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June 2018 – Week 2: Youth Day 16 June

Youth Day, as it is popularly known, is a day in which South Africans honour the youth that was ambushed by the apartheid regime police in Soweto on 16 June 1976. On the day over 500 youths were killed.

On the morning of June 16, 1976, thousands of black students went on a protest rally from their schools to Orlando Stadium. They were protesting against an official order which made Afrikaans compulsory in black township schools throughout the country. The use of local languages was prohibited in these schools whilst the constitution supported that Afrikaans and English be made the official languages of the country.

The rally was meant to be a peace protest with the intentions to plea with government not to make Afrikaans compulsory in schools. Things got out of control when the police were called in to disperse the crowds and riots broke out. Hundreds of students were killed as a result.

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