This day in history: Mandela burns his passbook to protest massacre

This day in history: Mandela burns his passbook to protest massacre

On this day 59 years ago, Nelson Mandela burned his passbook in a protest against the Sharpeville Massacre.

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On 26 March 1960, five days after the Sharpeville Massacre, Nelson Mandela was photographed burning his passbook to protest the mass shooting.

According to Facebook group Nelson Mandela, the former late South African head of state never carried another passbook again.

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This day in history: Mandela burns his passbook to protest massacre

This day in history: Mandela burns his passbook to protest massacre. Photo credit: Weinberg, UWC - Nelson Mandela/Facebook.
Source: Facebook

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On 21 March, 1960, a crowd of about 5 000 to 7 000 protesters went to the police station in Sharpeville to protest the country's pass laws.

The laws demanded that non-white citizens carry passbooks, which were used to regulate and severely limit the movements of black South Africans.

However, the demonstration against the pass laws turned devastating when police officers opened fire on the crowd, killing 69 people and injuring 180 others.

According to Wikipedia, the total number of casualties during the Sharpeville Massacre was 249, 29 of whom were children.

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In protest to the massacre, Mandela burned his passbook, never carrying another one. The pass laws were ultimately revoked in 1986.

Briefly.co.za gathered South Africans were inspired by Madiba's bravery in protesting the massacre and they praised the late former president on social media.

Linda Taylor commented: "Truly a great man that did so much for Africa!"
Michel Araujo added: "He was right , it was very disrespectful , some people of the autorities used to call it dompass."
Anitha Johns simply wrote: "Brave heart."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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