South Africa Commemorates 38th Anniversary of Soweto Uprisings

Iconic photo of Hector Pieterson, 13, being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo after being shot by South African police. His sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them. (Photo taken by Sam Nzima)

Iconic photo of Hector Pieterson, 13, being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo after being shot by South African police. His sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them. (Photo taken by Sam Nzima)

Star Africa is reporting that South Africa is commemorating the 38th Anniversary of the Soweto uprisings in which hundreds of high school students were killed in clashes with the police. Political leaders from different parties are expected to make public addresses around the country.

The author writes:

“Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the main national event in Kimberley, while Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema will speak in Rustenburg and Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane is due to address a rally in Soshanguve just outside Pretoria.”

June 16 is a public holiday commemorating the day in 1976, when when more than 10,000 students from schools in Soweto Township protested against the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in schools. Police officers shot and killed 176 students that day during the protests. While 176 is the “official” number of those murdered on that day, many estimate that hundreds more were actually killed. 

English and Afrikaans are currently the medium of instruction in most South African schools, despite the fact that 11 official languages are recognized by the country and most black South Africans speak ixiHosa. 

Read more at StarAfrica.com

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