AZAPO compares government’s approach to protests to that of apartheid regime

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Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) leader Nelvis Qekema has likened what he says is government’s heavy-handed approach to protests to the apartheid regime.

Qekema says the deployment of SANDF soldiers during Monday’s national shutdown could have resulted in deaths similar to the Sharpeville Massacre.

He was speaking at the joint commemoration of the day in Vereeniging in the Vaal.

The late PAC leader, Robert Sobukwe, led the anti-pass law protests that saw 69 people killed and scores injured at the hands of the apartheid government.  

Qekema says the Marikana Massacre illustrates the similarities between the apartheid regime and the democratic government. 

“You are reminded by the fact that the Marikana massacre had to take place within the context of democracy, and it is black people who died there, and they were killed by a black government. This is just a demonstration that there isn’t much to celebrate.”

“In fact, yesterday was a reminder that the Sharpeville massacre almost took place yesterday. If you saw how a black government responded to a peaceful protest by unleashing soldiers and everything with force, that is militarism of the most horrible nature you can think of in a democracy,” adds Qekema.

Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 commemorated on Human Rights Day: