Mar 21 – Human Rights Day


Today is Human Rights Day, when South Africans commemorate the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, in which more than 60 people were slaughtered by the apartheid security police during a protest against the odious pass laws, which mandated that all “natives” had to carry documents authorizing their presence in any given area.

Practical note on SA public holidays: banks and post offices are closed, as are many shops; and trains, buses and minibus taxis run limited services.

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Under South Africa’s new Constitution (about to turn 10 years old), human rights are entrenched in a comprehensive Bill of Rights, and are safeguarded by the SA Human Rights Commission – something to celebrate in conjunction with today’s ceremonies of remembrance.