Sharpeville massacre remembered but only just

Posted: 23/03/2015 in Current Affairs
LEST WE FORGET: MEC Panyaza Lesufi, MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza and Mayor Mahole Mofokeng laying wreath at the Sharpeville Monument Site in marking the 55th Anniversary of Massacre.

LEST WE FORGET: MEC Panyaza Lesufi, MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza and Mayor Mahole Mofokeng laying wreath at the Sharpeville Monument Site in marking the 55th Anniversary of Massacre. 

The commemoration of 21 March 1960 Sharpeville massacre is slowly but surely losing its significance and soon will be devoted to just a session at the cemeteries then that will be over, says a member of the Khulumani Support Group, an organisation supporting survivors and victims of the massacres, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

This comes after Gauteng Premier David Makhura who was expected to give a key note address snubbed the historical event in the eleventh hour for Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane’s burial who died in a car accident earlier in the week.

“Our government don’t take Sedibeng region seriously, as it stands there is deep unhappiness about the state of the graves of the 69 victims of the shooting on the fateful day; furthermore there are a lot of victims who still got bullets in their spines as a result they’re limping while others are bedridden and simultaneously die. We urge the government to assist us with medical funds,” pleaded the distraught member.

Fifty-five years ago, a group of between 5000 and 10 000 people marched to the Sharpeville police station in the then Transvaal area, to protest against the pass laws enforced by the apartheid government. While the crowd sang freedom songs, without warning the police opened fire on the crowd, killing 69 people and injuring 200.

The formerly known Sharpeville/Langa Day which the government took a shocking decision to commemorate in Soweto in 2012 is now celebrated as a national Human Rights Day.

Giving a keynote address on behalf of Premier Makhura, Infrastructure Development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said, “We will always remember this day as a turning point in our struggle for a free and equal South Africa. The event of that day shifted our struggle to new and decisive model. After that day a state of emergency was declared in our country. Let the memory of Sharpeville; inspire all of us to do more.”

In order to transform the economy and to eradicate poverty the government has implemented a ten pillar programme in 5 corridors. Between 7 to 11 Billion rand is to be invested into Sedibeng with the River City Project.

Meanwhile a stone throw-away, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) who led the pass-law march held its commemoration at the Sharpeville Hall. Deputy President Sibusiso Xaba said, “This day is a reminder of the significant role residents of the township played in the country’s struggle for liberation. It was a turning point in the fortunes of South Africa and we paid it with our blood, and we honour those who died that day.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s