Pres Zuma to address Human Rights Day gathering

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma will address the nation in remembrance of Human Rights Day under the theme ‘Celebrating 20 years of changing lives through human rights’ at the Sharpville cricket pitch. 

He is expected to highlight the achievements the country has made in changing the lives of South Africans since the adoption and protection of human rights in 1994.

The President will also chart a way forward on how the country should confront the challenges of social ills that perpetually violate human rights.

The celebration provides the country with an opportunity to reflect on progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights.

South Africans are today called on to celebrate living in a country that guarantees that never again will humanity be taken from any South African, irrespective of their race, gender, creed or sexual orientation.

Human Rights Day is a national day that is commemorated annually on 21 March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. 

On 21 March 1960, 69 people were brutally killed, while 180 more sustained injuries when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered to protest against the Pass laws. The day emphasizes government’s commitment to ensure that every person who resides in South Africa enjoys equal rights.

Many other people were killed in other parts of the country. The incident became to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre and it exposed the apartheid government’s deliberate violation of human rights to the world.

Government aims to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of their race, gender, creed, sexual orientation and cultural systems. This year’s theme encourages everyone who lives in the country to join hands to celebrate the achievements and reflect on progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Government has and will continue to host various activities throughout the month to remind all South African residents to continue working together to further consolidate democracy and celebrate the achievements of 20 years of freedom and democracy. -

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