Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Youth Day In South Africa

Previously known as Soweto Day.

In 1975 protests started in African schools after a directive from the previous Bantu Education Department that Afrikaans had to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools. The issue however, was not so much the Afrikaans as the whole system of Bantu education which was characterised by separate schools and universities, poor facilities, overcrowded classrooms and inadequately trained teachers.


On 16 June 1976 more than 20 000 pupils from Soweto began a protest march. In the wake of clashes with the police, and the violence that ensued during the next few weeks, approximately 700 hundred people, many of them youths, were killed and property destroyed.

Youth Day commemorates these events.

Hector Pieterson (1964 – 16 June 1976) became the iconic image of the 1976 Soweto uprising in apartheid South Africa when a news photograph by Sam Nzima of the dying Hector being carried by a fellow student, was published around the world. He was killed at the age of 12 when the police opened fire on protesting students. For years, June 16 stood as a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government. Today, it is known as National Youth Day — a day on which South Africans honor young people and bring attention to their needs.

1 comment:

Slyde said...

wow.. this was a very interesting read.. thanks for sharing.

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