Joburg salutes heroic De Bruyn

South Africa
Sophie De Bruyn led the August 9, 1956 march against Pass Laws. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg has honoured Sophie De Bruyn, a veteran anti-apartheid activist, with the Freedom Of The City accolade for her contribution to the liberation struggle.

De Bruyn is celebrated particularly for her efforts in the advocacy of women’s rights in the country’s history of oppression.

The 75-year-old is the only surviving member in the leadership that organised the anti pass law march for women in 1956.

Together with Lilian Ngoyi, who represented black women, Rahima Moosa - who was representing Indian women - and Helen Joseph, who stood for the dissenting white women, De Bruyn mobilised an intimidating crowd of no less than twenty thousand females of all races on August 9, 1956.

They marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to deliver a memorandum that demanded the State to do away with the Pass Laws.

Different political parties thanked De Bruyn in a special council sitting at the Nasrec Expo centre on Thursday – all agreeing that the dream of a ’Rainbow Nation’ wouldn’t have been realised had it not been of her sacrifices and those of her peers.

After receiving the certificate of acknowledgment, the former trade unionist told reporters that the struggle of today’s young women needs both the young and old working together for a better tomorrow.

“I believe the younger ones are intelligent enough to know what is expected of them. We should be careful how we conduct ourselves as women,” De Bruyn added.

The families of the three other women who fought alongside De Bruyn were in attendance to receive accolades on behalf of the late stalwarts.   

-eNCA

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