"Students protest against using Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at their schools. - 16 June 1976 \r\n.. read moreImage source: . source: \u00a9 Drum Social Histories \/ Baileys African History Archive \/ Africa Media Online"

This Day In History

Marais Viljoen is inaugurated as state president

Monday, 18 June 1979
Former minister of labour and a moderate member of the National Party, Marais Viljoen, was inaugurated as South Africa's fifth state president after he had been elected on 4 June 1979. ..
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South African History Online

The June 16 Soweto Youth Uprising

The June 16 1976 Uprising that began in Soweto and spread countrywide profoundly changed the socio-political landscape in South Africa. Events that triggered the uprising can be traced back to policies of the Apartheid government that resulted in the introduction of the Bantu Education Act in 1953.

Youth Politics in South Africa in the 1970s

The 1970s period was a watershed for youth politics in South Africa. The South African Student Organisation (SASO) was gathering support from campus to campus. 

Key People in the June 16 Soweto Youth Uprising

Many people were involved in the historic turning point that 16 June 1976 became. These South African students, parents, activists, government employees, and others were in Soweto itself and elsewhere across the country.


Commemoration, remembering and memorialising June 16 Soweto uprising

Since the early 1990s, June 16, now known as Youth Day, has been remembered, commemorated, and memorialised as public history. There have been different ways and forms through which the June 16 1976 student uprisings have been commemorated. 


The Youth Struggle

From the early years of colonial rule, South African youth had participated in various forms against the racist character of colonialism, oppression, and segregation policies that subjected Black people young and old to indignity and inferior status.


Organisations involved in Youth and the National Liberation Struggle

See our list of organisations that were involved in the Liberation Struggle

South African Student Organisation (SASO)

The South African Student Organisation (SASO) was formed in 1968 after some members of the University of Natal’s Black Campus SRC (Student Representative Council) decided to break away from the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS).


The banning of the South African Students Organisation (SASO) and student politics in the 1980s

In September and October 1977, the apartheid government stiffened its resolve to end the nationwide student unrest that broke out in Soweto in June 1976. 

South African major mass killings timeline 1900-2012

Between the 20th and 21st century, a number of people lost their lives in South Africa amid liberation struggle. However, some of these events were carried out beyond the borders of South Africa by members of security police as they became known as cross border raids.