Youth and the National Liberation Struggle

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New light on ‘76 uprising

Hector Peterson was not the first person to be killed in the 1976 Soweto uprising, a new book sensationally claims. Hastings Ndlovu, the protest's leader, was actually the first casualty. Pat Hopkins and Helen Grange claim in The Rocky Rioter Teargas Show, which was launched in Soweto this week. The book looks set to reopen debate on several issues relating to the uprising. It asks controversial questions on the ANC and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's involvement in the uprising, and the National Party Cabinet's "complicity in the ensuing atrocities". "Police were taught that if deadly force was to quell a mob, the quickest solution was to take out the leader first - in this case Ndlovu," the book asserts. "It was thus highly likely that the commander of Orlando Police station, Colonel Kleingeld, fired two shots as witnesses stated, and that the first hit its intended target -Ndlovu - and the second Hector Peterson. "Peterson has always been seen as the first victim because of the famous photograph of Mbuyisa

Last updated : 16-Jun-2014

This article was produced for South African History Online on 30-Mar-2011