16 June 2014

South Africa: SA Marks Anniversary of Soweto Uprisings

Photo: Aliou Goloko
A monument laid before the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto. Pieterson became the subject of an iconic image of the 1976 Soweto uprising when a news photograph by Sam Nzima of the dying boy, being carried by another student while his sister ran next to them, was published around the world.

Pretoria — Today, 38 years ago, South Africa's youth rose up and demonstrated against the injustices of apartheid and the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

It was a turning point in the country's history as the youths fought for freedom and the creation of a democratic state. However, the uprisings ended tragically with hundreds of young people killed by the apartheid government.

The protest is associated with the famous image captured by photographer Sam Nzima of a young Hector Peterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo, while Hector's sister Antoinette Sithole ran alongside.

Since the tragic events, 16 June has been commemorated as Youth Day and is a public holiday in South Africa.

Youth Day is aimed at perpetuating the memory of those who died as well as carry on with their legacy and principles of selfless determination and devotion.

This year's celebrations also take place within the context of celebrations of 20 years since the dawn of peace, freedom and justice and democracy in South Africa. The first democratic elections were held in 27 April 1994.

The main Youth Day celebrations are being held in Galeshewe, Kimberley in the Northern Cape under the theme: "Youth moving South Africa forward".

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will, on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, address the event along with the Premier of the Northern Cape Sylvia Lucas, Ahmed Kathrada and Chairperson of the National Development Agency (NYDA), Yershen Pillay. - SAnews.gov.za

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