Celebrate Human Rights Day at Vaalnest!

Posted on Tue March 20, 2018.

Nelson Mandela described the day as a day that “captures the essence of the struggle of the South African People and the soul of our non-racial democracy”.

Nelson Mandela described the day as a day that “captures the essence of the struggle of the South African People and the soul of our non-racial democracy”.

Human Right’s day is a particularly important holiday in South African history, and yet, many people don’t understand its significance. We pay homage to all those who not only lost their lives in the fight for a free and equal South Africa at the Sharpeville Massacre of 21 March 1960, but those who perished in the name of democracy and human dignity.

On 21 March 1960, police opened fire on a group of unarmed protestors who were protesting apartheid pass laws. In total, 69 protestors were killed and at least 180 were injured. It is on this day when the world started to stand up and take notice of the apartheid atrocities taking place in the country. These events had such a huge impact that in 1966, the UN declared 21 March International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Fast forward almost 60 years, it is safe to say that South Africa has come a long way, but still remains a work in progress. Our country is now a fully-fledged democracy, boasting an internationally respected Constitution.

Sharpeville is one of the townships that form part of the Vaal Triangle, so a trip down to the Vaal would only be fitting. During your visit, there are many ways in which you can commemorate Human Rights Day. A stop at The Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct would be worthwhile. Located on Seeiso Street in Sharpeville, it is a memorial for those killed and injured in the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre. The memorial features a wall at the entrance containing the names of the deceased, who are buried in the nearby Sharpeville Cemetery, and 69 pillars in a garden split by a stream flowing from a fountain.

A mere 50-minute drive from Sharpeville, Vaalnest Boutique Hotel in Vaal Marina is the perfect overnight stay for your Human Rights Day getaway. After a long day of taking in South Africa’s rich history, you can come back to a luxurious suite and friendly staff that cater to your every need. Make your booking today!