District Six 2020 Walk going “Beyond Reconciliation”

This year’s District Six Reconciliation Day Interfaith Walk is reaching “Beyond Reconciliation” to share a vision for positive action. For the first time, the annual observance will take place online with engagement beyond Cape Town’s District Six and the Bo-Kaap, to Durban and Johannesburg.

DATE: 16th December 2020

TIME: 9:30am GMT+2


This year’s annual event represents an extraordinary, broad-based coalition. The 90-minute gathering will begin at 09:30 with Voice of the Cape show host Yazeed Kamaldien serving as master of ceremonies. Following presentations by the civic, religious and historic organisations, Kamaldien will preside over a panel discussion on how we move “beyond reconciliation.” Participants include Sheigh Ismail Keraan, Imam, Al Azhar Masjied, Jacqueline Poking, Secretary, Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association, and Dr. Spiwo Xapile, co-founder, The Platform for the Construction of Preffered Futures. The event is free and open to the public.

“This annual remembrance has always affirmed the interfaith, intercultural harmony that defined the District Six community,” said Bishop Augustine Joemath, Moravian Hill Chapel, District Six, Reconciliation Day Interfaith Walk Committee member. “These higher aspirations are needed now to face many unresolved issues enflamed by the pandemic. Going online affords us an opportunity to take this call for unity national and raise the broader challenges of restitution, reconstruction and renewal.”

Piyushi Kotecha, Chief Executive of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, said: “The forced removal of the people and destruction of District Six defined apartheid’s inhumanity, together with events such as the 1960 Sharpville massacre and the youth-led revolt of June 1976. The district’s continued brokenness today symbolises the unfinished business of healing and reckoning with the past. Its erstwhile legacy of vibrancy and multiculturalism is a flickering flame from yesterday to remind us what is possible tomorrow.”

Dr. Ela Gandhi, Trustee of the Phoenix Settlement and co-President of the World Conference in Religions for Peace, will be participating in the panel. She sees unity as key to moving forward. “We are honoured to help carry the District Six message to help inspire positive change,” she said. “That reverberates strongly with the
Phoenix Settlement here in KwaZulu-Natal. Honouring the memory of their losses creates the foundation for working towards a better future for all.”

While forward-looking, the event is grounded in understanding of the meaning of Reconciliation Day. Nicholas Wolpe, CEO and Founder of Liliesleaf, the renown national heritage site in Johannesburg, says that understanding and embracing the holiday’s meaning has ever-greater importance. “It is essential to
remember the visions of unity that inspired Reconciliation Day,” he said. “In these hard times, we must remember the insurmountable challenges of the struggle. We’ve seen miraculous change in the midst of adversity, and that spirit is ours to summon.”

Register for the event through this link:
Additional Contact:
Laurie Gaum
Chairperson, District Six Reconciliation Day Interfaith Walk Committee

Key partner organisations:
Al Azhar Masjied
Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association:
Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies
Cape Town Interfaith Initiative
Cape Town Unitarians
Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation:
District Six Museum
District Six Working Committee
Groote Kerk
Holy Cross Church District Six
Liliesleaf, a Site of Memory and Conscience
Moravian Hill Chapel
Religions for Peace South Africa
St. Mark’s District Six
District Six Reconciliation Day Interfaith Walk Committee