Posted by: Dr. Y. | June 16, 2019

Visiting the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum

Soweto_HP_3_1I recently visited the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, memorial dedicated to one of the first students to be shot dead during the 16 June 1976 Soweto Massacre. This was 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, who became the symbol of the Soweto Uprising.  The picture of his dead body being carried away by another student, Mbuyisa Makhubo, while his sister  Antoinette Sithole ran beside them in tears, was captured by news photographer Sam Nzima, and made it worldwide. When Hector was shot, he fell on the corner of Moema and Vilakazi Streets, he was picked up by Mbuyisa Makhubo who together with Hector’s sister, Antoinette (then 17 years old), ran towards Sam Nzima‘s car. They bundled him in, and the journalist Sophie Tema drove him to a nearby clinic where he was pronounced dead. Mbuyisa and Nzima were harassed by the police after the incident and both went into hiding.

Soweto_HP_2_1Visiting the museum brought some odd images, because it shows the brutality of the apartheid government against children… Imagine that: an entire government unleashing dogs, police officers, and guns on children! 1500 heavily armed police patrolling the area overnight with automatic rifles, stun guns, and carbines; driving in armored vehicles with helicopters, while the South African army was ordered on standby… for repression on school children. Such barbary!

Well, I am glad there is an entire monument dedicated to the memory of Hector Pieterson, and above all to all those children who lost their lives on 16 June 1976, and who triggered the end of apartheid.

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Responses

  1. Mirrors some of the American Civil Rights Movement. If you get a chance Please watch the documentary, Eyes on the Prize. The parts where High powered water hoses and attack dogs were turned on protestors is difficult to watch. For African Americans 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow. Up to today where rogue police officers shoot innocent Black people including children.

    In America we see the rise of neo-nazis, the KKK and other hate groups with the blessing of the illegitimate occupant of the Oval Office. Some African Americans have opted to leave this racist country for our ancestral homelands in Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes… you are so right! It truly mirrors the American Civil Rights Movement, and the current rise of the neo-nazis with the shooting of innocent African Americans.
      Thanks. I heard a lot about that documentary “Eyes on the Prize”… I will go check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a difficult museum to visit because of the gruesome memories or images. I was very young, when it happened but my older siblings know better of the event. June 16 is a day of commemoration, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wasn’t aware of that part of history. That was terrible, and I can see connections between this and what happened in the Civil Rights Movement. Let us never forget!

    Like


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