Zuma to lead Human Rights Day celebrations

By Drum Digital
11 March 2015

This year’s annual Human Rights Day celebrations will be held in the Eastern Cape, and President Jacob Zuma will be the keynote speaker.

Human Rights Day, on 21 March, has been a public holiday in South Africa since 1994, and commemorates what has come to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre, where 69 people were brutally killed and close to 200 injured.

Spokesperson for the Department of Arts and Culture Sandile Memela says this year’s theme is “Celebrating the Freedom Charter, Enjoying Equal Human Rights for All”.

He added that the event will also mark the 30th anniversary of the Uitenhage Massacre, which occurred on 21 March 1985.

After police killed six youths, they also open fired on residents of Langa township who were marching to the funeral of four of the boys in KwaNobuhle, killing around 20 people and wounding at least 27 others.

The police blocked the road into the centre of Uitenhage with two armoured vehicles and ordered the crowd to disperse.

When the crowd didn’t comply immediately, they opened fire.

Today a new R89 million memorial building has been build to commemorate the tragedy, incorporating an amphitheatre, a conference room and a heroes’ wall. This comes after a R6,8 million heroes monument was vandalised numerous times.

-Source: SAnews.gov.za and saha.org.za

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