Sharpville residents protest ahead of Human Rights Day

By Drum Digital
20 March 2012

Residents of Sharpeville, in southern Gauteng, were burning tyres and marching on Tuesday because the main Human Rights Day celebrations were being held in Kliptown, Soweto, police said.

"It [the public holiday] is over the Sharpeville massacre. The people from Sharpeville are striking because they don't understand why [the celebrations] are now in Kliptown," said Constable Tshishiwa Mitileni.

Human Rights Day was previously known as Sharpeville Day to commemorate the shooting of 69 black protesters by the police in 1960.

Mitileni said the police had blocked off the main roads into Sharpeville to stop the protesters from damaging property.

He said the crowd was not violent, but was marching and some tyres had been set alight.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to deliver an address in Kliptown on Wednesday.

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