Zuma calls on South Africans to unite

President Jacob Zuma has called for a spirit of unity in remembrance of liberators like OR Tambo.

 FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – Human Rights Day commemorations should be used as an opportunity to reflect on the past and ensure it’s never allowed to repeat itself, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

He paid tribute to the 69 people who were gunned down during the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. At least 180 protesters were also wounded in the incident.

Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko and his contribution to freedom have also been remembered, with the unveiling of a revamped memorial grave site.

The president was joined by his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, and several members of Cabinet in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape.

Zuma called for a spirit of unity in remembrance of liberators like OR Tambo, who kept the African National Congress movement united during difficult times.

“He strove for unity at all times and this should inspire us to work together to achieve our dream of a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.”

Meanwhile, the ANC says South Africans should recommit themselves to the values which define the nation.

Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says they commend government for its dedication to human rights day.

“Steve Biko is one of the leaders who fought to unite, amongst others, black people. I think it’s important that we continue to carry that message and enlighten our people. Unity among black people, the oppressed, and unemployed and the disadvantaged, is quite important - even today. We must unite (against) all these ills that continue to undermine human rights.”

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)