PEN South Africa Supports the Unite Against Corruption Campaign

23 Sep 2015
Unite Against Corruption

PEN South Africa has added its name to the 300 plus organisations supporting the Unite Against Corruption campaign. The campaign aims to mobilise 100 000 people to march to the Union Building in Pretoria and Parliament in Cape Town on 30 September to protest the corruption that has become endemic in South Africa.

PEN SA member and Section 27 Executive Director Mark Heywood is on the steering committee and PEN SA board member Mike van Graan has been coordinating the involvement of artists in Cape Town in the campaign. More than 650 people in the arts have pledged their support, including PEN SA’s President Margie Orford and members Zakes Mda, Mark Gevisser and Niq Mhlongo among others.

PEN South Africa has made the decision to support this campaign because corruption, as we know through the work of Equal Education and Section 27, directly affects children at school, which impacts on them as citizens and as readers and participants in culture.

“Corruption is, in my view, a poison that affects a whole society eventually,” says Margie Orford.

PEN South Africa Executive Vice-President Mandla Langa recently wrote, “While writing is a solitary undertaking, it would serve us well to remember that we are part of a bigger community operating in a complex country. While we haven’t traditionally been the first to man the barricades, it’s high time we remembered our role to bear witness.”

With this in mind, we would like to urge PEN South Africa members and South African citizens in general to join the people’s march against corruption on 30 September. Read the Unite Against Corruption Call to Action and see the details of the marches on their website.

Mike will be meeting PEN SA members taking part in the Cape Town protest in the reception area of the Homecoming Centre at 15 Buitenkant Street. Members can gather at 11 AM and will leave for the march at about 11:30 AM.

(Image courtesy of Unite Against Corruption)