12 August 2021 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Sonia Small (Kaleidoscope Studios)
Prof Chita Twala
Prof Chitja Twala will serve on the Heritage National Authentication Panel for three years.

Mr Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, has appointed Prof Chitja Twala, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities, as a member of the Indigenous Knowledge / Intangible Cultural Heritage National Authentication Panel for a period of three years, starting on 1 August 2021.

Prof Twala has extensive experience 

Prof Twala is one the leading scholars on liberation and cultural history and has served as the Chairperson of the Free State Provincial Heritage Resources Authority, as well as Deputy Chairperson of the War Museum in Bloemfontein, among others. “In all these provincial and national portfolios, my contribution proved valuable,” Prof Twala says.

 Recommendations from cultural and heritage practitioners, as well as the MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation in the Free State, led to the national minister appointing him to serve on this panel. Prof Twala has also served on various heritage councils or boards, not only in the Free State, but nationally as well. He was also a member of the Free State Archives Committee, and a Council member of the South African Heritage Resources Agency. 

Heritage panel serves a greater good

“The purpose of the panel and its members is to advise and assist the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture in safeguarding and promoting South Africa’s indigenous knowledge systems in accordance with the department’s mandate,” Prof Twala says.  

The function of the panel is the following:

 To advise and adjudicate on the authenticity of all South African indigenous knowledge or intangible cultural heritage (IC)H items that will be presented for inclusion in the national inventory.

 To advise and adjudicate on elements of South Africa’s indigenous knowledge or ICH that need to be included in the national list of indigenous knowledge or ICH that are threatened by possible disappearance.

 To advise on a process of consultation between communities and various government spheres regarding the promotion and protection of indigenous knowledge within communities.

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