South Africa is commemorating Human Rights Day under the theme: “The Year of Indigenous Languages: Promoting and Deepening a Human Rights Culture”.
Human Rights Day in South Africa is historically linked with 21 March 1960, and the events of Sharpeville.
On that day 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in protest against the Pass laws. This day marked an affirmation by ordinary people, rising in unison to proclaim their rights.
It became an iconic date in South Africa's history that today we commemorate as Human Rights Day as a reminder of our rights and the cost paid for our treasured human rights.
The 2019 theme emphasizes the critical importance of indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalise and promote indigenous languages. South Africa promotes and supports teaching, preservation and revival of indigenous languages.
Let us remind ourselves of the significant of human rights and continue to tell the South African story in all our languages for these narratives shape our identity, provide us with a shared history and enable us to express in deeper way the achievements of the last 25 years of freedom and democracy.