Women's March leader visits graves of fellow activists

File: Government's official Women's Day celebrations will be hosted in the Western Cape this year.

File: Government's official Women's Day celebrations will be hosted in the Western Cape this year.

JOHANNESBURG – The last surviving leader of the 1956 Women&39;s March, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, has visited the graves of her fellow activists.

On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, to protest against pass laws.

Williams-De Bruyn urged women to continue the fight for justice.

She described the day she marched on the frontlines, aged only 18. “We were not sure whether we were going to get arrested. But we didn’t think about fear. They say there is safety in numbers. When you are busy and your mind is occupied with the matter at hand, you don’t think about danger," she said.

Williams-De Bruyn led the march with Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Albertina Sisulu.

Rita Ndzanga, one of the 1956 protesters, explained: “We had to put on our overalls and pretend we are going to work because we are afraid of the police (sic). But we managed to get there and we said &39;wathint&39; abafazi, wathint&39; Iimbokodo&39;.” ("You strike a woman, you strike a rock.")