Tinyiko Maluleke | It is Sharpeville Day. Not Human Rights Day

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Robert Sobukwe reads a newspaper and smokes in his cell at the prison on Robben Island. He was imprisoned from 1960 until his death in 1978.
Robert Sobukwe reads a newspaper and smokes in his cell at the prison on Robben Island. He was imprisoned from 1960 until his death in 1978.
Bettmann/Getty

Tinyiko Maluleke writes that he is sympathetic to the spirited attempts of Nelson Mandela and the ANC to create a new nation out of a desperate people, and to manage rather than aggravate our violent past. But he is of the view that this must not be done in ways that lead to us telling ourselves lies.

As the sky began to lighten on the late summer's morning in South Africa, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe left his home in Soweto to walk to the nearest police station. He was going to demand that he be arrested.  

With these words, which recall the beginnings of the peaceful protest of Monday, 21 March 1960, the erstwhile Rand Daily Mail journalist Benjamin Pogrund opens his classic: Robert Sobukwe: How Can a Man Die Better. Notably, this year, 21 March falls on a Monday, once again.

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