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Youths mark June 16 Uprising


Soweto – On Youth Day about 200 youths marked the 44th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Uprising in Orlando West.

  They marched in Khumalo Road near the Hector Pieterson Museum, diplaying placards inscribed Asivikelane, and a banner that read: Use the spirit of June 16 to fight Covid 19. More placards supported the Black Lives Matter campaign, and were also against gender-based violence.

  The 1976 uprising started when black students demonstrated against the apartheid government’s introduction of the use of Afrikaans at schools; and about 200 students and other people were killed in the protests that took several weeks.  

  Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo said: “Celebrating the June 16 Uprising 44 years later, we must draw strength from the heroic struggles of young people and defeat this COVID-19 pandemic as well.” 

  The day is marked by the African Union (AU) as the Day of the African Child.  In a Tweeter message African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Mahamat said: “Every June 16 we remember the 1976 Soweto Uprising, where students fought with great courage for their right to education and dignity. Today, we must continue the fight for all children to have a healthy, safe start in life, free from harm, for the Africa we want.”

  In a statement he United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said the corona virus pandemic has exacerbated the challenges of young people in the African continent.