THE party that led the Sharpeville march against the dompas (pass), the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), say land is the reason why many lost their lives on March 21, 1960. Insisting that the deaths were a result of land dispossession and the arrival of colonial forces in 1652, the party said that stolen land was at the centre of Human Rights Day. National spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe said that mainstream media was distorting the events of the day.
“It must also be recorded that Nyakane Tsolo was the leader of the PAC in Sharpeville and he should be remembered. “People should stop being obsessed with their little heroes who ran away on the eve of the Sharpeville/Langa Massacre,” he said. Mokgatlhe said that the PAC had condemned the government on caring only on days of commemoration, while for the people of Sharpeville, lives haven’t developed or improved.
He said that the PAC was the forerunner in both the historical and political landscape of the countries fight for liberation. “It is also disheartening to see that 58 years after the deadly and brutal massacre as well as 23 years after democracy, our people’s misfortunes have not changed – instead their living conditions deteriorate daily. “To make matters worse, Sharpeville is a ‘home’ to the country’s Constitution but the same Constitution, which is overrated by the West, does not serve the interests of the citizens of its country.” He said that as a party they do not appreciate the reduction of the day to a mere Human Rights Day and that its proper name is Sharpeville/Langa Day.
Furthermore, he said March 21 did not need the endorsement of anyone as it is recorded and codified with the blood of the dispossessed Africans. He said it was on March 21 that Robert Sobukwe initiated the Anti-Pass (Dompas) campaign, which resulted in the Sharpeville/Langa Massacre where the apartheid machinery opened fire on thousands of unarmed, dispossessed Africans. “It should also be taken into account that the day should not be used as a social jamboree but to reflect on our progress and failures from 1960 until now. “The only way to honour the fallen hero is to repossess the land stolen from African people into the hands of African people,” he said.