Coursework- What happened at Sharpeville
On 21st March 1960-Massacre or Self defence
Study Sources A & B
How far do these sources agree about what happened in Sharpeville on the morning of 21st March? Use the sources to explain your answer.
Source A is an extract from Humphrey Tyler early in the day at Sharpeville. He was the only journalist to witness the events at Sharpeville. Source B is a report by an English paper on the 22nd March 1960.
Both of the sources agree and disagree about the events at Sharpeville. They both agree that the blacks were there to protest peacefully and just chanting and that there were reinforcements for the whites in the form of the Saracens. The two sources also disagree, they disagree that the black were being violent and abusive they also disagree about …………
Source A is all about the blacks and how they were acting. They were acting peacefully and cheerfully. There was a peaceful atmosphere and you could tell this when Tyler writes “Some kids waved to the policeman sitting on the Saracens, and the two of them waved back”. The also says to me that was peaceful because Tyler described the day as a “Sunday outing”. He says that the atmosphere was the same even when the major A.T.T Spengler went past in the Saracens with the hatches down and the guns loaded. The Africans weren’t to bothered by this and that they “just grinned”. They just grinned because they knew that the w2hites were scared of the blacks and they weren’t even using violence.
The whites didn’t want any journalists around, and you can tell this because they asked Tyler if he had a permit to be there an when he replied “no”, the policeman threatened to arrest him. To me this says they didn’t want any of the events to be reported to the rest of the world.
Where Source A puts the blame on the police, Source B partially agrees with Source A but puts some blame on the blacks. Source B is written a day later that the actual events at Sharpeville, on the 21st of March.
Source B agrees with Source A about the fact that there were armoured vehicles about and the Blacks were Chanting. However, Source B actually disagrees with Source A more that it agrees. Source A says that the blacks weren’t being aggressive and were “grinning and cheerful” but Source B says that the Whites were “expecting trouble” which disagrees with Source A, saying that the blacks were being offensive and violent.