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  Giving us back Parliament's photographic heritage  
Publication: Masithethe - Parliament's newsletter
Publication Date: 6 September 2016

Since May 2012 Parliament through Multimedia Production Unit, embarked on a "reclamation" project, which aims to return all the lost content depicting the history of Parliament, including photographs and audio-visual materials dating back to 1994.

Zwelethemba Kostile, the Multimedia Archivist, said that the project is proving to be producing positive results as currently the multimedia archive is in possession of photographic prints that depict the first Parliament's official visits by heads of states which were never there.

This would not have been possible if it wasn't for the generosity of the renowned and respected photographer, Mr Guenther Komnick.

During the first Parliament, Mr Komnick used to volunteer his photography services to Parliament and managed to produce six albums.

He then donated his historic photographic collection to the then Secretary to Parliament, Mr Robin Douglas, as a personal gift, during his tenure which ended on 1 December 1996.

The six albums of photographic prints contain the following historic official visits:

  1. Mr Francois Mitterand, President of the Republic of France (4 July 1994)
  2. Dr Robert Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe (16 August 1994)
  3. Mr John Major, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (20 September 1994)
  4. Mr Ingvar Carlsson, Prime Minister of Sweden (20 February 1995)
  5. Mr Joaquim Chissano, President of the Republic of Mozambique (01 March 1995)
  6. Queen Elizabeth II (20 March 1995)
The photographic prints became useful during the Mandela Icon Project and the celebrations of the 20th Year of a Democratic Parliament.

"We were able to utilize some of these images to showcase our remarkable history since the dawn of our democratic Parliament. Through the generosity of Mr Komnick, Parliament achieved a milestone in filling the gap left by the lost or missing historical information." says Akhona Ndlela, Multimedia Specialist.

Thanks to Mr Komnick for allowing Parliament to use his valuable material perpetually and for formalizing it by the signing of an agreement.