Thousands of people attended this year’s Human Rights Day celebrations at Sharpeville’s George Thabe stadium, south of Johannesburg on Friday.

This year’s theme was ‘Celebrating 20 years of changing lives through Human Rights’.

President Jacob Zuma and other guests including Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Gauteng MEC ofr Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile paid tribute to former President Nelson Mandela who passed away in December 2013.

“Madiba and his peers and those before them, laid a foundation for the society that respects human rights, freedom and justice,” added Zuma.

Human Rights Day is celebrated every year in South Africa.

On this day 54 years ago, Apartheid police opened fire on 5000 unarmed people. They were protesting against anti-pass laws and were demanding their basic human rights. 69 people were killed and 180 were injured.

The Sharpeville Massacre mobilized the international community to take action against the apartheid government.

Thousands of ANC supporters filled the stadium, while supporters of other parties like the EFF and PAC sang and danced within the stadium’s proximity.

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