21 March 2019

South Africa: Human Rights Day v Sharpeville Day? This Day Should Be About Black People Who Died Fighting for Freedom - Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema says Human Rights Day should be referred to as Sharpeville Day because the day bares specific significance to black people who lost their lives fighting for freedom and basic rights.

Speaking to scores of EFF supporters at the party's Sharpeville massacre commemoration event in Vereeniging, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday, Malema said his party would not associate itself with the "nonsense" of non-racialism associated with the day.

"Human Rights Day for who, for what? This is our day," said Malema.

"Today is the day in which we continue the fight for rights of black people, and we must not make any apology about that," said the EFF leader to cheers from the crowd.

"This nonsense of non-racialism they are spreading in defense of white privilege, we are not part of that nonsense," said Malema.

Malema said that white people had always had rights, and the day should rather be called Sharpeville Day in remembrance of the heroes who had fallen, until all people were equal.

Malema hailed the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) saying it should be celebrated for leading the Sharpeville protests on March 21 in 1960 which later led to the massacre.

"The PAC is an under-celebrated party, and if it were still strong, we would have not formed the EFF, but we would have joined it because its formation was based on having black people's interest at heart," Malema said.

The EFF leader said that there was no other party which should claim some glory of leading the 1960 protests, adding that there should be no attempt in re-writing history.

"Robert Sobukwe (PAC founding president) would have done everything in his power to ensure that black people were emancipated," said Malema.

"We needed Sobukwe in 1994," added Malema.

'EFF will fight for basic rights'

The EFF leader also used the platform to canvass for his party ahead of the May 8 elections, and urged his supporters to vote EFF.

He assured his audience that his party support basic human rights, including advocating for workers to have a "meaningful basic salary and provident fund".

"You the people of Sedibeng deserve a 24-hour working clinic and jobs," Malema said.

He also advised the elderly people, who sat to his right in a marquee away from the heat and the sun, to consider voting for the red berets saying the ANC had "failed to deliver to you their promises since 1994".

He also promised the youth that should he come into government, he would oversee the process of ensuring that an industrial hub was opened in the area, to make way for companies to employ locals.

"You must stop asking for malls and instead seek firms for employment. How would you spent money that of which you don't have?" asked Malema.

Malema also promised to deploy former PAC combatant Kenny Motsamai and other PAC struggle icons to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) as a way of celebrating them and gaining advise from the elderly.

"Let us celebrate unsung heroes because they fought for our liberation," said Malema.

Source: News24

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