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South Africans' June 16th 1976 Revolt

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The Calm Before The Revolution: The End Of Normal Schooling As We Knew It...

Taken on June 15th 1976 , one day before the students made revolution on June 16th 1976.  This was the last time normal schooling took place in South Africa (Mzantsi).

Taken on June 15th 1976 , one day before the students made revolution on June 16th 1976. This was the last time normal schooling took place in South Africa (Mzantsi).

Day Day Of the March On June 16th-before the shooting by the police and soldiers

Day Day Of the March On June 16th-before the shooting by the police and soldiers

Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela: Commemorating the Students of 1976 in the Song "Soweto Blues"

Youth at a comrade's funeral and holding a banner aloftYouth in 1976 holding the frontline from the heaving masses behind them

Youth at a comrade's funeral and holding a banner aloftYouth in 1976 holding the frontline from the heaving masses behind them

A rare picture of the limp body of Hector Petersen being carried by Mbulelo to a waiting vollksie

A rare picture of the limp body of Hector Petersen being carried by Mbulelo to a waiting vollksie

An Artist's impression of the student of 1976 holding a demonstration, and the police waylaying them

An Artist's impression of the student of 1976 holding a demonstration, and the police waylaying them

The exuberance of the students showing during the march before orders were given to do any shooting by the Police on the morning of Wednesday June 16th 1976

The exuberance of the students showing during the march before orders were given to do any shooting by the Police on the morning of Wednesday June 16th 1976

Students in a pumped-up mood in the early stages of the protests

Students in a pumped-up mood in the early stages of the protests

Afrikaners have been trying to impose Afrikaans as a language in all subjects in African Schools, students with their placards gave back a serious answer what they thought of Afrikaans as a language

Afrikaners have been trying to impose Afrikaans as a language in all subjects in African Schools, students with their placards gave back a serious answer what they thought of Afrikaans as a language

On June 17th, students decided to march to Johannesburg Downtown, as seen on the picture moving towards Canada Railway station, and stopped by police and soldiers in their "Hippos"

On June 17th, students decided to march to Johannesburg Downtown, as seen on the picture moving towards Canada Railway station, and stopped by police and soldiers in their "Hippos"

Top: Roadblocks in Zwelitsha, Cape Town as the 1976 revolt  spread and became countrywide; Police vehicles and manpower reinforces assemble before attacking the students in Soweto, 1976

Top: Roadblocks in Zwelitsha, Cape Town as the 1976 revolt spread and became countrywide; Police vehicles and manpower reinforces assemble before attacking the students in Soweto, 1976

Shot in the Stomach by an R1 Rifle bullet

Shot in the Stomach by an R1 Rifle bullet

Soweto 1976 was the Day of Stones, Dustbin Lids, Fire, and Ash

Soweto 1976 was the Day of Stones, Dustbin Lids, Fire, and Ash

Government vehicles set on Fire on June 18th 1976

Government vehicles set on Fire on June 18th 1976

Policeman in hot pursuit of demonstrators during the June 16th 1976: policemen with guns against unarmed youths meandering around a dead body of an African protester

Policeman in hot pursuit of demonstrators during the June 16th 1976: policemen with guns against unarmed youths meandering around a dead body of an African protester

Policemen searching youths before scuttling them into a waiting police jeep

Policemen searching youths before scuttling them into a waiting police jeep

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top:A policeman lumbering after a fleet-footed youngster making his getaway from him, June 16th 1976. Police in blue uniforms playing cat-and-mouse

top:A policeman lumbering after a fleet-footed youngster making his getaway from him, June 16th 1976. Police in blue uniforms playing cat-and-mouse

Students and locals engage in a nearly bare-handed, stones, sticks and using  lids as shield in a battle against the soldiers who were using rifles and llive ammo

Students and locals engage in a nearly bare-handed, stones, sticks and using lids as shield in a battle against the soldiers who were using rifles and llive ammo

Make-shift roadblock erected by locals and students to keep the hippo army trucks out

Make-shift roadblock erected by locals and students to keep the hippo army trucks out

Students given permission to hold rally near the offices of the Urban Bantu Councillors Chambers in a jovial and celebratory mood

Students given permission to hold rally near the offices of the Urban Bantu Councillors Chambers in a jovial and celebratory mood

After a Short speech at the UBC Offices,all hell broke loose, and the meeting turned into a very serious fight and flight from police rubber bullets, live bullets and tar gas and alsatian dogs in hot pursuit

After a Short speech at the UBC Offices,all hell broke loose, and the meeting turned into a very serious fight and flight from police rubber bullets, live bullets and tar gas and alsatian dogs in hot pursuit

Police patrol the aftermath of a revolt; plunder was the norm in the second picture for the day of June 16th 1976; ; gutted beer hall and the rubbish left behind witnessed by morning commuters on their way to work in the third picture

Police patrol the aftermath of a revolt; plunder was the norm in the second picture for the day of June 16th 1976; ; gutted beer hall and the rubbish left behind witnessed by morning commuters on their way to work in the third picture

Running in a crouching mode meant the difference between life and death were one to run upright

Running in a crouching mode meant the difference between life and death were one to run upright

The police alert, with funs coked and ready to take aim at the youth

The police alert, with funs coked and ready to take aim at the youth

The famous picture of 12 year old Hector Petersen's limp body after having been shot by rogue cops carried by Mbuyiselo away from the carnage of the day - June 16th 1976

The famous picture of 12 year old Hector Petersen's limp body after having been shot by rogue cops carried by Mbuyiselo away from the carnage of the day - June 16th 1976

A large column of students marching in an orderly manner and in high spirits carrying their placards, which were simple and to the point messages

A large column of students marching in an orderly manner and in high spirits carrying their placards, which were simple and to the point messages

Students carrying placards before the police went on a shooting rampage souring the jovial and happy mood of students demonstrating

Students carrying placards before the police went on a shooting rampage souring the jovial and happy mood of students demonstrating

Student during the in 1976 marching towards Orlando Stadiums to hold a rally and discuss the Afrikaans Issues

Student during the in 1976 marching towards Orlando Stadiums to hold a rally and discuss the Afrikaans Issues

Students and Black workers march on Jun 17th 1976 carrying placards and denouncing police might('Krag') written in Africans and crossed with an "X:.

Students and Black workers march on Jun 17th 1976 carrying placards and denouncing police might('Krag') written in Africans and crossed with an "X:.

Police reinforced with the Riot Squad and reservists in June 1976

Police reinforced with the Riot Squad and reservists in June 1976

Enrollment of African student from 1965 to 1976; and enrollment of student in From I(Standard 7, form 1970 to 1976(SRRSA, 1976)

Enrollment of African student from 1965 to 1976; and enrollment of student in From I(Standard 7, form 1970 to 1976(SRRSA, 1976)

The increase of students in African school from 1955- 1969 (SRRSA, 1976)

The increase of students in African school from 1955- 1969 (SRRSA, 1976)

Running in a crouch, a tactic that became adopted by the students ducking bullets in 1976, trying to evade the police firing squads

Running in a crouch, a tactic that became adopted by the students ducking bullets in 1976, trying to evade the police firing squads

Students engaging he police using stones and dustbin lids and attacking at the same time

Students engaging he police using stones and dustbin lids and attacking at the same time

Students trying to expand their protest by taking it out of Soweto and were headed for Johannesburg City. The police stopped them on the Road to Canada and dispersed them

Students trying to expand their protest by taking it out of Soweto and were headed for Johannesburg City. The police stopped them on the Road to Canada and dispersed them

Blockades erected by students in their running war with the police and riot police who were by now ing military vehicles like the 'Hippo' seen in th background

Blockades erected by students in their running war with the police and riot police who were by now ing military vehicles like the 'Hippo' seen in th background

Shakedown and arrest of protesters in June 1976 police round ops

Shakedown and arrest of protesters in June 1976 police round ops

In the heat of the moment and some events that were happening during the 1976 Rebellion

In the heat of the moment and some events that were happening during the 1976 Rebellion

Military mobilization taking place in Soweto on June 18th 1976; Black and White Riot squads being positioned throughout the township of Soweto

Military mobilization taking place in Soweto on June 18th 1976; Black and White Riot squads being positioned throughout the township of Soweto

High School students protesting in Langa Township

High School students protesting in Langa Township

Student were very militant and were intent of destroying Booze which was responsible for decimating the Black community and making millions alcoholics and broke both the family and society

Student were very militant and were intent of destroying Booze which was responsible for decimating the Black community and making millions alcoholics and broke both the family and society

Burned out Volkswagen belonging to the some government administrative official in Bophutatswana Legislature, August 1976

Burned out Volkswagen belonging to the some government administrative official in Bophutatswana Legislature, August 1976

Students holding a determined protest on August 4th 1976; below, Roadblock in Klipspruit, Soweto, August 4th 1976. By this time students were demanding Black worker to stay away from work, and students were commanaded to stay-at-home

Students holding a determined protest on August 4th 1976; below, Roadblock in Klipspruit, Soweto, August 4th 1976. By this time students were demanding Black worker to stay away from work, and students were commanaded to stay-at-home

School children mourning the loss of the comrade and displaying a banner

School children mourning the loss of the comrade and displaying a banner

School girls overcome by teargas

School girls overcome by teargas

June 1976: Injured people waiting for treatment during the revolt in Baragwanath Hospital. This was part of the chaos the was taking place in the Emergency Room

June 1976: Injured people waiting for treatment during the revolt in Baragwanath Hospital. This was part of the chaos the was taking place in the Emergency Room

The Youth From Naledi Township, on the Southwestern end of Soweto, collecting others on the march en-route to Orlando Stadium

The Youth From Naledi Township, on the Southwestern end of Soweto, collecting others on the march en-route to Orlando Stadium

Policemen haul their victim to a waiting police car during June 1976

Policemen haul their victim to a waiting police car during June 1976

Camouflage riot police personnel with an injured person and his placard

Camouflage riot police personnel with an injured person and his placard

The residents of Soweto using cars damaged during the fighting to create roadblocks against the police

The residents of Soweto using cars damaged during the fighting to create roadblocks against the police

These "Savage Mobs with hundreds of weapons" as quoted by some Apartheid apologist were Zulu Hostel men recruited by the Boer regime to fight the people of Soweto

These "Savage Mobs with hundreds of weapons" as quoted by some Apartheid apologist were Zulu Hostel men recruited by the Boer regime to fight the people of Soweto

Rocks and stones students used against the police, note a police van in the background in 1976

Rocks and stones students used against the police, note a police van in the background in 1976

Soweto Youth confronting and fighting against the police in 16 June 1976 and daring the advancing police. Inset: Blood oozes from a Soweto Youth after being hit by a Rubber bullet fired by cops

Soweto Youth confronting and fighting against the police in 16 June 1976 and daring the advancing police. Inset: Blood oozes from a Soweto Youth after being hit by a Rubber bullet fired by cops

Demonstrators in Cape Town demanding release of political detainees

Demonstrators in Cape Town demanding release of political detainees

Picture of students running in the same street and form part of the Hector Petersen Museum

Picture of students running in the same street and form part of the Hector Petersen Museum

Students Marching and displaying their signs on 16 June 1976

Students Marching and displaying their signs on 16 June 1976

Students in running-mode during the 1976 revolt and prior to the revolt and massacre that was perpetrated by the police

Students in running-mode during the 1976 revolt and prior to the revolt and massacre that was perpetrated by the police

The Student's Revolution That Overthrew the Apartheid Regime

The days of Mzabalazo ( Struggle/Revolution), had long begun in the primary schools throughout South Africa, in the Eastern and Western Cape in Places like Zwelitsha, Langa and the Transvaal in places like Soweto. What I am saying is that the 1976 rebellion had too many historical antecedents to it before the actual day of 1976. There were issues of non-funded schools, underpaid teachers, less government allocated funds and separate development(racism).

The African communities were expected to buy and pay for their own schooling, children's school uniforms, school books, desks, little coal stoves for the winter, no lunch for the children(each had to carry some few coins to buy themselves "fat cakes"(Magwenya") during the lunch hour, and parents were expected to support stores like Jutas Bookstore to buy highly and abnormally priced text books, and buy uniforms: I mean ties, blazers, grey flannels, tunics and black gym-dresses for girls, white, blue or yellow shirts, and girls had to have a school girdles(bearing schooling colors) and black leather belts for boys. Some teachers had to be hired by and paid for by the students' parents or the community.

The students of the Schools in Soweto and other Townships throughout the Country were segregated from White Students in the Suburbs (Or the "Kitchens") - denoting the areas where their mothers and grandmothers worked for White people, thus so-called by the African people).

The only time that both African teachers and students saw officialdom was when a White School inspector was coming, and the students were expected to prepare the school and try to impress the Inspector that the schools were clean, the bright students were chosen to impress the Inspector with their oratory and other means of demonstrating the African students' abilities to learn.

As for sport, and field and track, Africans competed amongst themselves, and white students competed with each other. Apartheid was total and complete, and sadly, it is still well and alive after all the sacrifice and bloodshed brought upon the people of African descent in South Africa.

Today a lot of the successful African Elite, who owe their very existence today to the events of South African African Struggles, are ass-licking, handkerchief-head apologists of the system that was and is still annihilating(through them) their own people, for money and to be liked by their masters and detractors. Hardcore realpolitik about South Africa has become or been made an anathema, and no one is allowed to rock the boat. Most of the fat-cats today who are ruling and running South Africa, were not there nor present when the students stood up to the might of the Apartheid regime.

Most of them, if not all of them, had left the country in the early sixties and went into exile. When South Africa exploded, and they had nothing to do with the explosion, because it was spontaneous rather that directed from exile by the present rulers of South Africa. What makes the events of June 16th 1976 unique was that no one from the present government of the ANC instigated, nor directed the events of that day. When they came to power, they called it Youth Day, a misnomer in an effort to appease their Western masters, and refused to call it what the people still call it today: June 16th 1976 Students Revolt.

Today the world is in South Africa enjoying the World Cup, but the visitors and tourists really never get to see Zwelitsha, Mdantsane, Lukwatini, Gugulethu, New Brighton, Kwa-Mashu Soweto, free of security or the police interfering. The citizens of Soweto are cognizant of this reality, and the present ANC government has taken upon itself to protect the visitors, tourists, illegal aliens against the local populace.

This means, today, the ANC is giving their protective services to all but the South African African people who are their base of support. When the ANC took over power, negotiated a coalition government, and allowed for a "Sunset Clause" with the past regime, and left Apartheid intact, it did this for what was called and is still called the Gravy Train, and becoming slave drivers and slave catchers (witness the creation of 56 courts, In My 2010 World Cup Hub, which mete-out punishment in record breaking pace never ever seen in the country for the 2010 World Cup.(For FIFA?).

The African people in South Africa have been facing tough and rough times during the apartheid regime; today, they face Sad and Bad Times by their own - that is, by a government they put into power through universal suffrage and tried to create a Rainbow Democracy - but today are forlorn, forgotten, forbidden and neglected in their pleas and cries for fairness and a better life.

This is exactly what the Apartheid regime did: it oppressed, depressed, repressed and suppressed the poor African people of South Africa, ignoring the please and protestations of the poor, by gunning them down, intimidating or incarceration, torturing and abusing the African people. The ANC allows the Americans and other money-rich countries to run the Water, Electricity, Culture and society of the African people so long as they have their hands greased with the billions and under the table cash that no one but them sees.

This 20+ year old government of South Africa is acting precisely like the regime it replaced, and in the process, beats up and intimidates, murders, kidnaps and terrorizes its own, so as to look good to the people who are visitors and tourists in South Africa. They have made promises to the Africans when they took over power, and a paltry, if any, of those were kept.

They have promised the Africans that the coming World Cup will enrich their spirits and pockets, but with rampant un-investigated corruption leading to the World Cup, those promises remain empty, and the locals left flabbergasted and bamboozled as to what is going on. The African culture, Music, language and so forth has been tossed out, and a new American/British/European culture has been set in place.

All these things did not happen over the past 20+ years of ANC rule, they have been happening to Africans for over four centuries, but at present, the ANC has worsened the state of Affairs, and in the process, arrogantly ignores, intimidates, oppresses and depresses its own people, and think nothing of it. This partly gets us to the point of talking about June 16th 1976 and why and how it happened; and why and how the same could happen again, albeit differently.

June 16th !976 - The prelude

The thing about Soweto June 16th 1976 is that it did not begin with the events that the world saw in 1976 with the explosive Revolt engineered and steered by the Students in Soweto, and spread throughout South Africa in the days and months that followed.

For a history on Soweto, read my Hub: "South African Apartheid: SOWETO - So Where To?", because the Township school children determined that they are going to solve the problem of Afrikaans and other grievances they had about their treatment in schools and their parents at work in their own way.

In order to be able to understand clearly and have a fuller picture as to why Soweto June 16th 1976 happened, we will delve a little bit into the origins and early history of African schools in South Africa.

A Very Short History Unsung

In the Hub I wrote and referred to above on Soweto, I have written some History on James Sofasonke Mpanza. Some of us did not come into politics in 1976, but were home-grown little activists during the times of James Mpanza. Towards the end of the Hub I will give a much better picture of what I am talking about when I make mention of the name, Mpanza, and the 1976 June Rebellion.

In short, some of us cut our activist/political in the movement that Mpanza created-as if he knew he was preparing us for the oncoming battle-Students Revolution of June 16th 1976.1976. In order to fully appreciate the Story and Revolution of 1976, we need to go back into concrete ancient history.