Why do we commemorate Human Rights Day on 21 March?
The Sharpeville Massacre was an important turning point for the South African Struggle Movement. It took place in Sharpeville, situated nearby Vereeniging in Gauteng (then-Transvaal). Organised by the Pan African Congress, with Robert Sobukwe at the helm, a crowd of thousands gathered at the Sharpeville Police Station on 21 March 1960 to protest the enforcement of Apartheid legislation restricting freedom of movement of black men and requiring them to carry pass books in so-called ‘white areas’ in South Africa.
Sharpeville Day became an important symbol for the struggle, and was commemorated by the banned political parties in exile as well as by the United Democratic Front, comprising a mass movement of groups seeking to end the Apartheid regime.
Special Collections has recently completed the arrangement and description of a large archival collection of papers donated by a former head of UCT’s Social Anthropology Department and Life Fellow of UCT, Pamela Reynolds.
Archie Mafeje was offered a post as anthropology lecturer at UCT. The offer was then rescinded as a result of government pressure. 1968 was a year marked by student protests across the globe. The "Mafeje Affair" was the spark that ignited student anger at UCT, resulting in South Africa's own "1968 moment".
Introducing AtoM@UCT, the recently launched on-line gateway to the primary source collections held by UCT Libraries. AtoM stands for “AccesstoMemory”, an open source, web-based, standards compliant (ISAD-G, DACS, RAD, EAD/EAC, DC etc.) archival management system that is rapidly becoming the gold standard in open source archival description software.