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Pass Laws - Remember & Honour: Sharpeville Day

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Pass Laws - Remember & Honour: Sharpeville Day On March 21, 1960 the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) under the leadership of Robert Sobukwe held a non-violent anti-pass laws protest campaign. PASS LAWS, WHAT ARE PASS LAWS, AND THEIR IMPACT: Pass laws turned African man 'bachelors' and as such they had to stay away from their loved ones in some "bachelor zones" (hostels). African women and children had been "endorsed" and separated from their husbands and fathers - the bachelors. The apartheid government had removed Africans from urban areas to reserves in an 'endorsing out' law. Under the discriminatory Urban Areas Act, Africans weren't allowed to stay in urban areas for longer than 72 hours unless they'd lived there for longer than 15 years, had worked with the same employer for 10 years or had a discretionary permit to reside and work there. Employers - employers were legally and technically white people (exclusively) - would quite often terminate the workers' (black workers) contracts after nine years and 11 months. (Just one month before the ten-year term allowing them in urban areas). ...read more.


THE WORLD? ...horror and shock waves following the massacre greeted the whole world. THE AFRICANS? ... under the leadership of Chief Albert Luthuli of the African National Congress (ANC) they observed March 28 as a day of mourning, resulting in a massive national stay-away. Chief Luthuli had publicly burned his pass in the capital (Pretoria) the previous day. THE WHITES? ...they rushed to the stock exchange (JSE) to sell their shares, and some made emigration arrangements. Sharpeville Day was followed by the banning of freedom and political formations (also known as "terrorist" movements) in SA: ANC, PAC, SA Communist Party and many others. Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) was formed many months later after it became apparent that "there are many people who feel that it is useless and fully futile for us to continue talking peace against the government whose reply is only savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people" (-Nelson Mandela). ... and that was the beginning of the underground struggle - more on this on December 16 or earlier! Picture: Apartheid police force watches as 69 bodies lie dead and hundreds others wounded after accomplishing their murder mission - against the unarmed and defenceless people (and women and children) ...read more.


Restitution of the land insures the material basis for real democracy. The use of land is the key variable in determining the direction of the society. It the people control the land they will build a truly democratic egalitarian political economic system based on the direct political participation and control of the majority. Effective ownership of the land would put real power in the hand of the people themselves. Since the majority of the citizens are presently impoverished, land restitution would per force radically raise the living standards of the majority of our citizens. It will enhance and guarantee human, civil, and national sovereignty rights, create the condition necessary to improve peoples health, boost social services and expand education options; in short the land's wealth would serve the legitimate interests and needs of the citizenry itself. We will be able to contribute effectively to Africa full and comprehensive political and economic integration. We would also be better positioned to work with our immediate neighbor states for our mutual benefit. Properly mobilised, organised, educated and trained the citizens of this country, when combined with their long alienated land, would produce goods that will find willing markets throughout Africa and the world. This will have a signal positive effect on our employment and business startups. . ...read more.

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