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Soweto Uprising: Causal Analysis

1012 words - 5 pages

On the 16th of June,1976, the Soweto uprising began with high school students protested for a better education. The uprising was a protest formed by black Africans, who objected against the use of the Afrikaans language in South African schools. There are many causes for this uprising such as the apartheid laws strengthening and the introduction of the Bantu Education Act.There were also several important consequences.These include the deaths of over 500 individuals and the beginning of a larger protest movement against the government as well as other such effects like the international boycott of South Africa.

There were many causes of the Soweto uprising with the most prominent being the ...view middle of the document...

One student said “Our parents are prepared to suffer under the white man’s rule. They have been living for years under these laws and they have become immune to them. But we strongly refuse to swallow and education that is designed to make us slaves in the country of our birth.” One of the main causes of the protest was that students were beginning to rebel. On Sunday 13th of June, about 400 students attended a SASM (South African Student's Movement) meeting. At this meeting, Tsietsi Mashinini, a 19 year old leader, called for a mass demonstration against the use of Afrikaans in schools. They decided not to tell their parents, for fear that they would try and stop them.

Tsietsi Mashinini led students from Morris Isaacson High School to join up with others who walked from Naledi High School. The students began the march only to find out that police had barricaded the road along their intended route. Tsietsi asked the crowd not to provoke the police and the march continued on another route, eventually ending up near Orlando High School. Throughout the protest the students sang and waved placards with slogans such as “Down with Afrikaans and Viva Azania”.

There were many consequences during and after the Soweto uprising. When the police released their dogs on the protestors, the dogs were stoned to death. The police then began to shoot directly at the children. The first students to be shot dead was 13-year-old Hector Pieterson. He was shot at Orlando West High School and became the symbol of the Soweto uprising. The police continued the attacks, resulting in 23 people, including two white people, dying on the first day in Soweto. Included in them was Dr Melville Edelstein. He had devoted his life to social welfare among black South Africans. However, he was killed by the mob, through stoning and left with a sign around his neck proclaiming "Beware Afrikaners".

One of the main consequences of the Soweto Uprising was the amount of people killed. In total, the South African...

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