Page 5, 3rd April 1970

3rd April 1970
Page 5
Page 5, 3rd April 1970 — Why Sharpeville massacre was so loathsome

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Organisations: South African police
Locations: Sharpeville, Belfast


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Why Sharpeville massacre was so loathsome

I WONDER if I can help Mr. G. J. A. Stern (March 20) to understand why Archbishop Roberts and others should have troubled to remind us of the 69 persons killed by South African police at Sharpeville ten years ago.

The massacre was the consequence of apartheid, the deliberate separate development in the same country of two races, one privileged and the other underprivileged. When a government imposes such a system on its citizens tensions arc bound to ensue, leading up to incidents like Sharpeville.

It is true, as Mr. Stern observes, that the equivalent of several thousand Sharpevilles have occurred all over independent Africa and Asia, but then independent Europe and America have not missed many opportunities for waging war and revolution either. It is also true that Africans in South Africa are better off than their brethren in the rest of Africa, but that is not the point.

The point is that in South Africa the callous and systematic oppression of one group of people by another group of people is carried out, not bebecause of politics, religion, language or social status, but because the victims are the way God made them. Surely this is the most loathsome reason for discriminating against any human being, and supplies Mr. Stern with the explanation for the worldwide albhorrence of


Cyril Myerscough London. S.E.3.

Prestige writers

WITH regard to the letter signed G. Veglio in your issue of March 13, may I express the opinion that the omission of articles by Malcolm Muggeridge and Norman St. John-Stevas, essential for the prestige of your paper, would diminish its value and interest for the majority of your readers? In this permissive age, contributors with their sanity of outlook keep many of us from lapsing into despair. Long may their typewriters send to the CATHOLIC HERALD their views on contemporary affairs!

Northern Ireland Graduate Belfast.

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