According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDF) the report for 2011, South Africa had a literacy rate of 88% we were 113 in the world literacy rankings. The sad story and killing of Huberta the famous hippo in 1931 is linked to literacy. Nicolaas Marx one of those guilty of this horrendous act could not read or write. Arguable that many farmers in those years were illiterate does not make the reality of how important literacy is any less.

The Shine Centre established in 2000 is an organization who is a volunteer-driven NGO which facilitates literacy in Grades 2 and 3 in school-based Shine Centres in Cape Town. Their website is Another organisation is that of Read to Rise a non-profit organisation committed to promoting youth literacy in schools in South Africa’s under-resourced communities. The website is

The legal team during the trial. Mr.R.G Beamish the prosecutor is standing second from left in the back row. In the front row second from left is Magistrate H.W. Drew who took the statements from the Marx family. In the front row second from the right is Magistrate A.G. Greer who was the magistrate for the case. His famous words astounded the court after he gave his verdict assuring the court that he was not influenced by the sentiment of the people. "If I were, I should sentence you to death today, but here we are, bound by law and not sentiment." The simple knowledge of reading and writing could have changed history.