20 March 2017

South Africa: President Jacob Zuma Addresses Human Rights Day in King Williams Town, 21 Mar

press release

President Jacob Zuma will on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 lead the national commemoration of Human Rights Day in King Williams Town, Eastern Cape Province, celebrating the country's human rights tradition and honouring those who sacrificed immensely for the achievement of liberation and democracy.

The commemorations will this year be held under the theme: "The Year of OR Tambo: Unity in action in advancing Human Rights", celebrating the contribution of national icon and hero Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo in advancing unity in the struggle for liberation.

The commemoration of Human Rights Day originates from the tragic Sharpeville Massacre that took place on 21 March 1960 when 69 people were killed by the apartheid police during a peaceful protest march.

The highlight of the 2017 commemoration will be the honouring of Black Consciousness leader Mr Bantu Steve Biko. This year marks 40 years since the brutal murder of Mr Biko by the apartheid state.

The President will join Mrs Nontsikelelo Biko and family at his home town in Ginsberg, to unveil the grave site and memorial of Mr Biko.

This will be done in celebration of his contribution to the struggle for liberation and human rights for all in the country. The President will then proceed to the main commemoration event in King William's Town.

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