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 shows absolutely no sign of violence or possible rule-breaking. It shows a Saracen on the left, with police on top holding rifles, and a few walking beside it. The crowd is just simply standing in front, and they don't seem to be cheering or doing much. It is actually hard to determine what they are doing, but all I can think that they are doing is waiting for the crowd to build up before the beginning of the protest, as the attribution reads 'A photograph of the crowds gathering at Sharpeville early in the morning'. What I can't seem to understand is that in source B it says that there was an early dispute in the crowd, involving shooting. But in both pictures, one in the morning, and the second a lunch, there is no sign of a problem that had ever seemed too had occurred. I would of thought that maybe the demonstration would have been stopped, or their would be much more armed forces readily available and marching or patrolling the streets. But it seems that there is more activity from the police before the 'incident' than after. Especially as in several reports the police claimed that they were threatened and intimidated by the large crowd, after an incident you would expect the police to have patrol units everywhere. Therefore, I believe that both of the sources supports source A much more than the other. What we do have to consider is that both these pictures only capture a small aspect. Both capture a single second in time, and can only show one thing. What I can't gather from the attribution is the nature of the photograph or who took it. This could change the reliability of the photo, as it could be purposefully made to make either party bad. Therefore, even though they support source A much more, but both are inconclusive and wouldn't be very useful if I was trying to gather information about what really happened that day.
Study Source E and F - How reliable is source F as evidence of what happened at Sharpeville?
I think that this source is very reliable. The account was given by a Bishop, who knows that it would be against his religion to lie, especially with the post he with-holds in the Anglican Church. The actual witness accounts were given a couple days after the event, and are therefore very reliable, as the story would be fresh in mind, and not dug up by historian's years later. The fact that there was also witness accounts from Europeans, who would have been neutral in this protest, and therefore would also have no need to lie, makes the source all the more trustworthy.
It also says in source F that the injured were kept in separate parts of the hospital, so that couldn't confer on a single story to get out of any trouble or to make the police look bad. The only other piece of evidence I can find in the content is the fact that the majority of the wounded were shot in the back. "Nearly all those who were later treated in hospital had been shot in the back." This must mean that the crowd had tried to run, but the police had carried on firing rounds into the crowd. Because of the content and mainly what the attribution tells us, I believe this source to be very reliable and therefore very helpful in the search for what truly happened that day.
Study Source E and G - Which is the more useful as evidence of what happened at Sharpeville, source E or source G?
I believe that source G would be the most reliable source. Tyler, being a journalist, might exaggerate certain events to increase the popularity of his certain magazine, or even for his own career. Also, the source would have been written maybe a day later, and so it is possible that small but important details could have been forgotten, and through the time between the events happened and when it was written, certain aspects could have been overstated. The second thing is that there are no quotes or witness statements to back up any of the source, and therefore, certain parts could be imaginary due to the surprising and shocking occurrence. But then, Tyler was the only eyewitness journalist, and so his information would be still reasonably useful.
Source G simply shows a picture of all the Africans running, some with jackets over their head, most ducking low. What seems to be happening is that they are all running away from the rounds being shot into the crowds by the police. The actual photo was taken at the same time of the massacre, and therefore its reliability speaks for itself. Even though it is possible to doctor pictures, there would be no need, as the picture shows all the information needed to capture the true moment where many Africans died at a friendly protest. Therefore, I believe this source to much more reliable due to its capture of time, which would show no lies and couldn't be exaggerated. Putting both sources together, they become very useful. Everything that Humphrey has told us about his eyewitness event agrees with most of what the picture shows.
Study Source F, H and I - Why do you think source H and I disagree with source F about the events at Sharpeville?
Firstly source H was spoken by a Colonel Piernaar, the police commander at Sharpeville. His entire speech is revolved around lies and racism. Firstly he mentions that his car was struck by a stone. Out of all the police officers, only three officers were found have been hit by a single stone. Secondly is the fact that nothing out of his speech has any evidence to support it. Saying it was their own fault and it's because of their native mentality has no relevance to any of the events that had occurred.
Source I, by the prime minister of South Africa is once again lies or exaggeration. And once again here is no evidence of any of the crimes he says the Africans had committed. There were absolutely no reports of thefts, and the so called '20,000 people' was a definite lie. This statement must have been an exaggeration as looking at photographs taken at the time, it is doubtful if there was more that 5,000. He then says that "telephone wires were cut and disturbance occurred." There is once again no proof, and many eye witnesses, Africans and Europeans, said that the crowds were friendly and had no intentions of making any trouble. The prime minister then says that after they shot into the crowd there were, "25 people killed and 50 wounded." The real figures which have come from the hospital records were 69 killed, 8 of which were women and 10 which were children, and out of the 180 wounded, there were 31 women and 19 children. There were no less than 155 bullets that had entered the wounded and dead bodies in the back. In the 40 seconds of shooting 705 rounds were fired from revolvers and sten guns. The attribution reads that the speech was a couple of days after the incident, and so he could of discussed his speech with the prime minister or others so that all the stories match making the Blacks look like the
Both sources H and I are written by men with certain attitudes towards the Blacks, (the demonstrators) and so could have seen things differently. But then the Blacks who told their witness accounts to the Bishop could have had the same attitude against the Whites, as it was them who were discriminating the Blacks with the pass-laws, as it was an infringement of their will and liberty.
One reason could be that when the South African Prime Minister was told he had to write his account of the events at Sharpeville to parliament, he wouldn't want it to loom like he had no control over his own people and had to result to a blood-shed due. If the Prime Minister was found to have a lack of control and leadership, he will face international criticism and would embarrass himself and his country. The actual reason why the Africans gathered around the fences of the police station was because they were expecting a speech from the head of police.
Use all the source and your own knowledge - Stud the following interpretations of what happened at Sharpeville, which interpretation is best supported by the evidence in these sources and your knowledge of the period?
In the first quote, which was in Nelson Mandela's autobiography, There were many witnesses who supported the fact that the demonstrators where peaceful and unarmed. After the massacre, there were eyewitnesses who walked along the rim of the fence and could see hats, bikes and other pieces of clothing spread out. Not one person actually saw an offensive weapon.
The next line reads, "The police opened fire first and continued to shoot at the crowd as they ran away in fear." There is also evidence that the police opened fire first, as when Lieutenant Colonel Pienaar arrived in the compound, instead of trying to persuade the crowd to calm down or even attempt to use methods of persuasion, he ordered the police to "Load five rounds." From their he said no more to his officers, or the men. Later, Colonel Pienaar stated that he thought that this would frighten the crowd. He then carried on to say that he had purposefully said only to load five rounds as if they were told to fire, they would only shoot so many, but his officers didn't understand this as their must have been a lack of communication between the officers and lieutenant. This could possibly mean that the massacre, even though a bloodshed, could have been an accident. Some of the Africans near the gate heard a shot and that they heard a policeman shout 'Fire'.
What could have happened was that the tension between the police and the crowd grew, and the sound of a single gun shot could of lead a chain reaction. As soon as the guns were heard, the crowd turn and ran. This is a fact not only because it was witnessed, but because the majority of the bullets that killed and injured the crowd entered through the back. Therefore, both lines of the quote are backed up with sufficient evidence by eyewitnesses and hospital records.
The second quote from a book published in South Africa states, "The police were under attack and opened fire in self - defence." There were eye witnesses by both Africans and Europeans that the crowds were shouting but no aggressively, but the police did say that the crowd was becoming impatient. In source A, there is a small piece of evidence that the police were being harsh. Tyler wrote, "There were plenty of police to, well armed. A constable shoved his rifle against my windshield. Another pointed his rifle at my chest. Another leaned into the car shouting, 'Have you got a permit to be here?' I said no, whereupon he shouted, 'Then get out, get out, get out! Or I will arrest you on the spot.' "
This could possibly mean that the shooting by the police was out of pure hatred of the blacks, just as when Mr. Justice Vessels replied when he was asked if he had learnt any useful lessons from the events of Sharpeville, he replied, "Well, we may get better equipment."
There was also racism and hatred shown in source H when Lieutenant Colonel Pienaar was asked about the event and he replied, "the Native mentality does not allow them to gather for a peaceful demonstration, For them it means violence." This could mean, that with the officers and Lieutenants so racist, that it wasn't truly an accident.
Therefore, I believe that there is much more evidence supporting the first quote in the biography of Nelson Mandela, than the second quote in a book of South Africa.