More than 300 Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) members gathered at Langa Square opposite taxi rank to commemorate Human Rights Day, Thursday March 21.
The members first gathered at Langa Graveyard wearing party regalia to pay respect to the fallen heroes who were killed by the apartheid regime in 1960.
They sang liberation songs while carrying banners bearing the face of party founder Robert Mangaliso Sobukhwe.
The key message delivered on the day was that this was not Human Rights Day but a day on which innocent Africans had been murdered.
They said that as long as black people continue to live inhumane conditions, real freedom has not been attained.
They said that while government said people had attained democracy and freedom, black people were still landless.
PAC deputy president, Mzwanele Nyhontso, said the organisation had taken a stance since its formation that the land should be given to its rightful owners.
He said that until that was done, there was no freedom for black people.
Mr Nyhontso said black people were still bound by the “shacks and shackles” of the past but that the people should not despair.
He said their gathering was not a celebration but a remembrance of heroes and heroine who laid their lives for betterment of the country.
He said the current generation should draw lessons and strengths from those who had dedicated their lives to the struggle.
Mr Nyhontso said over the years the party members had been divided, which had played a major role in crippling the party.
But, he said, he was glad that the party seemed to be united and that would enable it to do better in the upcoming elections. “We are still fighting for the liberation of our people.
Until we have the land that was stolen from us, we will still keep fighting.
“We are marginalised. Our people don’t own any resources but yet the government claims that the lives of our people has been liberated.
“Our stance has always been the same and that would never change. We draw bravery and encouragement from the spirit of our fallen heroes. We want land and that is non-negotiable,” he said.
Luyolo Mvadedwa said as a young person, it was important that he learnt what actually occurred during apartheid days of struggle. He said often the history became distorted. But, he said, the lessons and information they got at gatherings such as this one, were uncensored and unedited.
Senior party member Mlungisi Maloyi said the history of March 21 had been twisted by parties who had “hijacked the day and used it for cheap political points”.
He said the PAC had over the years advocated that the land should be brought to its rightful owners and urged the youth to keep fighting until the resources that were taken from the poor and marginalised were returned.