SAHO Commemorates 40 Years Since Soweto Uprising: Intergenerational Dialogue by Sindile Moya

Sindile Moya was head prefect in Zimasa Higher Primary School in Langa during 1976. He was involved in protests on the ground, as well as helping to organise collaborative efforts between different schools in Langa.

Moya is currently a full member of PAC provincially, and is still an activist in his community in Langa. He is also an executive member of the Langa Arts Association and a team candidate for Maxwell Dingane in elections.

Dear Student Movements of 2016

My name is Sindile Moya and as a musician I am a member and executive member of Langa Arts association. In 1976 I was the head prefect in Zimasa Higher Primary School in standard 6 which is grade 8 now and in that year it was the last year for std 6 to be in higher primary school. The following year this grade was in high school.

The uprisings did not only affect the high schools as perceived because the forcing of Afrikaans as the only medium of learning was applying to every level of schooling. Students in the higher primaries also had their own meetings although the total leadership was given by senior students at High Schools. As higher primaries we contributed not only with our lives but financially too as students will gather and pool together monies especially if transport for funerals and going to rallies was needed.

I must note that help from our teachers at this level was biased. The majority did support us and unapolegetic and openly sided with the students. There were those who did not show support and not through being ignorant but because of fear. Fear had rendered some to be frozen and history just bypassed them. This era also took out the fear of guns by the authorities, remember this was the second major uprising since 1960. In 1960 African people lost the fear of prisons and in 1976 they lost the fear of guns. These tools were a major asset in the Apartheid regime to sow fear and disunity amongst the masses.

It must also be noted that these uprising were not a spontaneous thing. They were carefully planned to bring the country to a standstill as domestic servants will not work, garden boys, factory workers etc. The country then will be ungovernable. This is attested at the SECRET Bethal Trial where Zephania Mothopeng a veteran PAC stalwart plus 18 others went on trial and were sentenced for planning and instigating the riots. Mangaliso Sobukwe the then President under house arrest in Kimberley was also implicated but because of his health he was not summoned to appear in court.

This era also helped students to unite against bad elements which are destroying our youth today like alcohol and drugs. Alcohol outlets and shebeens were the first to be burned and anyone found to have drunk would be made to vomit it out. Identified were also all retails that were supporting multinationals and Apartheid supporting ones. The youth of that era was not only militant but knew what they wanted in life.

Unfortunately just like 1960, in times like this when children are free and out of the classroom a lot unplanned and unwanted pregnancies occurred.

I hope this letter has been of help. Thank you

Regards Sindile Moya