Zuma to lead National Human Rights Day commemoration

The South African Human Rights Commission says it’s encouraged that citizens are becoming increasingly aware of their rights.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma is expected to lead today’s National Human Rights Day commemoration in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape.

The event is scheduled to get underway this morning.

On this day in 1960, police opened fire during a mass march against South Africa’s pass laws.

Sixty-nine people were killed and 180 more were wounded.

As South Africa marks 57 years since the massacre, the South African Human Rights Commission says it’s encouraged that citizens are becoming increasingly aware of their rights.

The Commission’s Gail Smith says: “In an ideal world we wouldn’t be needed as the Human Rights Commission but we’re very heartened by the fact that increasingly South Africans are becoming aware of their rights and they’re reaching out if they feel their rights are being violated.”

In Gauteng, several events are planned to mark the day.

Premier David Makhura and Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane are both expected to attend a gathering in Sharpeville.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)