- Title: FILE: 50th anniversary of Sharpeville massacre
- Date: 22nd March 2010
- Summary: SHARPEVILLE, SOUTH AFRICA (FILE - MARCH 21, 1960) (1907/60) (REUTERS) THOUSANDS OF BLACK AFRICANS GATHERED AT SHARPEVILLE VARIOUS OF AGITATORS BLACK AFRICANS AND BANNERS 'AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS' AND 'AWAY WITH THE PASSES' BLACK AFRICANS DANCING DEMONSTRATORS WAVE BANNERS 'AWAY WITH PASSES' BANNERS 'AFRICA FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME BODY ON GROUND, SURROUNDED BY POLICE WOUNDED AND DEAD ON GROUND DEAD MAN ON GROUND POLICE COVER BODY WITH BLANKET, PAN TO WOUNDED LOADED INTO OPEN TRUCK BODY BEING WRAPPED IN BLANKET POLICEMAN CARRIES WOUNDED MAN WOUNDED WOMAN LYING IN ROAD WOUNDED MAN BEING TREATED / LYING ON PAVEMENT POLICE CARRY VICTIM INTO AMBULANCE VICTIM LOADED INTO AMBULANCE POLICEMAN CARRIES VICTIM IN BLANKET, POLICEMAN WITH WHIP POLICEMAN CARRYING VICTIM IN BLANKET AMBULANCE LEAVING SIGN 'EVATON' PAN FROM SARACEN ARMOURED CAR TO POLICE ARMED POLICE STAND BY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE GATHERED AT EVATON POLICEMEN STAND OUTSIDE EVATON POLICE STATION PEOPLE WAVE ARMS PLANE SWOOPING DOWN POLICE REINFORCEMENTS WITH CLUBS AND RIFLES IN BACKS OF OPEN TRUCKS ONE PERSON HANDS RIFLE TO ANOTHER, WHO IS STANDING BY WITH POLICE
- Embargoed: 6th April 2010 13:00
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,History
- Reuters ID: LVAEIM34FHE1ZB5I2NBY5PQ1OIK7
- Story Text: File marking 50th anniversary of Sharpeville massacre where South African police gunned down unarmed anti-apartheid protesters.
The March 21, 1960 incident at Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, South Africa, in which at least 69 people were killed and at least 180 others wounded when police fired on a crowd of demonstrators, marked a turning point in the nation's struggle for freedom.
The shootings, which sparked international outrage, began at the industrial area of Sharpeville, 50km from Johannesburg, where crowds of anti-apartheid protesters had surrounded a police station.
They had gathered following a protest against the Government's pass laws, which required black Africans to carry identity cards. The protest - intended as non-violent - was organised by the Pan-African Congress, an extremist group which broke away from the more moderate African National Congress.
At Evaton - near Sharpeville and the town of Vereeniging - six South African Air Force Sabre jets and eight Harvard aircraft dived within 100 feet of a crowd of 10,000 saving Evaton Police Station from destruction.
The crowds had gathered near the Police Station demanding to be arrested. They were in a threatening mood, but when the planes roared low overhead their anger turned to good humoured mockery and soon after the crowd dispersed. Later, police re-inforcements, including two Saracen armoured cars, were rushed to Evaton.
No one was ever charged over the bloody incident.
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