The events of 21 March 1960 were not random. They were the result of careful mobilising and a combined effort aimed at achieving a specific goal. In this case, fighting pass laws. What this combined effort did achieve was to push the government of the day to declare a state of emergency on 30 March 1960. However, on 13 April 2011, we watched as a group of police beat Andries Tatane to death during a service protest in Ficksburg and on 16 August 2012, South Africans stood by and watched as police opened fire on a group of strikers.
Reflecting on what Human Rights Day means, Activator Nqaba Mpofu writes, ‘While the events of this day also mark a fundamental attack on the pass laws of the apartheid system, the public today has a further challenge of devising peaceful yet effective means of demonstration. Maybe it is safe to admit that we as the youth, and as a nation, have been playing a waiting game in many areas pertinent to our rights.’
What happened to that spirit of solidarity of 1960? How do we protect our freedoms in the context of a dispensation we have chosen? Join ACTIVATE! in a Twitter interview with Janet Jobson on 04 April from 12pm to 1pm #ActivateEngage