TimesLives reports that Vice president Cyril Ramaphosa has cancelled his trip to Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, for the 31st anniversary of Sharpville massacre.
It reported that a statement released by the Presidency says Vice president Cyril Ramaphosa was “scheduled to address the commemoration service of the 31st anniversary of the Uitenhage massacre in the Eastern Cape”.
But, “the South African Airforce aircraft in which Deputy President Ramaphosa was scheduled to fly to the Eastern Cape developed technical difficulties‚ necessitating the cancellation of the visit to the Eastern Cape.”
The statement further states that the “Deputy President Ramaphosa extends his thoughts and prayers to families of the victims of the 1985 Uitenhage massacre while wishing the best to the organisers of today’s commemoration service
South Africans officially celebrate Human Rights Day on 21 March. The day was declared a public holiday in 1994 after the inauguration of former President Nelson Mandela.
It is paramount to note that this same day is significant in the state because SA citizens pay special tribute to the tragic events of the Sharpeville massacre.
Nonetheless, this day also celebrates South Africa’s constitution, which embodies equal rights to every citizen.
The Sharpeville massacre took place on Monday, 21 March in 1960 after the police opened fire on about 5 000 protesters who marched to Sharpeville station to protest pass laws.
The ugly incidence left about 69 unarmed people dead while about 180 people were severely injured
This special day is also referred to as Heroes’ Day because the event sent a message to the world about the inhumanity of the apartheid regime,
Significantly, SA’s Human Rights Day on 21st March coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Meanwhile, as at the time of writing this report, President Jacob Zuma has started delivering his speech at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban where thousands of South Africans were seen, ready to be part of this special Day.
Prominent leaders from the ruling party present include Justice minister Michael Masutha, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa, Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga as well as Kwazulu-Natal premier, Senzo Mchunu.