On what would’ve been Bram Fischer’s 106 birthday, Mangaung Metro will trace the life and times of a Free Stater who strived for social cohesion and social justice in South Africa. The Executive Mayor of Mangaung Metro Municipality, Cllr. Thabo Manyoni will host, the First Annual Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture.
Born into a rich Afrikaner Bloemfontein family on 23 April 1908, Bram Fischer was described by the late Dr Nelson Mandela, amongst others, “As an Afrikaner whose conscience forced him to reject his own heritage and be ostracised by his own people…he showed a level of courage and sacrifice that was in a class by itself”.
Bram Fischer studied law at the University of the Free State, following which he became a top advocate in Bloemfontein. He joined the South African Communist Party when it was frowned upon for a person from a predominant Afrikaner background to do so. Fischer was further ostracised by his community when he joined the legal team representing political prisoners in the infamous Rivonia Trial.
In honour of the enormous contribution that the late Bram Fischer contributed towards bringing about the current democratic dispensation, the then State President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki renamed the Mangaung headquarters which were known as Glass Palace to Bram Fisher Building in 2002. A decade later, the Bloemfontein Airport was revamped and renamed Bram Fischer International Airport by the state president Jacob Zuma in 2012.
Through this memorial lecture, which will become an annual event, the city seeks to sustain the legacy of the icon Bram Fischer, in order to educate and inspire the entire nation, particularly the youth and students who are the future of our country.