SHARPEVILLE

by Africa Research Group
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Undated, 1970?
3 pages
Type: Brochure
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Contents: 21 march '60 • 21 march '70 • U S INVOLVEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA • The brochure says on the morning of the 21st of March 1960, 5,000 black South Africans gathered in front of the police station at Sharpeville to protest against the system of 'pass' laws; women, men and children were present and at all times the crowd was peaceful and orderly; no hostility was expressed toward the police present; as hours passed, police reinforcements began to arrive until by noon there were 300 armed and uniformed men in addition to five Saracens; soon afterwards Lieutenant Colonel Pienaar arrived - he gave the order for his men to fall in; at no stage was the crowd asked to disperse nor was there any attempt to me made to determine why they had gathered; a little later Pienaar ordered the police to “load five rounds”; he said later that he never gave the order to fire; but minutes later the police opened fire on the crowd; within 40 seconds 705 rounds were fired from revolvers and sten guns. The brochure says the people gathered immediately turned to flee but the police continued to fire: later it was determined that 30 shots had entered the wounded or killed from the front of their bodies while 155 bullets had entered their bodies from their backs. The brochure says in forty seconds 69 people were killed (including 10 children) and 180 were injured (including 19 children). The brochure says Sharpeville was one of the last peaceful demonstrations in South Africa; the Nationalist regime responded to the massacre by banning both of the black political parties and declaring a State of Emergency; hundreds of South Africans were arrested and held without trial. The brochure says in 1962 the movements launched campaigns of sabotage as the next level of political opposition to apartheid; again the regime responded with measurers of vicious repression; legislation was enacted allowing detention without trial, torture in prisons, solitary confinement and giving the security police inordinate powers; further restrictions were placed on freedom of the press, of speech, of movement etc.; in response to the increased acts of sabotage thousands of South Africans were arrested and convicted often on fraudulent evidence in mass trials; many were sentenced to life imprisonment and are still in South African prisons. The brochure says in response to the growing repression and the failure of sabotage to being any change in South Africa, armed struggle was launched in 1967; South African freedom fighters have formed alliances with fighters in Rhodesia, Angola and Mozambique in a united effort to obtain their liberation. • INCREASING AMERICAN INVESTMENTS ALREADY TOTALING MILLIONS • CLOSE DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH THE RACIST GOVERNMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA • REGULAR EXCHANGES BETWEEN AMERICANS AND WHITE S.A. “LEADERS” • THE U.S. MAINTAINS A SPACE TRACKING STATION IN SOUTH AFRICA • SOUTH AFRICA HAS SPECIAL TRADE PRIVILEGES IN THE U.S.
Used by permission of Danny Schechter, Sam Barnes and Robert Maurer, former members of Africa Research Group.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers