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Mayor remembers June 16 heroes


At the crack of dawn on Tuesday, 16th of June 2015, the City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau kicked-off the 39th commemoration of the 1976 Student Uprising with the laying of a wreath at the Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum in Orlando West, Soweto.

Accompanied by the Gauteng Premier David Makhura, Mayor Tau led the City’s Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony set to be preceded by a number of activities throughout the day across the country.

These activities will mark the historic day when scores of school children were brutally killed by the former apartheid regime police during a march against having Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools for black people. This grievance was part of a wider rejection of the inferior Bantu Education, and of apartheid as a whole.

Speaking during the Wreath Laying Ceremony, Mayor Tau described June 16 as “a watershed event that changed the history and direction of South Africa in the fight against apartheid injustice forever”.

Mayor Tau said: “The courage of the young lions of 1976 was not wasted. We have not as a City, a province, and the country’s government forgotten the selfless and noble bravery of our young heroes such as Hector Pieterson and Hastings Ndlovu.”

“We have kept their gallant deeds in our hearts and minds. In the spirit of true patriotism, we have gathered here today - at the Hector Pieterson Museum - a special place which symbolises the 1976 Student Uprising, to commemorate the lives and the deeds of that great generation,” he said.

The Soweto museum is close to the areas where Hastings Ndlovu and Hector Pieterson, who were among the youngest school children gunned down by the apartheid police during the march, were killed.

Mayor Tau said: “The location of the museum emphasises government’s commitment to ensuring that the history and legacy of the 1976 youth is properly preserved and upheld.”

The ceremony comes after Mayor Tau officially launched the Vulindlel’ eJozi programme in partnership with Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator on June 1st to mark the beginning of the Youth Month. A mobisite of the programme designed to break down barriers to various opportunities for the youth of Johannesburg went live on Youth Day, June 16.

Vulindlel’ eJozi mobisite fast facts;

It is a Joburg Smart City solution one can connect to using any form of internet access , including any of the free City’s Wifi hotspots
It is easily accessible by feature phones to obtain more information about Vulindlel ‘eJozi
It has a simple 3-step process to register for participation in the programme without much navigation
It allows one to be screened immediately
One can register on the mobisite anytime of the day