Study Sources A and B - How far does these two sources agree about what happened in Sharpeville on the morning of 21st March?

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What Happened At The Sharpeville Massacre

On 21st March 1960 - Massacre Or Self-Defence

Study Sources A and B - How far does these two sources agree about what happened in Sharpeville on the morning of 21st March?

In source A, Humphrey Tyler tells us that there are several Saracen's. (Armoured cars). "We went into Sharpeville the back way, around lunch time, driving a big grey police car and three Saracens armoured cars." Source B, written by an English man, agrees with this source, adding that it was the only transport that could be used to get past the crowd and into the station. Therefore they both agree that there was either a need for Saracens simply due to a precautionary reason and possibly for the safety of both parties.

They also both agree on the fact that the crowd was chanting slogans. Source A says that they were chanting 'Izwe Lethu', and source B claims they were chanting 'Our Land'. Even though the two sources mention that they were shouting slogans, both source A and B present their information differently. While source A tells us that they were chanting together, and cheering as if they were celebrating. "As we went through the fringes of the township, many people were shouting the Pan-Africanist slogan 'Izwe Lethu'. They were grinning and cheerful. Some kids waved to the policeman sitting on the Saracens and two of them waved back." (Especially with children, it is expected that the demonstration would be much calmer, and not dangerous, as no one would have let women and children on the streets if the crowd was going to attack the police as a protest). Source B says that the Africans were shouting 'Africa' in a much more aggressive manner. "Soon the police station was besieged by thousands of Africans shouting 'Africa, Africa." Especially with the word besieged, and the way the reporter says there were thousands makes the Africans look like an angry mob. Swarming around the policemen and forcing them back, making the police seem helpless and vulnerable against the mass of the crowd.

Even though in both sources they say there were Saracens, only in source A dose it mention that they were using them. Humphrey tells us that the policemen were all inside the vehicle, peering through the hatches and slits of the Saracen. "The policeman were now all inside the Saracens, with the hatches battened down, looking at Sharpeville through narrow slits in the armoured plating. In source B, it says how there was evidence of acts of violence by the crowd. "A motor car from the council, which went through earlier in the morning, emerged as a wreck and the people inside were injured." But there is no description of any event like it in source A, but his is quite possible as the car wreck was in the morning and Humphrey didn't arrive until lunch, and so could have quite possibly missed this certain event.

Lastly, there is the 'mood' of the crowd'. In source A, there is smiling, joking, cheering, as if it was some sort of social event, while source B describes the crowd as being more angry and aggressive especially with the evidence of the car being wrecked and passengers injured. Humphrey clearly states how precautions are taking, with people entering the vehicles (Saracens) and peering through the slits with their weapons ready, while the second source contains no information on this as there is no mention of Saracens apart from the fact that it was their only transport into the police station through the 'swarming' crowd of African protesters. It is quite easy to see, how in source A, the blame is on the police, for overacting, but looking at source B, the police become the victims. This must mean that both journalists had different encounters and thought of what really happened that day. Even though both sources agree, they still both fail to support their claims. One says how there were Saracens being driven down the streets with children waving and adults cheering, while the other states that the police were being over run by Africans. They do agree on small aspects but disagree on the whole nature of the crowd.
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Study Source C and D - Do these photographs prove either source A or source B is wrong?

Looking over at source D, it shows most of the picture that source A had described. In the crowd it is easy to distinguish the women, children and elders from the crowd. They are protesting, but not aggressively, just giving the 'thumbs up' sign which is a symbol of disapproval. (Protest). What I can't see, as source B described is the Africans swarming around the cars, or being aggressive in any way. In source C, the picture once again ...

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