Bhisho massacre victims remembered
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday honoured 28 people who lost their lives and those that were injured during a peaceful march at the Bhisho Stadium in September 1992.
“We gather here to pay tribute to those people who wanted nothing more than the right to be free,” Deputy President Ramaphosa said.
Speaking at the commemoration of the Bisho massacre he said, the march to Bisho was a protest against the lack of free political activity and the harassment of the people of Ciskei.
“There had been no provocation by the marchers, who were all unarmed and controlled by marshals.
“The Ciskei security forces had made no attempt to warn the marchers before shooting, nor did they attempt to exercise any form of crowd control,” he said.
Deputy President expressed his sympathies to the families of those who were killed during the massacre.
“As we gather here to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, we must pledge ourselves to continue their struggle,” Deputy President Ramaphosa said.
He also spoke about the achievements of South Africa’s democracy which included schools and clinics being built as well as a constitution, which guarantees the right of all to freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to peaceful protest.
Since the dawn of democracy South Africa has connected rural homes to the electricity grid, millions of people now have proper houses, with clean water and proper sanitation.
Deputy President Ramaphosa also acknowledged that a lot more still needs to be done as the country has high unemployment numbers, young people do not have the skills they need and many in the rural areas still do not have access to land.
“Many in urban areas do not have houses or basic amenities. As we gather here to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, we must pledge ourselves to continue their struggle,” he said.
He said the marchers in Bisho were also marching to end poverty and inequality.
“As we remember those who fell at this place on that dark, dark day in September 1992, let us commit ourselves to completing the march that they started.”
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