South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma will lead the national commemoration of Human Rights Day on Tuesday.
Political parties and government will on Tuesday remember the victims of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, where police shot dead 69 people during a protest against the country’s pass laws, which were used to control the movement of blacks, coloureds, and Indians.
The main event will be in King William’s Town. The highlight of the celebrations this year will include honouring Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, 40 years after he was murdered.
Zuma will join Biko’s widow Nontsikelelo Biko and family at their home town in Ginsberg, King William’s Town, to unveil Biko’s grave site and memorial, the Presidency said in a statement.
“This will be done in celebration of his contribution to the struggle for liberation and human rights for all in the country. The president will then proceed to the main commemoration event in King William’s Town.”
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas will deliver a speech in Uitenhage, Nelson Mandela Bay.
DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, will commemorate Human Rights Day in Sharpeville, Gauteng. He and Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba will lay wreaths at the site of the massacre. Some survivors of the shooting and relatives of the victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy are expected to be in attendance.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura will be at the event in Sharpeville. The day will include wreath-laying ceremonies at the Phelindaba Cemetery, where the victims of the massacre are buried, and at the monument next to the police station where they were shot.
The commemorations will include a 2km anti-racism and anti-xenophobia walk from the monument to George Thabe Stadium.