Marking the human rights day, the Black First Land First (BLF) movement upheld that the African National Congress (ANC) government whitewashed the blood of Sharpeville with words.
According to BLF, the ANC government’s decision to recognize the tragic history of Sharpeville as human right day, was meant to hide the truth.
“The ANC government has decided to call it human rights day. By doing this, the ANC government has erased the truth of the day by not calling it what it was – a massacre that happened in Sharpeville before spreading to the other black zones up to the dusty streets of Cape Town’s townships,” BLF stated.
With that, the movement demanded for acknowledgement, reparations, and work to realise justice. To them, the fight was for land and dignity that comes with the land. And, the only real basis for moving forward is the return of land.
“Today, Black First Land First (BLF) remembers the hundreds of our people who were murdered by the apartheid regime for standing up and saying ‘enough is enough’.
Today, we remember and honor the leadership and legacy of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. We remember his exemplary motto of ‘Serve, Suffer, Sacrifice’. Sobukwe led from the front. He was prepared to suffer for his beliefs.
Today we note that those who murdered and maimed our people remain free. Those who massacred our people have not been called to account. We note that there has been no acknowledgement, nor have there been any reparations for the Sharpville massacre of March 21, 1960.”
With the above, BLF agitated that those who suffered and lost families in the Sharpville massacre must be compensated without further delay.
“We don’t need another Commission of Inquiry on reparations. Pay the people! They have suffered enough already!” BLF charged.
Meanwhile, ANC recognised the human rights day urging that key moments in SA history like 21 March should always serve as moments of reflection on the journey of the country and the aspirations.
“Rising from these painful episodes in history,” ANC said, “South Africans should use these days to recommit ourselves to the values we collectively said would define our new nation. A non-racial, non-sexist society where all enjoy equal rights.
“This demands therefore that we all work together to deepen and entrench a culture of human rights and amongst others reject any form of discrimination including xenophobia, religious intolerance and prejudicial treatment on the basis of sexual orientation etc.
“We must also reject those amongst us who continue to praise colonialism and the systematic oppression of our people, undermining the sacrifices of the oppressed majority of blacks in general and Africans in particular,” ANC added.