(21 March 1960)
An incident in the South African township of Sharpeville. The police opened fire on a demonstration against apartheid laws, killing 67 Africans, and wounding 180. There was widespread international condemnation, and a state of emergency was declared in South Africa. 1700 persons were detained, and the political parties, the African National Congress and Pan-Africanist Congress were banned. Three weeks later a White farmer attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister, Verwoerd, and, as pressure from the Commonwealth against the apartheid policies mounted, South Africa became a republic and withdrew from the Commonwealth (1961).
Subjects: African Studies — World History.