Zanele Mbeki, wife of former state president Thabo Mbeki, has urged South Africans not to take the Bill of Rights for granted.
Mbeki was speaking at Chatsworth Youth Centre on Saturday during a launch of two books by well-known authors Phyllis Naidoo and Neelan Govender.
Naidoo has written More Footprints that shaped our World while Govender has written Girrmit Tales - a collection of true-life Indian adventure stories collected over 40 years .
Both books are about the history of the people of this country before liberation.
"We all have a duty to respect and defend human rights as spelt out in the Bill of Rights - enshrined in our Constitution.
"But it is a pity that the majority of the people, including ourselves, take the Bill of Rights for granted," said Mbeki.
Mbeki said it was the responsibility of each and every individual to ensure that many more people took part in celebrating Human Rights Day, which was celebrated on Saturday.
"By participating in such celebrations, we would be doing exactly what we are supposed to do, which is to jealously guard the freedom we enjoy today," she said.
About the elections on April 27, Mbeki said: "Just in a month to come, we will celebrate 15 years of liberation. This should serve to remind us about all those who sacrificed their lives, all those who stood in long queues to cast their votes to make our country what it is today."
Naidoo said in her book, she takes the reader down the memory lane of what transpired during those dark days of apartheid. She said she was part of those volunteers who helped people search for their loved ones during and after the Soweto uprisings.
"Children as young as eight were detained," she said.