Kgalema Motlanthe

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe Highlights Children’s Rights In Sandton

Former President, Kgalema Motlanthe, used his keynote address at the Annual Don Mattera Lecture 2023 to highlight the violation of children’s rights and pay tribute to the late Dr Don “Bra Zinga” Mattera.


  • The lecture was held on 27 May 2023, at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, in partnership with the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA).
  • The lecture reflected on the life of the world acclaimed poet and author, orator, community activist, struggle icon Dr Donato
  • Francesco Mattera, commonly known as Don Mattera.
  • ‘The Child’ was the theme for the second lecture held this year.
  • Visit for more stories.


According to the Former President, South Africa has a history of domestic recognition of children’s rights within the prescripts of the Freedom Charter.

We must remember that South Africa has a history of strong, proud, and vocal children who demanded that their rights be recognised both under apartheid and during the transition to democracy. However, for all the children’s rights that are enshrined in the constitution of the Republic, to this day we still have innocent children drowning in pit latrines. The need to access and actualise the children’s rights enshrined in the constitution is of paramount importance and ought to be a mobilising tool.

// Former President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe


Kgalema Motlanthe
Poet and performer, Lebo Mashile, delivered a poem that garnered loud applause. Image: Gautrain Management Agency (GMA)

To continue with the noble works of Bra Don, is not only to keep alive his beautiful legacy but rather to help fulfil UNICEF’s worldwide mission to promote the health and wellbeing of children.

// Former President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe


The Former President emphasised that Mattera loved children.

Even in his final years, Bra Don was concerned for the plight of the youth and still took up various projects aimed at uplifting the lives of children. One such project was Yolisa’s Magic Map, a Gautrain Management Agency children’s book which sought to inculcate a culture of deriving pleasure and mental stimulation from reading.

// Former President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe


The Chairperson of the Don Mattera Legacy Foundation (DMLF), Jenny Jeftha, thanked the former President for delivering the keynote address.

We looked at the work that the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation does and recognised a number of synergies. It was therefore an unanimous decision that this is the individual that should address us on this auspicious occasion.

// Chairperson of the Don Mattera Legacy Foundation (DMLF), Jenny Jeftha


The GMA Senior Executive Manager: Communication and Marketing, Albi Modise, highlighted that the Agency supports DMLF because it believes in the work of Mattera.

His writings and contribution to journalism in South Africa remain permanently etched in our collective thoughts. As the GMA, we celebrate and recognise Bra Zinga as an embodiment of resilience and non-racialism.

// Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) Senior Executive Manager: Communication and Marketing, Albi Modise


Watch the 2nd Annual Don Mattera Lecture on YouTube.


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