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Topnews, South Africa, International relations

20. March 2014

SOUTH AFRICA TO COMMEMORATE HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2014 IN SHARPEVILLE

The democratic Government declared 21 March Human Rights Day to commemorate and honour those who fought for our liberation and the rights we enjoy today.

South Africans will commemorate the national Human Rights Day, 21 March 2014, at George Thabe Cricket Pitch in Sharpeville, Gauteng. The theme for this year’s Human Rights Day is “Celebrating 20 Years of Changing Lives through Human Rights”. President Jacob Zuma will speak at the event.

The 1960s were characterised by systematic defiance and protest against apartheid and racism across the country. On 21 March 1960, the community of Sharpeville and Langa townships, like their fellow compatriots across the country, embarked on a protest march to protest against pass laws. The apartheid police shot and killed 69 of the protesters at Sharpeville. Many other people were killed in other parts of the country. The tragedy came to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre and it exposed the apartheid government’s deliberate violation of human rights to the world.

Our Constitution is hailed as one of the most progressive in the world. The Constitution is the ultimate protector of our human rights, which were previously denied to the majority of our people under apartheid. We commemorate Human Rights Day to reinforce our commitment to the Bill of Rights as enshrined in our Constitution.

Government will host various activities (www.dac.gov.za) throughout Human Rights Month to remind all South Africans to continue working together to uphold the culture of human rights.

Human rights come with responsibilities and we all have the responsibility to build a society that respects the rule of law.

Read more: http://www.dirco.gov.za/dircoenewsletter/newsflash103-20-03-2014.html

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