Picture: Siyabulela Dludla/GCIS

Johannesburg - South Africa needs a new deal on land reform that will benefit all its black citizens, leader of the Pan African Congress (PAC) Narius Moloto on Thursday said during the country's Human Rights Day commemorations in Sharpeville.

''We want to emphasise that one thing left behind long after the fight against apartheid, is land. On this 59 anniversary of Sharpeville, we know that black people are a majority that is still without land. We are still struggling under the confines of the 13 percent of the land granted to traditional leaders by the apartheid government,'' Moloto said to a loud applause.

''I am happy that the president [Cyril Ramaphosa] is here. Ramaphosa, we need a new land deal. Codesa [Convention for a Democratic South Africa]  did not do justice to African people. We need justice...we demand a deal on the table... a deal on land to benefit the majority of our African people. ''

The country commemorates the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in Vereeniging on this day. At least 69 people were shot dead by the apartheid era police officers for protesting against pass laws. The PAC had proposed anti-pass law campaigns across the country starting on 21 March 1960.

Moloto said that it was time all political parties that fought against the apartheid regime "be recognised".

"As we go into elections, let's not forget the parties that fought for the liberation of this country, because if we dare do so, we might as well discard the history and contributions of these heroes. As a liberation movement Mr President, I am certain we agree that even the parties that didn't participate in the liberation of this country are overtaking us in the discussion if land...that cannot be normal. Let us not drag down the need and aspiration of our people - which remains the land."

At nearby Dlomo Dam in the Sharpeville township, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is holding its own Human Rights Day commemorations, where party leader Julius Malema will address supporters.

Ramaphosa is expected to deliver a keynote address at the national event.

- African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Chantall Presence