The Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) has cancelled its 60th Commemoration of the Sharpeville and Langa Day that was planned for Saturday.

The party says it joins the fight against COVID-19 and fully understands the importance of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to limit public events.

This is despite the fact that the preparations were at an advanced stage.

The number of cases continue to rise in South Africa, with the number of infections currently sitting at 202. No deaths have been reported.

Speaking on Morning Live on Friday, PAC Secretary General Apa Pooe says, “We will not be gathering in masses. PAC has postponed the event indefinitely. We have communicated that though all our communication channels, but further than that we are calling on the members and public to accept that we are in a crisis in the country and everybody should join the fight against coronavirus.”

In the video below, Apa Pooe is being interviewed on the event’s cancellation:

The Sharpeville and Langa Day

The annual event is the remembrance of those who died in Sharpeville, an old township in the former Vaal Triangle in Gauteng.

The brutal incident took place on March 21, 1960, when the apartheid police fired with live ammunition at a crowd of people demanding the abolition of pass-laws that were imposed on black people.

The brutal police reaction left 69 people dead and more than 180 wounded, causing an international outcry.

The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 134, which led to increasing international isolation of the South African apartheid government.

After the abolition of apartheid in 1994, the date is annually commemorated as Human Rights Day.

In the video below, PAC’s Narius Moloto addresses Human Rights Day commemorations in 2019:

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) regional conferences in KwaZulu-Natal have been put on hold as the country grapples with the spread of the coronavirus.

The party in the province was scheduled to convene four regional conferences from next month.

eThekwini, Moses Mabhida, Lower South Coast and KwaDukuza regions were scheduled to hold their regional conferences from next month.

The ANC Provincial Secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli says, “Following the announcement made by President it was quite clear we also had an extended NEC meeting on Monday and we all agreed that it inevitable that conferences are going to be delayed at least for the next three months.”

“The life span of our interim structures was extended for a period of three months.  But we hope that at the end of this month or early April the world and our country would have defeated this challenge of coronavirus. If that happen and succeed in that battle we will resume with our ordinary work of preparing for regional conferences,” adds Ntuli.

The map below tracks coronavirus cases across the world: 

VIDEO: Handwashing challenge: