 Northern Alliance soldiers and police waited just hours before capturing Afghanistan’s biggest prize. At 10 a.m., the first truck-loads of heavily armed fighters entered the city from the north, fanning out to key staging areas, and drawing cheers, especially from young people who had chafed at the repressive Taliban regime.A cart carrying civilians gives way to a Northern Alliance T-62 tank speeding towards Rabat”This is unbelievable, like suddenly being let out of prison,” said 23-year-old Wafiulah Darwish as he waved at passing trucks overloaded with soldiers. “Last night the Taliban left, today the United Front arrives, and tomorrow I will shave my beard and buy a pair of jeans.”But many older residents of Kabul were more guarded in their enthusiasm, having endured nearly a quarter-century of almost constant clashes between forces tugging for control of the capital. “The mujahideen have been here before and made a mess of things, just like the Taliban and the Russians,” said Nabit Marzai, 63. “We will see if this lot can behave better.”Despite his doubts, though, Marzai could not help but return the traditional Afghan greeting, his right hand over his heart, to a group of soldiers. Fears that a Northern Alliance takeover of Kabul could result in wide – spread looting and violence seemed, for the moment, largely unfounded. But the deployment also failed to prevent scattered incidents of mob violence.LIFE STYLE, STRIFE-STYLE: A young girl stands in front of dresses on display in Kabul. Women forced to wear burqas were suddenly welcome at shops selling western-style clothing, reflecting a sartorial tectonic shiftIn a neighbourhood near the Kabul airport, more than a hundred Afghan residents dragged a man they identified as Pakistani through the streets, punching him and pelting him with stones to cheers of “Death to Pakistan!” Northern Alliance forces eventually arrived and hustled the man into a bus.At the home of Taliban Defence Minister Mullah Obaidullah, who apparently fled the city on the night of Monday, November 12, Northern Alliance guards kept Pakistan resident Abdul Ghani locked in a downstairs bathroom, his wrists bound with a headscarf. Claiming to have been brought forcibly to Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban, Ghani had been “arrested” on the street by Kabul residents early on Tuesday morning, said guard Mohammad Aziz. “We will keep him here until we have the facilities to put him on trial,” said Aziz. advertisementAn Afghan man shakes hands with a teenaged neighbour in the sort of streetside encounter that was banned by the Taliban and would probably give Mullah Omar the shivers”He will not be physically harmed.” Other areas of the city bore more grisly signs of a chaotic shift of power. In a park near the city centre, the bodies of three men identified by onlookers as Taliban sympathisers lay bloodied by multiple gunshot wounds. On the northern outskirts of town, the corpses of four apparent Taliban fighters were strewn by a roadside, their mouths stuffed with Pakistani banknotes by killers angry at the neighbouring country’s support for the Taliban.Widespread looting was reported in the early morning hours of November 13, including at a Red Cross storage facility and the home of one of the organisation’s expatriate staff members.PSSST PLEASURES: Kabulis ogle at postcards of Indian actorsSuch reports were cited by the Northern Alliance as justification for the takeover of the city. “We had not planned to move into Kabul, but when the Taliban left there were many bad elements in the city, with weapons at their disposal who put at risk the safety of the citizens,” said Abdullah Abdullah, the foreign minister of the Northern Alliance’s political wing.Though relatively efficient because of the sheer numbers of soldiers on the streets, the first steps at law enforcement by the Northern Alliance appeared somewhat confused. Newly inaugurated police officers, wearing confiscated traffic warden helmets, checked many cars for weapons, but seemed bewildered in their efforts to control the frenzied flow of automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians.A man carries a video player out of a shopA few of the city’s traffic wardens who remained after the Taliban’s exit offered tips to their new colleagues. “My bosses fled with the Taliban, but they said I should just go to work as usual,” said Nuraghman Omani, a 13-year veteran of traffic control in Kabul.”Now maybe I will get a promotion. The early changes in the behaviour of Kabul residents were far from universal. At the Shahala family’s home-based, underground beauty parlour, formerly illegal due to the Taliban edict against women wearing makeup, patriarchs barred foreign visitors from seeing the beauticians and their customers. “We do not allow access to our women,” said Sahid Sahala, who declined to give the name of his sister who runs the beauty parlour.A young Afghan shaves for the first time in five years”Even if we open a legitimate salon some day, we will provide access to customers only. As in other areas of Afghanistan, most women in Kabul continued in public to wear the head-to-toe burqas; a few shed the heavy garment and showed their faces for the first time. The Northern Alliance announced that it would encourage women to seek employment outside their homes and to gain an education – both forbidden under Taliban rule. That announcement came over the airwaves of the newly renamed Radio Afghanistan, and the radio station quickly followed the advice; it hired three women to read the news. The station also played popular Afghan music along with public service announcements urging residents to stay calm, obey the law, and return to work.advertisementVANQUISHED: Taliban prisoners on the way to Kabul. Some of the few Taliban sympathisers who remained in Kabul were shot dead, while a suspected Pakistani bore the brunt of mob furyDespite the public relations push, the Northern Alliance had to square many circles. A battle still raged in Jalalabad and Kandahar. The leadership issue was still a question mark. At a traffic booth near the empty Ministry of Communication building, a crowd of about 30 men jostled for a better view of a photocopied image of Ahmed Shah Masood, the Alliance’s war hero, assassinated in September. Most of the onlookers refused to budge as others tried to elbow in for a view.FREEDOM ON AIR: The logo of Radio Afghanistan being reinstalled in Kabul. The station has hired three women newscasters.For at least 15 minutes, those close enough read again and again the quote inscribed below Masood’s photo: “We may find enough food to eat and enough water to drink, but life is meaningless without emancipation.” “We are all still in mourning for our lost leader,” said Bariolai Osmoni, 38. “My only wish is that our country can produce other great leaders who can make Afghanistan proud and independent.”Throw in “peaceful” and “stable” and you have the whole world’s prayers.last_img read more