South African History

16 June 1976
Soweto Uprising

It started as a peaceful protest march by youths against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in Black Schools in Soweto, and escalated into a nation-wide revolt, irreversibly revitalizing the struggle for liberation in South Africa.

 

The Day Our Kids Lost Faith - Marching kids, in a mood common to school kids the world over happy that they were not in class, good naturedly protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at their schools. They march from Naledi Township, at the south western end of Soweto, collecting others on their route to Orlando East, the north eastern end of the vast complex. If the police had not tried to wrest the posters from the children, if they had not tried to arrest any of them, if they had not tried to set dogs on to them, if they had not fired shots, June 16 would not have been as black a day as it turned out to be. (Bailey's African History Archives)

 

The Day Our Kids Lost Faith - Marching kids, in a mood common to school kids the world over happy that they were not in class, good naturedly protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at their schools. They march from Naledi Township, at the south western end of Soweto, collecting others on their route to Orlando East, the north eastern end of the vast complex. If the police had not tried to wrest the posters from the children, if they had not tried to arrest any of them, if they had not tried to set dogs on to them, if they had not fired shots, June 16 would not have been as black a day as it turned out to be. (Sam Nzima / South Photographs)

 

The Day Our Kids Lost Faith - Marching kids, in a mood common to school kids the world over happy that they were not in class, good naturedly protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at their schools. They march from Naledi Township, at the south western end of Soweto, collecting others on their route to Orlando East, the north eastern end of the vast complex. If the police had not tried to wrest the posters from the children, if they had not tried to arrest any of them, if they had not tried to set dogs on to them, if they had not fired shots, June 16 would not have been as black a day as it turned out to be. (Bailey's African History Archives)

 

The Day Our Kids Lost Faith - Marching kids, in a mood common to school kids the world over happy that they were not in class, good naturedly protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at their schools. They march from Naledi Township, at the south western end of Soweto, collecting others on their route to Orlando East, the north eastern end of the vast complex. If the police had not tried to wrest the posters from the children, if they had not tried to arrest any of them, if they had not tried to set dogs on to them, if they had not fired shots, June 16 would not have been as black a day as it turned out to be. (Sam Nzima / South Photographs)

 

Soweto uprisings, June 16. Police take aim.(Sam Nzima / South Photographs)

 

June 16 - Pandemonium as police bullets threaten lives (Bongani Mnguni)

 

Tsietsi Mashinini - Leader of the June 16 1976 Soweto Uprising.

He led the march that escalated and rocked the whole coutry. They marched from Naledi township, at the south western end of Soweto, collecting others from other schools on their route to Orlando East, the north eastern part of the vast complex. Their mission was to put their heads together and find out how best to get out of the Afrikaans dilemma. Before they could get to Orlando East they found out that they could not get the right of way. Cops helicopters, vans, formidable looking hippos of the terrorist Squad formed a road block down the valley. The children formed their own road block near Uncle Tom's Hall and near Orlando West Junior Secondary. Some were patched over hills. It looked ominous. (Bailey's African History Archives)

 

June 16 - Militant Soweto residents (Bongani Mnguni)

 

June 16 - Photographer Alf Kumalo in the midst of the chaos after the shootings (Bongani Mnguni)

 

June 16 - People running from teargas (Bongani Mnguni)

 

June 16 - Chaos spread throughout Soweto and the country (Bongani Mnguni)

 

The Day Our Kids Lost Faith - Marching kids, in a mood common to school kids the world over happy that they were not in class, good naturedly protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at their schools. They march from Naledi Township, at the south western end of Soweto, collecting others on their route to Orlando East, the north eastern end of the vast complex. If the police had not tried to wrest the posters from the children, if they had not tried to arrest any of them, if they had not tried to set dogs on to them, if they had not fired shots, June 16 would not have been as black a day as it turned out to be. (Bailey's African History Archives)

 

The Day Our Kids Lost Faith - Marching kids, in a mood common to school kids the world over happy that they were not in class, good naturedly protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at their schools. They march from Naledi Township, at the south western end of Soweto, collecting others on their route to Orlando East, the north eastern end of the vast complex. If the police had not tried to wrest the posters from the children, if they had not tried to arrest any of them, if they had not tried to set dogs on to them, if they had not fired shots, June 16 would not have been as black a day as it turned out to be. (Bailey's African History Archives)

 

The Day Our Kids Lost Faith - Marching kids, in a mood common to school kids the world over happy that they were not in class, good naturedly protesting against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at their schools. They march from Naledi Township, at the south western end of Soweto, collecting others on their route to Orlando East, the north eastern end of the vast complex. If the police had not tried to wrest the posters from the children, if they had not tried to arrest any of them, if they had not tried to set dogs on to them, if they had not fired shots, June 16 would not have been as black a day as it turned out to be. (Bailey's African History Archives)

 

The affair at Park Station, Thursday March 11, 1976 - During the trial on terrorism of Miss Pumza Dyanty and six others in the Johannesburg supreme court, a scuffle broke out between the crowd and police. (Bailey's African History Archives)

 

Soweto June 1976. Mbuyisa Makhubu carries the body of Hector Pieterson, shot by police during the student protest against Afrikaans as the school language medium. (Sam Nzima / South Photographs)

 

Soweto June 1976. Mbuyisa Makhubu carries the body of Hector Pieterson, shot by police during the student protest against Afrikaans as the school language medium. (Photograph by Sam Nzima)

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