Soweta Township Uprising 30th Anniversary
Posted on: June 16, 2006
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The Soweto uprising that marked the beginning of the end for Apartheid in South Africa is remembered 30 years on.
The anniversary of the day police opened fire on unarmed black students as they staged a protest march is now a public holiday. President Thabo Mbeki urged today's South African youth to confront the modern challenges of poverty, crime, and unemployment.
Soweto remains one of the defining moments of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle. It started as a revolt against plans by the minority white government to enforce teaching in Afrikaans, considered the language of the oppressor by the black population.
Two dozen students died when police opened fire on the demonstrators. Up to 600 were killed by security forces in Soweto alone in the months of protests that followed.
Now the manner of remembrance is at the centre of a new dispute. Some including former president Nelson Mandela say the sacrifices of Soweto should be honoured and commemorated. Others treat the national holiday as time for celebrations and partying.
Provided by Reuters.