Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Gauteng

You are only moments away

TThe Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct is a memorial for those who died in 1960 in the Sharpeville Massacre, an event that shocked the international community and inspired increased efforts against apartheid.

The Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, in the Sedibeng township of Sharpeville, is a memorial to victims of the watershed event that was the beginning of the end of apartheid.

Differences within the African National Congress (ANC) led to Robert Sobukwe breaking away to form the Pan African Congress (PAC) in 1959. A year before, the ANC had launched an anti-pass campaign targetting the most hated symbol of apartheid − the pass or dompas − which annually made criminals of up to half a million black people.

Did You Know?
IIn South Africa, 21 March is known as Human Rights Day.

TThe Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, in the Sedibeng township of Sharpeville, is a memorial to victims of the watershed event that was the beginning of the end of apartheid.

Differences within the African National Congress (ANC) led to Robert Sobukwe breaking away to form the Pan African Congress (PAC) in 1959. A year before, the ANC had launched an anti-pass campaign targetting the most hated symbol of apartheid − the pass or dompas − which annually made criminals of up to half a million black people.

Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct

Food
When to visit
How to get here

TThe ANC organised a defiance campaign against passes to commence on 31 March 1960. The PAC refused to participate and called its own protest for 21 March 1960.

That Monday over 300 people marched on the police station in Sharpeville to hand in their pass books. A total of 69 people (including 13 anonymous foreigners) were shot dead and 180 injured when police opened fire. Many were shot in the back.

Protests flared across South Africa and an outraged international community censured the country at the United Nations. On 8 April, to stem the panic, the government declared a state of emergency and banned the ANC and PAC, which both went underground and established armed wings.

In 1966 the UN declared 21 March the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and since the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994 it is remembered as Human Rights Day.

The Sharpeville memorial, opened by Nelson Mandela in 2001, features a dramatic wall at the entrance containing the names of the dead, who are buried in the nearby Sharpeville Cemetery, and 69 pillars in a garden split by a stream flowing from a fountain. Mandela named Sharpeville the Cradle of Human Rights.

Who to contact
How to get here
Length of stay
What to pack
What to eat
Best buys

Related articles

Vibrant culture

The culture of Basotho: history, people, clothing and food

Vibrant culture
The culture of Basotho: history, people, clothing and food

As a nation that boasts about its rich culture, the Basotho can trace their origins to the pre-historic age.

Vibrant culture

The Shangaan-Tsonga people

Vibrant culture
The Shangaan-Tsonga people

The Tsonga people are a diverse group of tribes that include the Shangaan, Thonga, Tonga, Vandzawu, VaTshwa, Vakalanga and Valoyi to name a few.

Vibrant culture

History of women in South Africa

Vibrant culture
History of women in South Africa

Resilience and peaceful resistance are just some of the ways in which South African women have fought against apartheid.

Vibrant culture

Culture and expression of identity: The Ndebele of South Africa

Vibrant culture
Culture and expression of identity: The Ndebele of South Africa

The Ndebele of South Africa constitute one group of people whose identity has survived precarious conditions and existential crisis under the weight of changing power dynamics of internal and external factors from pre-colonial to present times.

Vibrant culture

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Vibrant culture
Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Vibrant culture

A history of mining in South Africa

Vibrant culture
A history of mining in South Africa

Mining in South Africa has been a contentious issue since 15-year-old Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs discovered South Africa’s first diamond, the Eureka, in Hopetown in 1867.

Vibrant culture

A history of South African democracy

Vibrant culture
A history of South African democracy

South Africa is made up of people who have been in the country since the beginning of time, as well as others who arrived either as slaves, escapees of persecution in their homelands, or seekers of instant riches.

Vibrant culture

African ancestors

Vibrant culture
African ancestors

African ancestors continue to give Africans a shared and personal sense of self-affirmation, identity and unfettered belonging.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2019 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy