16th June 2020 would be 44years since the despicable atrocities unleashed on peaceful students’ protesters in Soweto, South Africa. Africans on the continent and the diasporas will mark the terrible mass killings of blacks in South Africa.
We remember the many victims who lost their lives and all those who endured horrific suffering on that day, and we call on all Africans everywhere to observe a moment of silence to mark the day, which unfortunately happens in the midst of the fearful COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 16, 1976 the children of Soweto, Mamelodi, Gugulethu and other areas of South Africa rose to protest peacefully against a law imposed by the former ruthless apartheid enclave, directing that blacks must study in Afrikaans, the Dutch-based language of the white racist-colonialists. The students revolted not only against the imposition of the Afrikaans language but also against Bantu education, which they considered too inferior and subjective to the whims and caprices of the racist enclave.
On the occasion of the 44th anniversary of the Soweto massacre, the Pan-African Unity Movement Against Second Slavery (PANUMASS) will pay fitting tribute to the young heroes and martyrs, who died while defending the dignity and integrity of black colour against the ferocious forces of former apartheid machinery. While we recognize this day as a solemn occasion, it is also an opportunity to call on Africans to wake from the slumber and act to save our Africa from further degradation and dehumanization at the hands of whites’ oppressors and supremacists.
Of all that occurred in that horrible Soweto massacre, it stands out as an episode of infamy. It is painful to listen and view on international TV satellites the heartless brutality, the ruthless killing and reign of terror, which took place on that fateful day of June 16, 1976. By any standard, the Soweto massacre stands as one of the worst and most concentrated acts of killing in the post-World War II era.
For the Pan-African Unity Movement Against Second Slavery (PANUMASS), working hand in glove with The School of Afrikan Awareness is no mistake. We need an African solution to African problems, because at the end, Africa is for Africans, both at home and abroad. The two Pan-African-ideologically-oriented Organisations invite other groups and organizations of African brothers and sisters everywhere on the global village to come together and create a strong and formidable fighting spirit to deal with the issue of African Unity Government, which would inevitably emerge out of the ashes of the old treacherous, diabolic and retrogressive system.
A people determined to challenge the current status quo in Africa in all its strength, with all its colonial-driven mentality, is a people that can always achieve victory. Let us call for transformation of the annual celebration of the June 16, 1976 Soweto massacre into a new Resistance Movement against oppression, division, black neo-colonialism and imperialist machinations and suppression in Africa. Let us this day be our unified action, to resist the presence of foreign military bases in Africa. France colonial thievery and economic pillage of Africa must end now.
PANUMASS, like The School of Afrikan Awareness will always speak out against systematic discrimination and injustices that take place around the world, in the hope that the memory of the Soweto massacre and other events, be it attacks on blacks in America, Brazil or Europe, or Asia will lead to peace, mutual respect, and the recognition of everyone’s right to live in dignity and freedom.
On this day of remembrance, we send our deepest sympathies and solidarity to our brothers and sisters in South Africa, Africans on the continent and diasporas. We stand with you in your peaceful pursuit of truth and justice, and your honest desire to create a better, more just world.
Together, Africa will be free, united, peaceful, truly democratic, and prosperous. We will confront human rights violations, challenge persecution, and do everything we can to ensure that these atrocities never happen again, on the African soil.
Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh
Pan-African Movement Against Second Slavery (PANUMASS)