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SA must not rely on hand-outs - Mushwana

SAHRC chairperson Lawrence Mushwana says warned South Africans against relying on hand-outs from the state.

DA leader Helen Zille prepares to lay a wreath at the Sharpeville memorial on 21 March 2013. Picture: Shain Germaner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - SA Human Rights Commission chairperson Lawrence Mushwana on Thursday urged South Africans not to rely on hand-outs from the state, but rather to insure their own socio-economic freedom.

Hundreds of South Africans have gathered at the Ndekweni Community Sports Centre outside Paarl.

President Jacob Zuma and several ministers are expected to address them in the next hour.

Zuma was punctual and sang to the music in the community centre.

Mushwana told the people to take initiative and responsibility for their economic freedom.

He reiterated the importance of not waiting for hand-outs to ensure socio-economic freedom for all.

He slammed the high levels of corruption and wasteful spending is some provincial departments.

He named the right to human dignity and protection from violence as cornerstones of the country's constitution.

GAUTENG

Thousands of people are taking part in a march in Sharpeville to commemorate Human Rights Day.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane spent some time earlier with the families of those who died in the Sharpeville massacre 53 years ago.

MECs, opposition parties and thousands of South Africans have descended on the township for Human Rights Day.

Arts and Culture MEC Lebogang Maile said South Africans must be reminded of their humanity on Human Rights Day.

"We must be responsible as the citizens of the country because if we don't become responsible the gains that we've made since 1994 could be easily reversed."

Mokonyane will address the crowd at the end of the march.

She is expected to touch on violence against women and children.

The scourge has made headlines following the rape and mutilation of Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen.

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