From human wrongs to Human Rights

  • Posted: Mar 16, 2017

Free Entry to Iziko museums on Human Rights Day

South Africa will officially celebrate Human Rights Day, on Tuesday, 21 March. To commemorate this day, Iziko Museums of South Africa in Cape Town will offer *free entry to all its museums (*excluding Groot Constantia).

History is filled with the stories of the marginalized, oppressed and enslaved. The Iziko Slave Lodge Museum, one of the oldest buildings in the Cape, despite its oppressive legacy, strives to transform from a space of human wrongs to a site of human rights. Exhibitionsand programmes hosted hereaim to raise awareness of human rights issues and sharing the untold narratives of Slavery in the Cape.

Explore the countless aspects of our history, identity, and culture at the Iziko Slave Lodge DiscoverSinging Freedom: Music and the struggle against apartheid. This exhibition unpacks the songs and melodies - carried in the hearts of people - that encouraged and inspired the calls to action that led South Africa to democracy.  My Naam is Februarie: Identities Rooted in Slaverybrings into memory the forgotten history of slavery, when the names of the enslaved were stripped away and they were renamed for the month they arrived at the Cape of Good Hope.

“Today, our rights are enshrined in the Constitution. The Bill of Rights affords individuals’ rights for equality; human dignity; life; freedom and security; privacy; freedom of religion, belief and opinion; freedom of expression; freedom of association; and education. This is a privilege we should cherish and we should enable everyone to enjoy this privilege through our democracy through the exhibitions and research programmes that are had at the Iziko Museums of South Africa. The museum is also your forum” says Iziko CEO, Rooksana Omar.

The country remembers the day in 1960 when anti-apartheid demonstrators in Sharpeville near Johannesburg were gunned down by police. The Sharpeville massacre took place on Monday, 21 March as police opened fire on about 5 000 people who had come to protest against ‘’dom-pass’’ laws.  

Iziko commemorates the Human Rights Day by providing visitors the opportunity to ‘’travel through time’’, delve into the past and explore the museums for free. 

Visitors can reflect on contemporary times at the Iziko South African National Gallery,  where The Art of Disruptionsshowcases works by artists who employ different strategies to actively ‘break apart’, challenge and complicate the traditional boundaries and hierarchies of culture and society, as represented by those in power. These artworks engage with a range of topical issues such as racism, inequality, and environmental denigration.

Step back in time at the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum where Between States of Emergency: Photographers in action 1985 to 1990features 40 photographers who took a stand against the oppressive apartheid regime. It provides a rich visual archive of the turbulent South African political landscape.

Free entry *excludes Groot Constantia Manor House Museum. Iziko Bertram House, Planetarium and Old Town House are currently closed for important renovations. Iziko will advise on reopening dates in due course.



  • Human Rights Day: 21 March
  • Freedom Day: 27 April
  • International Museum Day: 18 May
  • Africa Day: 25 May
  • Youth Day: 16 June
  • National Women’s Day: 9 August
  • Heritage Week: 18-24 September
  • National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December
  • Emancipation Day: 1 December
  • Day of Reconciliation: 16 December


Issued by:  Melody Kleinsmith
Marketing and Communications Manager, Institutional Advancement,
Iziko Museums of South Africa
Tel: 0214813861 Cell: 0731074955 Email:

On behalf of:  Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa

Notes to editor:

About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)

Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and three collection‑specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure. The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium). Visit our webpage, join our online community on Facebook( or follow us on Twitter(@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions. Iziko Bertram House and Old Town House are currently closed for important maintenance. Iziko will advise on reopening dates in due course.


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