Human Rights Day (Public Holiday)

Remember the past and celebrate the future on Human Rights Day


Human Rights Day (21 March) was officially declared a public holiday in 1994 following the inauguration of former president Nelson Mandela. This national day-off is both a stark reminder of the tragic Sharpeville massacre and a celebration of South Africa’s unique constitution, which gives equal rights to all.

THE SHARPEVILLE MASSACRE

On Monday, 21 March in 1960 police opened fire, without order, on a crowd that had gathered at the Sharpeville station to protest pass laws, stipulations that required Africans to carry books and produce them for law enforcement officials on request; 69 unarmed people were killed and another 180 were injured.  

While little is known about what really sparked this tragic event, Joe Tlholoe, one of the nation's most acclaimed journalists who was a high school pupil at the time, recalled that the Pan Africanist Congress – under the leadership of Robert Sobukwe – appealed to all African men to take a stand against such a humiliating law, leave their pass books (also known as the dompas) at home, go to their nearest police station and demand to be incarcerated for not carrying the demeaning document. The police then, upon seeing the masses of people marching, opened fire on the crowd in a state of fear.

Today, the South African constitution protects individual rights, like the right to move freely without a pass book, with its inclusion of the Bill of Rights (only a supermajority of Parliament can influence any changes to the bill), and citizens are entitled to basic human dignity and more in the country’s current democracy.

THINGS TO DO ON HUMAN RIGHT’S DAY IN CAPE TOWN

To commemorate this historic day and to celebrate how far our nation’s progressed, why not have a look at our overview of things to do for Human Right’s Day in Cape Town.

---
2016 CALENDAR OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA

JANUARY

1 JAN

New Year's Day

MARCH

21 MAR

Human Rights Day

25 MAR

Good Friday

27 MAR

Family Day (Easter Sunday)

APRIL

27 APR

Freedom Day

MAY

1 MAY

Worker’s Day

JUNE

16 JUN

Youth Day

AUGUST

9 AUG

National Women's Day

SEPTEMBER

24 SEP

Heritage Day

DECEMBER

16 DEC

Day of Reconciliation

25 DEC

Christmas Day

26 DEC

Day of Goodwill

---
Plan your year with our nifty overview of public holidays in South Africa. Alternatively, have a squiz at our guide to annual March events to find out about more hot happenings taking place during the month.

Tue
H:27°
L:17°
Wed
H:31°
L:17°
Thu
H:33°
L:18°
Fri
H:25°
L:17°
Sat
H:22°
L:17°
Sun
H:30°
L:16°
Mon
H:30°
L:16°
Cape Town Events Calendar
February 2017
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28

Villains Ale House Logo 2DJ nights at Villain’s Ale House

Kick start your weekend with DJ nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Glowing Rooms 3Glowing Rooms SA offers a special ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed ...

Villains Ale House Logo 2Meet the Beer at Villain’s Ale House

Meet the various curators of craft beer at Villain’s Ale every Wednesday!

To Love or Not - 1To Love or Not to Love: A Street View

Delve into the reality of ‘street couples’

kiff kombi toursCheap Tuesdays with Kiff Kombi Tours

Get a 20% discount on your next Kiff Kombi Tour when booking for 5 people or ...

Maynardville - 4Romeo and Juliet Ballet at Maynardville ...

In fair Maynardville…

Spur Winter Trail Run SeriesThe 2017 Spur Summer Trail Series®

Run wild and free this summer with this top-notch trail series

Slave descendantsMy Naam is Februarie - Identities ...

View a historically significant calendar and listen to audiobooks in ...

MonarkLive Summer Concerts at Vergenoegd Wine ...

Rock on dude!

MaynardvilleShakespeare in the Park at Maynardville ...

See Shakespeare’s well-known tale of passion, love and confusion, Twelfth ...

Slug Kloof 2Tequila Tuesday Drinks Special at Slug ...

Discounted shots and cocktails right before hump day

I Love Big Bay Spring MarketI Love Big Bay Market

Put a spring in your step at this fabulous evening market

Find your spot#FindYourSpot with Place in the Sun ...

Col'Cacchio invites you all to come and try their custom designed pizzas and ...

Galileo Open Air Cinema Cape TownThe Galileo Open Air Cinema in the Cape ...

Grab some snacks and get ready to watch your favourite films beneath the stars ...

The Galileo Open Air Theatre Hillcrest QuarryThe Galileo Open Air Cinema at ...

Grab your popcorn and settle down at this unique Durbanville location for the ...

Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands Live Music 2Happy Hour Special at the Live-Inn Room

Pop in to Park Inn Newslands Hotel for buy-one-get-one-free drinks any day of ...

WSDC Shark 5White Shark Diving Company’s Killer ...

Come face-to-face with the ocean’s most fearsome fish for a truly ...

Haute Cabriere TerraceTrue Marriage of Food and Wine at Haute ...

Enjoy a specially curated Pinot Noir-inspired pairing of exquisite vino and ...

Live Jazz Music at Asoka on TuesdayLive Jazz at Asoka Restaurant

Turn your Tuesday up a notch with this trendy hotspot’s vibey dinner and ...

Rick's Cafe Table PeopleRick’s Café Americain’s Weekly ...

Pop over to the charming Casablanca-themed restaurant for a hearty meal that ...

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Team Building Cape TownTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser ...

Decor at Cafe Mojito city centreLive Music Tuesday at Cafe Mojito

Kick off your week with a night of local jamming at Long Street’s beloved ...

Boy Girl Hair Salon at Peter the HaircutterHaircut Special at Boy Girl Hair Salon ...

Marry a tip-top cut with any of this edgy salon’s other services and save

Manga Sushi 22-for-1 Sushi Special at Manga ...

Save on sashimi, salmon roses and more every Tuesday at this contemporary Asian ...

Summertide Art Exhibition 2016Summertide Art Exhibition

Add a pop of culture into your summer with this exquisite exhibition

table mountain chocolate 3Table Mountain Chocolate Bar Special

Buy five of the flat-topped bars and pay for four when you mention CapeTownMag

Beerhouse Restaurant and Bar in Cape TownPub Quiz Night at Beerhouse on Long ...

Test your general knowledge at this Long Street-based haunt’s Tuesday pub quiz

Excentric InteriorTransformation Tuesday at Excentric ...

First-time clients will receive a complimentary Olaplex in-salon treatment when ...

HQ Date performerTuesday Romantic Date Night at HQ ...

Treat your loved one to an evening of succulent steaks, red wine and romantic ...

mischu coffee showroom in sea point cape townFree Coffee Beans and Capsules at ...

Simply mention CapeTownMagazine.com while placing an order of coffee beans or ...

Villains Ale House Logo 2DJ nights at Villain’s Ale House

Kick start your weekend with DJ nights every Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Glowing Rooms 3Glowing Rooms SA offers a special ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed ...

Villains Ale House Logo 2Meet the Beer at Villain’s Ale House

Meet the various curators of craft beer at Villain’s Ale every Wednesday!

To Love or Not - 1To Love or Not to Love: A Street View

Delve into the reality of ‘street couples’

kiff kombi toursCheap Tuesdays with Kiff Kombi Tours

Get a 20% discount on your next Kiff Kombi Tour when booking for 5 people or ...

Maynardville - 4Romeo and Juliet Ballet at Maynardville ...

In fair Maynardville…

Spur Winter Trail Run SeriesThe 2017 Spur Summer Trail Series®

Run wild and free this summer with this top-notch trail series

Slave descendantsMy Naam is Februarie - Identities ...

View a historically significant calendar and listen to audiobooks in ...

MonarkLive Summer Concerts at Vergenoegd Wine ...

Rock on dude!

MaynardvilleShakespeare in the Park at Maynardville ...

See Shakespeare’s well-known tale of passion, love and confusion, Twelfth ...

Slug Kloof 2Tequila Tuesday Drinks Special at Slug ...

Discounted shots and cocktails right before hump day

I Love Big Bay Spring MarketI Love Big Bay Market

Put a spring in your step at this fabulous evening market

Find your spot#FindYourSpot with Place in the Sun ...

Col'Cacchio invites you all to come and try their custom designed pizzas and ...

Galileo Open Air Cinema Cape TownThe Galileo Open Air Cinema in the Cape ...

Grab some snacks and get ready to watch your favourite films beneath the stars ...

The Galileo Open Air Theatre Hillcrest QuarryThe Galileo Open Air Cinema at ...

Grab your popcorn and settle down at this unique Durbanville location for the ...

Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Newlands Live Music 2Happy Hour Special at the Live-Inn Room

Pop in to Park Inn Newslands Hotel for buy-one-get-one-free drinks any day of ...

WSDC Shark 5White Shark Diving Company’s Killer ...

Come face-to-face with the ocean’s most fearsome fish for a truly ...

Haute Cabriere TerraceTrue Marriage of Food and Wine at Haute ...

Enjoy a specially curated Pinot Noir-inspired pairing of exquisite vino and ...

Live Jazz Music at Asoka on TuesdayLive Jazz at Asoka Restaurant

Turn your Tuesday up a notch with this trendy hotspot’s vibey dinner and ...

Rick's Cafe Table PeopleRick’s Café Americain’s Weekly ...

Pop over to the charming Casablanca-themed restaurant for a hearty meal that ...

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Team Building Cape TownTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser ...

Decor at Cafe Mojito city centreLive Music Tuesday at Cafe Mojito

Kick off your week with a night of local jamming at Long Street’s beloved ...

Boy Girl Hair Salon at Peter the HaircutterHaircut Special at Boy Girl Hair Salon ...

Marry a tip-top cut with any of this edgy salon’s other services and save

Manga Sushi 22-for-1 Sushi Special at Manga ...

Save on sashimi, salmon roses and more every Tuesday at this contemporary Asian ...

Summertide Art Exhibition 2016Summertide Art Exhibition

Add a pop of culture into your summer with this exquisite exhibition

table mountain chocolate 3Table Mountain Chocolate Bar Special

Buy five of the flat-topped bars and pay for four when you mention CapeTownMag

Beerhouse Restaurant and Bar in Cape TownPub Quiz Night at Beerhouse on Long ...

Test your general knowledge at this Long Street-based haunt’s Tuesday pub quiz

Excentric InteriorTransformation Tuesday at Excentric ...

First-time clients will receive a complimentary Olaplex in-salon treatment when ...

HQ Date performerTuesday Romantic Date Night at HQ ...

Treat your loved one to an evening of succulent steaks, red wine and romantic ...

mischu coffee showroom in sea point cape townFree Coffee Beans and Capsules at ...

Simply mention CapeTownMagazine.com while placing an order of coffee beans or ...

Al Bairre Zip Zap ConcertAl Bairre Announce Official Split in ...

Local South African band to play final concerts together

Lighthouse FestLighthouse Festival South Africa

Watch as Kommetjie gets lit at the Mother City’s very own Lighthouse Festival!

Adventure Bootcamp at NitidaSaturday Session at Nitida Wine Farm

Get active, get outside and, most importantly, have fun.

Blindiana Barista Free Wi-FiCape Town achieves Fibre Optics ...

The Mother City reaches its 800km mark

Craig Hinds watershedWatershed Live Concert in Cape Town

Enjoy the melodic tunes of Watershed at Paul Cluver Wine Estate

kiff kombi toursUrban Safari Tour with Kiff Kombi Tours

Bring your own drinks, smiles and good vibes!

The Charles Cafe ExteriorThe Charles Café in De Waterkant

A charming city centre restaurant seeking to unite people over wholesome fare

Mumford and Sons Tour in Cape Town Mumford & Sons Concert Tour in Cape Town

The popular British indie folk band makes their South African tour debut in 2016

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.