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By Neelam Rahim

Today is the 46th anniversary of the June 16 uprisings in Soweto, which in 1976 saw young people embarking on protests against the apartheid Bantu Education. The uprising spread countrywide, changing the socio-political landscape of the country. The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will commemorate the June 16 anniversary with a Youth Day Parade for Justice and Change in Pretoria today.

 Radio Islam speaks to the Foundation’s Zaki Mamdoo.

 A historic occasion that brings together over 90 youth organisations who will gather at Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria.

 Mamdoo says, “There’s a range of different organisations from civil society and NGO’s, to student unions and youth movements as well as civic movements and organisations, have been incredibly helpful and instrumental by assisting to put this action together.”

 Mamdoo also says, “this event is unique as so many different organisations have come together to unite behind the youth agenda, since the 80’s. Under the democratic presentation we have had moments of youth uprising like ‘Fees must fall’ or the total shutdown movement but I think that this is unique and offers us to build some sort of coalition going forward and in that to sustain and prolong our efforts and continue applying pressure opposed to just having a burst of energy that starts sizzling out.” 

 “We should not ignore the sacrifices made because of how monumental those sacrifices were. We also should not ignore the issues that we have in our world today. That is why we are having this event with the expectation of many young people coming out in support of the youth day parade for justice and change. Young people are left with no other option because of dire situations and circumstances. Been confronted by many different issues forces us to come out in order to try and build a wold that is just, better and serves all the people who live in it,” says Mamdoo.

 Mamdoo adds, “The gesture of the memorandum that we plan to hand out at the union buildings is quite a comprehensive document which deals with a range of different issues put forward as the main issues our youth are confronted by. Ranging from youth unemployment all the way through to issues around basic education and the inequality that exists in the education system. So that we can move into a society that is sustainable.”


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