SA owes enshrined human rights to sacrifices like those made at Sharpeville: Zuma
South Africa now enjoys a stable constitutional democracy where everyone is entitled to equal human rights because of the sacrifices of the people of Sharpeville‚ Langa‚ Soweto and many other parts of our country‚ President Jacob Zuma says.
In a speech in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape commemorating Human Rights Day‚ Zjuma said the marking of this day “was born out of the huge sacrifices made by brave men and women who fought for freedom in the face of extreme brutality by the apartheid regime”.
“On 21 March 1960‚ sixty nine people were brutally killed by the apartheid police and scores were injured‚ when they were shot at during a peaceful anti-pass protest march to Sharpeville police station.
“The ruthless incident shocked the whole world. Many were also brutally killed in Langa in Cape Town on the same day. They were marching to declare their right to freedom of movement in the land of their birth‚” Zuma said.
In another tragic incident 28 people were killed in Langa‚ Uitenhage in March 1985‚ during the 25th anniversary commemoration of Sharpeville.
“We pay tribute to all of them for their selfless contribution. We shall never forget their sacrifices for freedom‚ equality and justice.
“Our country now enjoys a stable constitutional democracy where everyone is entitled to equal human rights because of the sacrifices of the people of Sharpeville‚ Langa‚ Soweto‚ KwaMashu‚ Tzaneen‚ Zeerust‚ Giyani and many other parts of our country‚” Zuma added.
He said the year 2017 was also the 40th anniversary of the brutal murder of black consciousness leader and liberation struggle icon Steve Biko – noting also that the sports ground where he was speaking was the historic venue where his emotionally charged funeral was held.
Earlier on Tuesday‚ Zuma joined Biko’s widow Nontsikelelo and family to unveil and hand over the Biko monument to the family.