INTRODUCTION: It is 21 years since the massacre at Sharpeville of 69 African -- including eight women and ten children.
GV ZOOM INTO SV People clearing overgrown graves at Sharpeville.
GV & SV Blacks clearing graves.
SV ZOOM INTO CU Grave headstones. (2 SHOTS)
CU Headstones PULL BACK TO Black people signing at gravesides. (2 SHOTS)
SOWETO: GV PAN Blacks gathered outside YMCA Meeting hall.
SV INT man leads freedom chant as crowd respond.
CU PULL BACK TO SV Man wearing AZAPO shirt
SV PULL BACK TO GV Crowds signing.
SV People chanting and raising fists.
SV ZOOM INTO CU Woman leading signing.
GV People signing.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: It is 21 years since the massacre at Sharpeville of 69 African -- including eight women and ten children. When the South African police opened fire on the crowd they also wounded 180 people, including 31 women and 19 children. As a result the United Nations has proclaimed March 21 International Day for the elimination throughout South Africa.
SYNOPSIS: Perhaps the most poignant remembrance of all is at Sharpeville itself. The graves bear mute testimony to the day 21 years ago when the police opened fire on the crowd. The massacre followed a mass demonstration against a law obliging coloured residents to carry identity passes. Police were equipped with whips, truncheons, automatic weapons and armoured cars.
The Sharpeville massacre concentrated world attention on South Africa's racial policies and led to the establishment of the United Nations Committee on Apartheid. In the cemetery, youth workers and relatives tidy up the graves. They are members of the Azania People's advocates non-violent radical measures for the establishment of multi-racial society.
In the black township of Soweto near Johannesburg, AZAPO members and other blacks commemorated the anniversary in their own way. At the meeting, a freedom chant began....
More than 300 people attended this meeting. After the signing the National President of AZAPO, Kehehla Mthembu, said the heroes of Sharpeville would never be forgotten. He blamed the government for their death and the deaths of thousands of "oppressed blacks".
Other similar meetings were also held. In Johannesburg, on the eve of the anniversary, a Cabinet Minister was shouted down by hundreds of university students, mostly white. Sharpeville is still a potent focus of discontent in South Africa 21 years later.