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The president will speak at Orlando Stadium during the official commemorations of the student uprising of 16 June 1976. Tombstones will also be unveiled for the student leaders.
A RANGE of activities have been lined-up to mark the 35th anniversary of the June 16 Soweto Student Uprising.


Executive mayor Parks TauExecutive mayor Parks Tau will open a multi-sports centre in SowetoTo start the day on Thursday, Executive Mayor Parks Tau will officially open a multi-sports facility at Naledi High School in Soweto. It is one of the eight 1976 heritage schools, whose students played a pivotal role in organising the protest against the inferior Bantu education.

The other heritage schools are Meadowlands, Morris Isaacson, Mmusi, Sekanantwana, Madibane, Orlando East and Orlando West. From Naledi High School, Tau will lead a delegation to Silverton Siege Memorial in Diepkloof Zone 5, where he will also deliver a keynote address.

He will later join the premier of Gauteng, Nomvula Mokonyane, at the Hector Pieterson Memorial – still in Soweto – for the laying of a wreath. The families of Hector Pieterson and Tsietsi Mashinini will attend.

Seth Mazibuko, a June 16 activist, will deliver a tribute message on behalf of the June 16 Foundation. Mazibuko will be followed by the chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency’s Gauteng Provincial Advisory Board, Simon Molefe, who will also deliver a message of support.

From there, the parties will move on to the main event at Orlando Stadium, where President Jacob Zuma will deliver a national address.

As part of the day’s activities, members of the Tsietsi Mashinini Trust and the June 16 Foundation will lead a march from Regina Mundi Catholic Church to Avalon Cemetery. There, the body of the 1976 student leader Kgotso Seathlolo will be re-buried next to Mashinini, his predecessor, according to Mazibuko.

Seathlolo became the second leader of the Soweto Student Movement of 1976, taking over from Mashinini when he left the country in August 1976 to escape the apartheid security forces.

Tombstones will be unveiled for the two leaders. The tombstones were donated by Lebogang Khitsane, the owner of Bataung Memorial, a tombstone company. “We feel that we owe these leaders a lot, and this is our way of giving back to the community,” Khitsane said.

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