Zuma: Confront the demon of racism on Human Rights Day
President Jacob Zuma on Thursday urged South Africans to use the upcoming Human Rights Day to “devote their time to anti-racism campaigns”.
A statement from his office said he will deliver a “national message” from a commemoration of the day in Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Monday.
The Presidency noted that in “recent months‚ South Africa experienced an upsurge in racist incidents that manifested themselves on various platforms including especially on social media”.
“In line with the theme of ‘South Africa United Against Racism’‚ the president has urged all South Africans to confront the demon of racism‚” the statement said.
“We use this national day each year not only to remind our people of the tragic past‚ but also more importantly‚ to highlight the need to ensure that we promote and consolidate our human rights culture and democracy as entrenched in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights‚” it quoted Zuma as saying.
Human Rights Day commemorates the Sharpeville Massacre during which police shot and killed 69 people on March 21‚ 1960.
These events of that day “mobilised the international community into action against the apartheid government”‚ the Presidency said‚ and led to the United Nations declaring March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The office also noted that Human Rights Day 2016 “coincides with the 20th anniversary of the signing of the final draft of the Constitution into law and the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women's March to the Union Buildings”.