Today in history: Sharpeville massacre takes place

By Drum Digital
21 March 2015

The Sharpeville Massacre, took place on 21 March 1960, when police shot down over protesters just outside a Sharpeville police station.

Date: 21 March, 1960

The protest was part of the countrywide anti-pass campaign launched by the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). The objective was to force the apartheid government to end the pass-laws which required Africans to carry passes at all times.

The police claimed that they opened fire on the protesters because they were under threat, but evidence proved the contrary; most of the crowd were shot in the back and no weapons were found on the scene. The official total found that 180 people were shot and 69 people were killed by the police.

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