About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

1976

June 16 : Soweto school students' massacre. The pupils of all the schools in Soweto demonstrate peacefully against the use of Afrikaans as the means of instruction and are shot down by police in caspirs and tanks. Over 1,000 children are killed, many more injured and in a few weeks there are 10,000 children imprisoned. Resistance spreads to schools and colleges throughout the country. It is a turning point in the struggle against apartheid.

Photograph of Hector Peterson fatally wounded, being carried away by Mbuyisa Makhubu and Hector's sister is published in The World and publicised world-wide, becomes an icon of the slaughter of children in Soweto on June 16, 1976

September 12 : Steve Biko killed in detention. His mutilated body defies police reports that he hit his head accidentally. News of his brutal death is broadcast world-wide.

October : 17 organisations banned including newspapers in widespread repression drive in reaction to Soweto uprising.

Transkei given 'independence'. Kaiser Matanzima is first Bantustan President.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.