; Sharpeville massacre remembered – The Citizen

Sharpeville massacre remembered

FILE PIC -- Wounded people lie in the street, 21 March 1960 in Sharpeville, near Vereeniging, where at least 180 black Africans, most of them women and children, were injured and 69 killed, when South African police opened fire on black protestors. The protest was organized by the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) against pass laws, which required all blacks to carry pass books (identity cards) at all times. On 30 March 1960, the government declared a state of emergency, detaining more than 18,000 people. The Sharpeville massacre led to the banning of the ANC and PAC and signalled the start of armed resistance in South Africa with the foundation of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC, and Poqo, the military wing of the PAC. Picture: AFP

FILE PIC -- Wounded people lie in the street, 21 March 1960 in Sharpeville, near Vereeniging, where at least 180 black Africans, most of them women and children, were injured and 69 killed, when South African police opened fire on black protestors. The protest was organized by the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) against pass laws, which required all blacks to carry pass books (identity cards) at all times. On 30 March 1960, the government declared a state of emergency, detaining more than 18,000 people. The Sharpeville massacre led to the banning of the ANC and PAC and signalled the start of armed resistance in South Africa with the foundation of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC, and Poqo, the military wing of the PAC. Picture: AFP

Saturday marks the 55th anniversary of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, which saw 69 anti-pass law demonstrators tragically killed at the hands of the erstwhile apartheid security forces.

As has been the case since the dawn of democracy in 1994, an event has been organised by the Gauteng provincial government to commemorate Sharpeville Day, which is now known as Human Rights Day. Gauteng Premier David Makhura is expected to lead proceedings to commemorate the day. This year’s festivities will be celebrated under the theme “21 Years of Freedom and Democracy, The Right to Equality”.

Makhura will be joined by provincial MECs, executive mayors and councillors to pay tribute to victims and survivors of the massacre.

READ MORE: Robert Sobukwe, a lesser known hero

This year’s festivities will include the unveiling of a plaque for victims of the January 12, 1992, Nangalembe massacre in Sebokeng, the laying of wreaths at Phelindaba Cemetery and the Sharpeville Memorial, followed by a public address by Makhura. The main event will be preceded by a sod-turning ceremony for the Vaal River City Development.

This development is part of the economic interventions announced by Makhura in his state of the province address last month.

It entails a unique residential and commercial development which is also planned to create thousands of much needed jobs.

For more on The Citizen’s news team’s visit to the area and interviews with some of the survivors of the Sharpeville massacre, see tomorrow’s paper and visit citizen.co.za  

Here is a CBS network  interview with the daughter of one of the 69 protesters that were killed on that day.

 

 

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