Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Youth Lost Meaning of Human Rights Day

Lebohang Pita

The 1960 Sharpeville massacre is one of the most tragic events that happened in apartheid South Africa. On this day 69 lives were lost while protesting against the pass laws imposed on black people by the apartheid government. However 51 years later and 17 years into freedom, the significance of this day has turned into an ultimate joke.

On the 21st of March 2011 members of Pan Africanists Congress (PAC) and Pan Africanists Movement of Azania (PASMA) gathered in Sharpeville where the massacre took place to commemorate the day. PASMA members tried without success to disrupt the ongoing entertainment at George Thabe stadium where their national organiser, Small Zondo, argues that this is not the manner in which the day should be commemorated.

“This day is part of our history which has been erased by charterists. It should be commemorated in an African way,” Zondo explains.

PASMA marched through Sharpeville on
Monday to remember those who died in the township
in 1960.
In remembrance of this historic day, and in respect of those who lost their lives, 21st March should be commemorated rather than the massive celebrations that take place. An elderly woman identifying herself as Gogo Mahlaba, a member of the ANC veteran’s league, says the youth should be taught South African history.

“People lost their lives while fighting for the freedom we are enjoying today and we celebrate instead of remembering those brave heroes, where is the respect? Our kids are drinking alcohol on this day of heroes which means they have no clue what this day means,” exclaims Mahlaba.

The massacre is and will always be a part of South Africa and I believe that the youth should rectify the wrongs done on this day and show appreciation for what those 69 people did for us when they paid with their lives.

1 comment:

  1. Well written. Not selective like other publications.