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Remember Sobukwe! - South Africa

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Published on Jan 9, 2012

South Africa reflects after ANC centenary

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As the world reflects on the ANC's struggle since 1912, South Africa also remembers a leader who is often overlooked by the international community: Robert Sobukwe, founder of the Pan-Africanist Congress.

Sobukwe would never see his dream of "South Africa's youth, walking tall, in a country they call their own." He is a man with a remarkable legacy. In particular, his monumental call to action against the pass laws, on 21st March 1960. Heeding the call, thousands of black South Africans left their pass books at home and marched to their police stations, demanding arrest. "You had to give non-violence a chance. That was Sobukwe's mission." Protesters paid the price: police opened fire in the Sharpeville massacre and Sobukwe suffered years of imprisonment. But the protest left an indelible mark on international consciousness and helped clear the path for the ANC to change South African politics.

October 2011

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