South Africans called to celebrate Human Rights Day

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pretoria – Cabinet has called on South Africans to celebrate Human Rights Day, which will be held in Sharpeville, Gauteng, on 21 March.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to address this year’s Human Rights Day, which will be held under the theme: Celebrating 20 years of changing lives through human rights.

“Cabinet calls on South Africans 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.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure that our human rights record and history are preserved and strengthened for future generations,” said Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams.

The date 21 March was officially declared a public holiday in 1994, following the inauguration of former President Nelson Mandela.

On 21 March in 1960 police opened fire, without order, on a crowd that had gathered at the Sharpeville station to protest pass laws, stipulations that required Africans to carry books and produce them for law enforcement officials on request, 69 unarmed people were killed and another 180 were injured. –

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