SALO joins South Africans in commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Soweto uprising today – 16 June 2021

Image: “The Soweto Uprising” by Melanie Lazarow is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

On this day, June 16th, South Africa commemorates the 45th anniversary of the Soweto uprising. In 1976, protests started in South African schools after a directive from the then Apartheid government’s Bantu Education Department proclamation that Afrikaans had to be used as a medium of instruction in South African schools. The larger issue was the whole system of ‘Bantu education’, which was characterised by segregated schools, segregated curricula, poor facilities for black people, overcrowded classrooms, and inadequately trained teachers. On this day, more than 20 000 school-going young people from Soweto began protesting, which was met with police clampdowns and eventual massacre. Approximately 700 people, mainly pupils, were killed. Today, we pay tribute to those brave young people who took to the streets to fight an unjust and brutal apartheid regime. Their acts of heroism are an inspiration to the young people of South Africa to continue fighting for a more just world, not only for themselves but for future generations to come.