Sharpeville, Gauteng

Sharpeville is a township situated between two large industrial cities of Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging in southern Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1942 when 5,466 houses were built.

Place in South African history

On March 21 1960 the Sharpeville massacre occurred when the South African police opened fire on black civilians protesting the abhorred Pass Law, which restricted them to certain areas and forced them to carry passes at all times. 69 people were killed and 178 wounded by police during the violence.

Sharpeville Day has been commemorated since then on 21 March, and since 1994 has been the official Human Rights Day public holiday.

Sharpeville was also the site of a controversial murder in 1983 which led to the arrest, trial, and death sentences (later commuted) of the Sharpeville Six.

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