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Sharpeville Sources Question

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Nitin Tailor 10I Sharpeville Sources Question 1a: Sources A + B both describe events that took part in Sharpeville. Both sources describe actions taken by the police who were armed in Saracens. Both sources also describe that there were huge number of African people shouting in part of their actions in their demonstrations. 1b: Although sources A + B both describe events that took place in Sharpeville, they also differ slightly. In source A it is reported that the black people were greeting the police on the Saracens with grinning and cheerful, yet in source B, the report states the people were very violent and vented their feelings violently. In source A, it mentions a reporter being present at the scene, yet there is no mention of a reported in source B. The feeling in the two sources/reports also differs. Source A is backing the blacks and source B is backing the whites. Source A quotes "A constable shoved his rifle against my windshield, another pointing his rifle at my chest" this is where two heavily handed police officers force a black man out of his car. Source B quotes "soon the police station was virtually besieged by thousands of Africans shouting 'Africa, Africa", the English reporter is telling of the trouble caused by the thousands of Africans. 2: The impression source A gives us about Sharpeville is that the Africans are grinning and cheerful. ...read more.


In the background it looks like there is a helicopter, which was most probably brought in to defuse the situation. To decide which is more useful, it comes down to which one is more reliable, Source E is written from 1 point of view and Source G is a actual photo taken on the day of the events, I think source G is more useful as evidence of what happened in Sharpeville because if a lawyer or prosecution service wanted to have evidence they would rather want a photo then a statement. The photo shows more clearly the events then Source E. 5a: Colonel Piernaar who is the police commander at Sharpeville writes source H. Soon after the shootings, he summarised that if the blacks wanted to mess, they have to learn their lessons the hard way. He thought that the blacks were too violent and demonstrated violence. Source I is written by the prime minister of South Africa, he said that the crowd grew from 2000 to 20000 and that they got so violent the police had to open fire and killed 25 and wounded 50, when more accurate reports say that 68 were killed. The attitude shown by the South African authorities was one of disrespect. The police commander quoted the blacks as being "native", he also quoted that when his car was struck that "if they do these things, they must learn their lessons the hard way" It is very likely that ...read more.


At this period, apartheid was well intact when blacks were only allowed in white areas if they had a pass or was employed by a white person. The people who agreed with apartheid said that apartheid was a good thing, where as the blacks that didn't agree with apartheid said it was a bad thing. People disagree about events at Sharpeville because people heard different things from different points of view. The whites told everyone that the blacks were too violent and brought on apartheid themselves. Where as the blacks told everyone that the whites bullied them and that apartheid was unfair. People also disagree because of the biased sources. Source J issued by the South African Embassy in London said "the demonstrators shot first...." It then went on to say "nine policemen were brutally battered to death by a so-called "unarmed mob of native rioters" This firmly places the blame on the blacks stating that they started the violence and killing. When reading this it is only normal that people think the blacks were to blame, but when reading Source A, they might think different. Source A was written by the only journalist to witness the events he said, "The Africans were grinning and cheerful. Some kids waved to the policemen sitting on the Saracens and two of the policemen waved back. He later said "A constable shoved his rifle against my wind-shield and leaned into the car shouting" These two sources both point the blame at the other party and would therefore only cause people disagree about events in sharpeville. ...read more.

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