Hector Pieterson

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Hector Pieterson (1964 – 16 June 1976) became the subject of an iconic image of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa when a news photograph by Sam Nzima of the dying Hector being carried by another student while his sister ran next to them, was published around the world. He was killed at the age of 12 when the police opened fire on protesting students. For years, 16 June stood as a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the apartheid government. Today, it is known as National Youth Day — when South Africans honor young people and bring attention to their needs.

Soweto Uprising

On 16 June 1976, school children protested the implementation of Afrikaans and English as dual medium of instruction in secondary schools in a 50:50 basis. This was implemented throughout South Africa regardless of the locally-spoken language and some exams were also written in Afrikaans.

A group of 30 students gathered outside the Phefeni Junior Secondary School singing the traditional Sotho anthem 'Morena Boloka Sechaba Sa Heso'. When the police arrived the crowd became violent, throwing rocks at...
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